Home FEATURE TRAVEL: St. Augustine Beckons You

TRAVEL: St. Augustine Beckons You

Historic Museum St. Augustine

Florida’s Historic Coast includes St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra and 42 miles of beautiful pristine Atlantic Coast beaches

St. Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in America, established by the Spanish in 1565. Four and a half centuries later, the city and its people continue to symbolize the rich history and cultural diversity that makes St. Augustine unique. In 2015, St. Augustine is commemorating its 450th anniversary with a calendar filled with historic reenactments, world-class arts and cultural exhibits, Spanish Wine and music festivals, religious observances, and city-wide celebrations- and great holiday deals!

Historic Museum St. Augustine
Historic Museum St. Augustine

Ponte Vedra’s luxurious seaside resorts mixed with some of the best golf and tennis facilities in the country provide the perfect setting for a winter escape.  A destination on every golfer’s bucket list, Florida’s Historic Coast has more than a dozen championship golf courses. The most famous course, THE PLAYERS Stadium Course with its 17th Island Green at TPC Sawgrass, is where THE PLAYERS Championship takes place in May. The nearby World Golf Hall of Fame celebrates golf’s greatest players and contributors with new exhibits. A true real golfer’s paradise, enthusiasts of the game flock here to hone their skills and scratch off their bucket list at dozens of championship golf courses and golf academies.

The 42 miles of pristine Atlantic beaches are perfect for exploring Northeast Florida shores and waterways. Collect shells in the warm morning light of the sunrise. Paddle out in a guided kayak sunset tour. Dozens of outfitters offer paddling tours and nature excursions, while the abundance of coastal parks and nature preserves provide the perfect setting for a relaxing beach vacation.

St. Augustine’s history, Ponte Vedra’s luxury and the coastal beauty of Florida’s Historic Coast are enjoyed and celebrated through-out the year through hundreds of arts and culture events, festivals and celebrations.  Visitors will find great golf deals,  romantic escapes  and family fun  through-out the year.   There’s always something new to discover on Florida’s Historic Coast where our history is not the same old story. Here are some great features to enjoy:

St. Augustine’s 450th Commemorations

Carnival at St. Augustine
Festivities at St. Augustine

By the time the first English settlement in the New World was established at Jamestown, Va., St. Augustine had been a thriving coastal town for more than 40 years. Founded by Spanish explorer Pedro Menendez de Aviles in 1565, the influence of Spanish history is still evident today, 450 years later.   St. Augustine will be sharing its story through a series of special exhibits, programs and commemorative events through September 2015.  Highlights include special art and music exhibitions that tell the city’s storied past; historic reenactments, authentic historic ships docked along the city’s bayfront, Spanish Landing reenactments, birthday cake for the masses, a special commemorative Mass, fireworks over Castillo de San Marcos and so much more. For a complete guide to St. Augustine’s 450th Anniversary Commemorative events, visitwww.StAugustine-450.com

A Destination on the Rise – What’s New on Florida’s Historic Coast

Florida’s Historic Coast has become an even more popular travel destination in recent years. Expanded visitor services, special events, tours and attractions, and improved infrastructure have attracted new hotel properties increasing the wide variety of lodging for visitors.

A Spruced-up City – This winter the St. Augustine will be completing several major street-scape projects in the historic district designed to make the nation’s oldest city even more walkable while preserving and enhancing its historic character. This new look includes refreshed clay bricks and coquina concrete on street surfaces, new energy efficient colonial-style street lamps, landscape beautification, more bike racks, and benches. The street-scape projects cover Hypolita, Spanish, Treasury, and Orange Street in St. Augustine’s Historic District.

New Hotels – New hotels are opening along Florida’s Historic Coast. In October 2014, the full service DoubleTree by Hilton St. Augustine Historic District opened its doors across the street from the historic Mission Nombre de Dios, the site where St. Augustine’s founder, Pedro Menendez came ashore and created the city’s first settlement. Construction of new hotels and major hotel renovations in the area are planned for 2015. Planned hotel projects include a 95-room Wyndham Garden Hotel along the San Sebastian River, and a new Courtyard by Marriott at St. Augustine Beach.

St. Augustine Distillery – The Distillery is housed in Florida’s first ice manufacturing plant, built in 1917. The Distillery offers free tours and tastings 6 days a week from 11am-6pm which include a museum, theatre, working distillery and tasting room.  The St. Augustine Distillery Museum features Florida’s distilling heritage, the building’s former life as an ice plant, demonstrations of  spirit production, and the distiller’s mission to produce the country’s best farm to bottle artisan spirits including super premium whisky, gin, rum and vodka.www.staugaugustinedistillery.com

Frontier Airlines expanded its low-fare non-stop service between Trenton-Mercer Airport (TTN), in Ewing, N.J. to Northeast Florida Regional Airport in St. Augustine, FL, in May 2014. Frontier is the only commercial airline to provide service to St. Augustine, a convenient alternative to larger, more expensive airports.  Flights between Trenton/Princeton and St. Augustine operate on 138-seat Airbus 319 aircraft.   www.FlyFrontier.com

Outdoor Adventure Feature Eco Tours and Thrilling Moments

Nature lovers and adventure travelers will have plenty of stories to tell after a visit to Florida’s Historic Coast.  Put these activities on your “must conquer” list.

Swim with dolphins at Marineland Dolphin Adventure
Kayak the pristine estuaries and coastal waters of “real Florida” with professional guides and naturalists.
Fire a cannon at the Pirate & Treasure Museum
Reel in the big one on one of several deep sea charter fishing boats
Climb 219 stairs to the top of the historic St. Augustine Lighthouse
Take a Bi-Plan Adventure Tour for a thrilling bird’s eye view of the nation’s oldest city.
Check off some rare and hard to spot avian species at one of many nature preserves and coastal parks
Hover over      gators and crocs on the challenging Crocodile Crossing zip line course at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm and Zoological Park.