Guide to St. Augustine: how to get there and where to stay, what to see and where to go in the evening. The most interesting in St. Augustine: fresh reviews and photos, places to see, branded entertainment and shops.
According to Toppharmacyschools, St. Augustine is a little gem of the US East Coast, full of romantic atmosphere and old-world charm. St. Augustine is known as the oldest city in North America that has been continuously inhabited. Travelers will find characteristic historical streets, Spanish-style architecture and a panoramic beach here. And this city with a population of only about 13 thousand people is the headquarters of the Florida National Guard.
Another amazing building for which St. Augustine should thank Flager is Memorial Presbyterian Church. It was built on Valencia Street in 1889 and is a very ornate building in the Venetian style.
How to get to St. Augustine
The St. Augustine/St. Johns District Airport handles mostly private flights. The nearest airport, where you can fly a scheduled flight, is in the nearest major city – Jacksonville. From here you can also get to St. Augustine by train or bus. It is also easy to arrive here by car on Interstate 95.
A bit of history
The city was founded in 1565 by the Spanish admiral Pedro Menendez de Aviles and was the capital of Spanish Florida for two hundred years in a row. It remained the principal city of East Florida when the lands passed from the Spanish to the British, and ceased to be the capital only in 1824. Since the late 19th century, the city’s historic atmosphere has made it a very popular tourist attraction in the state. A separate chapter in the development of St. Augustine is associated with the name of Henry Flager, John Rockefeller’s partner at Standard Oil. Arriving in the city in the 1880s, Flager built several extravagant buildings, several churches, opened a baseball park and a number of hotels, as well as a hospital. We can say that it was the “Flager era” that became decisive for St. Augustine, since the city became American.
St. Augustine events
The Spring and Fall Arts and Crafts Festival has been hosted by the St. Augustine Art Association for over 70 years. Now the event takes place in Francis Field, near the tourist center, in the art district of Uptown. The festival takes place on the Thanksgiving weekend in the fall, and on the weekend after Easter in the spring. Here you can get acquainted with the works of more than one and a half hundred artists from all over the country: painting, sculpture, jewelry, ceramics, photography and all sorts of other two- and three-dimensional masterpieces.
The annual Christmas parade has become one of the largest in North Florida. Here you can see carts, cars, horses, tigers and, of course, Santa. The parade starts at Mission Nombre de Dios and runs through the entire old city, ending at the tourist center on Castillo Drive.
The Night of Lights takes place in the historic part of the city, starting on the weekend before Thanksgiving and ending at the end of January. More than a million small white lights light up these days on the embankment and old buildings.
Every first Friday of the month, the city hosts an event called “art walk” – a night of new exhibitions, concerts and entertainment shows in the city center.
Entertainment and attractions in St. Augustine
The exclusive Ponce de Leon Hotel was opened by G. Flager in 1888. It was designed according to the Spanish Renaissance models by New York architects of world renown, the creators of Carrere and Hastings. Using shell rock as raw material, they turned the building into something amazing by making it entirely from composite material – for those times it was ultra-new. Moreover, it was also one of the first electrified hotels: the light bulbs were powered by the generators of Flager’s friend, the notorious Thomas Edison. Today the hotel building belongs to Flager College.
Flager had to hire a dedicated staff for the Ponce de Leon Hotel to turn the lights on and off for guests. The guests themselves were simply afraid to touch the switches.