Looking for a destination to travel or move to that offers history, culture and beaches? St. Augustine, may be the place for you! Keep reading for some fun facts about the oldest city in America.
1. St. Augustine was founded by the Spanish in 1565 and was the first city in America. Therefore making it the oldest city in the United States.
2. Founded by the famous explorer, Ponce de Leon, the legendary spring, the Fountain of Youth, is located in St. Augustine and is located in the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park.
3. St. Augustine has three forts that guard it. Castillo de San Marcos, Fort Mantanzas, and Fort Mose were all built to protect the city. The Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States and is the biggest tourist attraction in St. Augustine.
4. Each year at Christmas time, St. Augustine hosts a Night of Lights making it one of the best holiday light displays in the country with almost 2 million lights.
5. The narrowest street in the United States is in St Augustine. It is called Treasury Street and it is just 7 feet wide. The street connects the Royal Spanish Treasury to the area where the ships dock on the bay and it was deliberately made to be narrow, so that thieves would find it difficult to remove and escape with chests of gold from the treasury.
6. The St Augustine Light tower was built in 1874, after the previous lighthouse became threatened by beach erosion. The lighthouse now houses a not-for-profit maritime museum. According to legend, the location is haunted and there are numerous ghost stories connected with the lighthouse.
7. The St Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park opened in 1893 and is one of Florida’s oldest tourist attractions. As well as housing every species of alligator, crocodile, caiman, and gharial, the zoo also has exotic birds and monkeys.
8. The oldest wooden schoolhouse is located in St. Augustine and is available for visitors to visit.
9. The Cathedral Basilica, located downtown on Cathedral Place, is home to the first Catholic congregation in North America.
10. The original Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! museum in St. Augustine is 20,000 square feet and features 19 themed galleries and more than 300 exhibits and artifacts across three floors.
11. St. Augustine also offers trolley rides, ghost tours and is in close proximity to the beaches off the East Coast of Florida.
Whether you are looking to relocate to the oldest city in America or looking to make a visit as a day trip or a week long vacation, there is something to offer everyone with its rich culture, history, attractions and beaches.