Now I guess I should of been writing as we traveled but it just was so overwhelming to see so much and I just didn’t want to miss a thing on our adventure.
The hubby and I had five weeks ahead of us to see the sights, well the first two weeks were just for us and then the in-laws joined us. Our holidays started with visiting long lost friends in Buffalo. And as always we had a wonderful time catching up and remembering our days long gone. So officially our holidays started really on the Sunday when we made our way towards Florida.
St. Augustine was our first destination planned.
If you are ever traveling South make sure to stop and visit St. Augustine, we had a wonderful two days of sight seeing, great food and lots of entertainment. Almost forgot to mention tons and tons of little shops. We stayed at a Best Western that allowed us to park free of charge and go exploring. Even after we had checked out of our motel they still allowed us to leave our vehicle free to continue our sight seeing for an extra day. The motel was walking distance from the downtown core of St. Augustine, it was an older motel but nice and clean and very friendly staff. There was always a fresh pot of coffee on with snack cakes and fresh fruit. Weather was beautiful – no jackets required – and sight seeing we did.
St. Augustine is a city in the northeast section of Florida and the county seat of St. Johns County, Florida, United States. Founded in 1565 by Spanish explorer and admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, it is the oldest continuously occupied European-established city and port in the continental United States. St. Augustine lies in a region of Florida known as “The First Coast”, which extends from Amelia Island in the north to Jacksonville, St. Augustine, and Palm Coast in the south. According to the 2010 census, the city population was 12,975. St. Augustine is the headquarters for the Florida National Guard.
The beautiful old buildings were filled with history all beautifully restored and maintained to give any history buff a memorable time. We visited Castillo de San Marcos, a fort that you can leisurely walk through on your own or with a guided tour, full of artifacts. The Castillo de San Marcos is St. Augustine’s biggest attractions, and the oldest structure in the entire city! At the fort you will find plenty to explore, from the numerous rooms, to the large interior courtyard and gun deck, which offers a great view of the city. This is a great attraction for the whole family to learn about the nation’s oldest city. Re-enactments, cannon firings, and weaponry demonstrations are held throughout the day.
The Oldest Wooden School House, right where it was originally built, depicting how the children once were taught. The schoolhouse does appear on the tax records for the year of 1716, and is sure to have been in existence before then. The school remains as it was over two centuries and was made completely by hand, even the nails! Not only is this the oldest schoolhouse in the country but it was also the first co-ed school in the country. It is located near the old city gates in historic downtown St. Augustine.
The original owner, who became its first schoolteacher, was Juan Genoply. Once inside you can sit with the schoolmaster and his pupils as they re-create the scene. These animatronic figures in period dress bring history to life as they describe how school was back then. There are also copies of the textbooks used by the students and other school artifacts on display inside. Another unusual item on the schoolhouse is the large chain and anchor around the outside. This was originally to keep the schoolhouse grounded during hurricanes!
The hubby and I did a night tour with the Old Town Trolley service called Ghosts and Gravestones and we had a blast. On our tour we were able to see St. Augustine at night and you guested it, Ghosts and Gravestones. A visit to an Authentic Old Jail, St. Augustine’s Lighthouse and more. Our host for the evening was a local resident dressed in period costume giving us a spine chilling tour of everything scary in St. Augustine – we loved it!
I could continue on and on of all we seen and did in St. Augustine but I don’t want to spoil it for you. Next holiday to Florida will for sure include another visit to beautiful St. Augustine and would recommend it to young and old just be sure to wear comfortable shoes. Don’t worry about packing a lunch there is lots of great restaurants that are very reasonably priced for every budget and appetite, you won’t go hungry in St. Augustine.
I would like to thank Wikipedia for my history and augustine.com for putting into words better than I can some of what we were able to see.