St. Au­gus­tine

Where First Coast - - CONTENTS -

Amer­ica’s old­est city isn’t just home to his­toric sites but to some amaz­ing beaches as well.

Just 45 min­utes south of Jack­sonville, the na­tion’s old­est city was founded by Span­ish sailors in 1565. Mod­ern-day ex­plor­ers come for beaches, his­tory and to walk on streets once roamed by pi­rates.

The Old City

Nar­row cob­ble­stone streets best ex­plored by foot con­stantly re­veal scores of mu­se­ums, restaurants and pubs. From an­tique shop­ping along San Marco Av­enue to sou­venir shops along St. Ge­orge Street, the down­town his­toric district in­cludes ev­ery­thing from clas­sic to kitsch. Nu­mer­ous themed walk­ing tours in­vite vis­i­tors to see no­table sites or delve into ghostly lore. St. Au­gus­tine’s not-to-be-missed, fa­mous his­toric land­marks in­clude Castillo de San Mar­cos, Ponce de Leon’s Foun­tain of Youth, Fort Matan­zas, the light­house, Fla­gler Col­lege and the Light­ner Mu­seum.

Power Player Golf

Jack Nick­laus ( The Golden Bear), and Arnold Palmer ( The King), came to­gether to de­sign the par 72 King & Bear at World Golf Vil­lage. As you would ex­pect, this is one of the pre­mier golf ex­pe­ri­ences in the coun­try. The course’s many tees suit all lev­els, but if you need to hone your skills, take a clinic at the nearby PGA Tour Golf Academy or get cus­tom­ized lessons to help your game. 1 King and Bear Drive, St. Au­gus­tine, 904.940. 6088. www.olfwgb.com

Nat­u­ral Beach— Anas­ta­sia Park

Beach­combers can look for the rare gold coin that may wash ashore from the pirate days, or more likely, a pretty shell on the four- mile stretch of beach. The beach was mined by the Span­ish for co­quina rock, a lime­stone made from fos­silized shells, to con­struct the Castillo de San Mar­cos fortress be­tween 1672 and 1695. Vis­i­tors can fish, camp and wan­der through the dunes shaded by ham­mock brim­ming with na­tive birds.

City Beach — St. Au­gus­tine

The clos­est beach to Old Town is con­ve­niently called St. Au­gus­tine. The mu­nic­i­pal sand-scape fea­tures a fes­tive mix of boat­ing and fish­ing re­cre­ation around the St. Johns County Pier and sun­bathing and pic­nick­ing spots along the rest of the two- mile­long beach. Shaded pavil­ions, a play­ground, bait shops, vol­ley­ball courts and food op­tions are all nearby. On week­ends, the pier is of­ten the host to con­certs and spe­cial events.

A Pirate’s Life: Drake’s Raid

If you hap­pen to be in town June 6-7, come out for one of St. Au­gus­tine’s most fa­mous events. His­tory re- en­ac­tors por­tray Sir Fran­cis Drake and his raiders for an au­then­tic re- cre­ation of the 1586 sack of the city. The raider’s camp at Foun­tain of Youth Park is open to the pub­lic and dis­plays ar­mor used by the raiders. Cos­tumed in­ter­preters ex­plain the life­style and and craft skills of the pe­riod. At 5:30 pm each evening, Drake and his fol­low­ers de­scend on down­town St. Au­gus­tine, and by 7 pm, the bat­tle rages be­tween the English in­vaders and the city’s de­fend­ers. Missed it? Stop by the pirate mu­seum for loads of fun and lore. www.drakesraid.com

Fla­gler Col­lege

Anas­ta­sia Beach

St. Au­gus­tine Beach

Pi­rates once sacked the city

Cap­tion text

King & Bear

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