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St Augustine Vacationsimage

105 miles north east of Orlando, 39 miles south of Jacksonville

St. Augustine seems more like a European village than a modern U.S. city.  From the very earliest French Huguenots settlers, the colony has been under French, Spanish and British rule until the United States acquired Florida from Spain in 1821.

Founded in 1565, St. Augustine is America's oldest continuous European settlement and much of its early history is still evident. The town has a 17th-century fort, old city gates, horse-drawn carriages passing along narrow streets, a plethora of historic buildings and reconstructed 18th-century Spanish Quarter.

"The Nation's Oldest City" is one of Florida's top vacation destinations, and its easy to see why with it's old-world charm, unique historical attractions and numerous dining and shopping options.

To those in need of retail therapy, there are numerous shops selling specialty gifts such as handmade arts and crafts, specialty items and tourism mementos.

St Augustine accommodation ranges from bed and breakfast in quaint historic lodgings, hotels and inns, vacation rental properties, condominiums, townhouses and campground facilities. Just across the Bridge of Lions is St. Augustine Beach (Anastasia Island), a popular beach front destination for locals and visitors alike to access the city's 24 miles (38 km) of lovely beaches. Ponte Vedra Beach to the north of St. Augustine is one of Florida's more up market destinations and the location for several resorts offering prestigious golf and tennis facilities. 

imageGetting There & Getting Around

Visitors to St Augustine can arrive via either Jacksonville's international airport, about an hours drive to the north, or via the Daytona Beach airport, about an hour's drive south. Services are more frequent, and fares usually lower, at Jacksonville. Amtrak train services terminate at Jacksonville.

On-street parking is nonexistent in St. Augustine's historic district, and metered parking lots elsewhere are difficult to find and are often full. Your best bet is to park in the large lots behind the visitor center on Castillo Drive. Open airs buses, trains and horse drawn carriages service the historical districts and city highlights.

The Sunshine Bus Company runs public bus routes Monday through Saturday to 7pm. Yellow Cabs provide taxi services throughout the city. There are outlets in the city for the hire of bicycles, mopeds and scooters.

imageSt Augustine Vacation Highlights

Step back in time as you stroll down St. George Street in the St. Augustine historical district. Some of the most popular sites for visitors are the 17th-century fort Castillo de San Marcos, the reconstructed 18th-century Spanish Quarter and the historic churches.

Many of the events and festivals are known for their pageantry and historic charm. The Colonial Spanish Quarter is a living history museum that re-enacts the life of early colonists in a Spanish military town. Learn about their daily lives and meet tradesmen of the day such as the candle maker, leatherworker, herbalist, blacksmith or carpenter. 

Lightner Museum exhibits a diverse "collection of collections" featuring glass, porcelain, toys, natural history, Victorian collectibles, and mechanical musical instruments. The museum is housed in the former Alcazar Hotel, an 1888 National Register Building. The Old Florida Museum is mostly outdoors and provides the chance to experience historic Florida with many hands-on activities such as pumping water and writing with a quill pen.

Old St. Augustine Village Museum brings to life each period of the city's history, from Spanish colonial times to the early 20th century. The 10 restored homes here, built between 1790 and 1910, are original and on their original building sites. St. Augustine Alligator Farm and Zoological Park has more than 2,700 gators and crocodiles on display, including some rare white ones.  It houses the world's only complete collection of all 22 species of crocodilians. Don't leave without seeing Gomek.  The Anastasia State Recreation Area is host to a bird sanctuary with 170 species as well as a five mile beach.

The nearby Faver-Dykes State Park has the same wildlife that the original Spanish explorers found when they arrived. Bald eagles, alligators, bobcats and woodstorks are just a few on the natives in this area. There is plenty of golf and tennis facilities in the area and Ponte Vedra Beach is the home of The Players Championship tournament and the headquarters of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Tour. 

The World Golf Hall of Fame is located in the World Golf Village which features two world-class resorts, two championship golf courses, plus unique shopping and dining. Enjoy a sunset stroll on the white sands at St Augustine Beach and Anastasia Island and gather sand dollars, moon snails, and angel wings, just a few of the beautiful shells to be found on these beaches. 

There is no shortage of water-based activities including jet skiing, sailing, para-sailing, pier and beach fishing, deep water fishing charters, ghost tours and scenic harbor cruises. Hiking and camping are popular activities in the state reserves and parks in the area.

imageOther Regional Vacation Centers

Jacksonville vacations::  Amelia Island vacations ::  Daytona Beach vacations

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