History, battles, distilleries and the ocean? Find it all in St. Augustine, Florida.
The manicured lawn and slow lap of the waves make it hard to imagine that several battles once took place in St. Augustine, located on the northeast side of Florida. The only thing that creates an illusion to war is the giant stone fortress, the Castillo de San Marcos. Over 300 years old, this fortress served as the battleground between several nations.
Now considered a national monument in the United States, the fortress has been associated with various people groups (and at times conquered by a few) such as the English, Native Americans, Spanish, Colonial African Americans, Minorcans and the United States.
A $15 fee will allow you to wander around the old walls, which are built out of coquina (a form of limestone…only two fortifications in the world are built from this material!), look into the living quarters of the people who once lived there and watch reenactments displaying leather making and historic weapons demonstrations. One of my favorite activities was watching the cannons fired across the water.
One more fun fact about the coquina rock – it didn’t shatter when cannons hit it…it absorbed the shock.
Wander Around the Old City
After exploring the Castillo de San Marcos, take a short walk across the street to the Old City. It’s cobblestone streets offer plenty of photo ops, but more importantly, lots of cafes, interesting shops and historic sites and desserts.
If you’re up for a longer walk after the Old City, head over to Flagler College. It’s a beautiful building.
Finish off your day at a local distillery
The St. Augustine Distillery makes some seriously good spirits. This was my first time participating in a distillery tour, and it was a great time! It’s also free so that’s a bonus. 😉 The spirits are made from Florida grown citrus, sugar cane, corn and wheat.
In one day, I was only able to scratch the surface of this old town, but there’s plenty of history and excitement to be found all around.