Saint Augustine, FL

Historic Florida City is Mentioned as an "Essential Stop" Along the Southeastern Coast

L. Cane

Many Americans like to take coastal road trips, and understandably, destinations like California and New England are quite popular. But travel experts say you shouldn't necessarily overlook the eastern seaboard that stretches from Maryland to Florida because it contains a nice mix of natural attributes such as beaches, forests, and quirky coastal towns.

The website the Discoverer recently named 11 cities that it called "essential stops" along the coastal eastern seaboard, and one historic city in Florida made the cut.

What were the Criteria?: Although the Discoverer didn't specifically cite their criteria, their picks make it quite clear that they valued the ability to enjoy nature, eat enticing cuisine, and enjoy "southern hospitality."

What Did the Discoverer Like About St. Augustine? Why Was it an Essential Stop?" The site felt that St. Augustine, America's oldest continually occupied settlement, is a great fit for history buffs since Spanish explorers founded the city in the 1500s and left countless remnants worth exploring.

Historical Stops in St. Augustine: Consider stopping at the nation’s oldest masonry fort, the Castillo de San Marcos, which was built in 1672 as a way to protect Spain from France and England.

Also worth a visitor's time is Flagler College, which was originally a hotel built by Henry Flagler in 1888 (and previously called the Hotel Ponce de León.) The building was one of the first in the nation to have electricity and is a great example of Spanish Renaissance architecture.

Another well-known aspect of At. Augustine's history is its discovery by Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon, who arrived in 1513. Some believe that he was searching for the Fountain of Youth, and the Fountain is allegedly available for a visit at Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park. While there, you can take a drink from the fountain and learn about Ponce de Leon and St. Augustine's history.

As you might imagine considering its Spanish influence, St. Augustine feels somewhat European, which makes it different from many other candidates in Florida. As a result, it's more pedestrian-friendly than many other Florida cities.

Arts and Quirky Museums: St. Augustine attracts musicians and artists and has no shortage of art galleries and museums, some of them a bit quirky.

For example, the Old Wooden Schoolhouse Museum was built in 1716 and allows you to see displays of colonial education. The Pirate and Treasure Museum has one of the largest collections of pirate artifacts in the world.

Beaches and Parks: Although St. Augustine is known as a historic city, it has no shortage of beaches and parks. Options are St. Augustine Beach, Anastasia State Park, and Vilano Beach.

Dynamic Dining: The city has plenty of fine dining options, but you can also keep it casual if you'd like. For fine dining, some suggestions are Casa Benedetto's Ristorante and Collage Restaurant. For casual, the Beachside Diner and Sunset Grille are nice options.

The Rest of the List: Here are the other cities that made the Discoverer's list of essential stops along the eastern coast.

Annapolis, Maryland

Ocean City, Maryland

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Outer Banks, North Carolina

The Crystal Coast, North Carolina

Wilmington, North Carolina

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina

Savannah, Georgia

St. Augustine, Florida

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