The Space Age Meets Colonial History in Florida
Come for the beaches, but stay for the history, nightlife and the chance to see a real spaceship.
The Oldest City in the Country
If you’ve been to Florida, you’ve probably experienced the beautiful weather and white sandy beaches. But, did you know that Florida lays claim to the oldest city in the USA? St. Augustine was founded in 1565, and retains tons of historical sites worth visiting. Check out the impressive Castillo de San Marcos, for example. The oldest masonry fort in the continental USA, it was built to defend Spain’s claims in the New World. While you’re there, you’ll want to visit Magnolia Avenue, a gorgeous oak-lined road and one of the most photographed streets in the country. Not far from Magnolia Avenue, you’ll find Ponce De Leon’s Archeological Park, where legend has it that the original “Fountain of Youth” was discovered in 1513. Round out your historical journey with a trip to the Lightner Museum, a collection of 19th Century Art housed in the former Alcazar Hotel.
The Wild Side
Balancing out the architecture and history of St. Augustine is the exciting nature and wildlife found in the area. Book a trip with Sea Serpent Tours for a chance to see alligators, turtles, snakes and perhaps even a manatee. On your journey, you’ll get to experience the marshlands of St. Augustine, and you might even find a shipwreck. For Florida’s famous beaches, head to Anastasia State Park. There, you’ll find more than 650 hectares of unspoiled beaches as well as abundant wildlife. From camping to surfing, the park is packed with outdoor activities for all.
Kennedy Space Center
There are few places in the country that display spaceships that have actually been to space, and the Kennedy Space Center, located on Merritt Island, Florida, is one of them. You’ll get to walk among the rockets on a guided tour, and see the Space Shuttle Atlantis, a ship that first launched in 1985 and made its last journey in 2011. While you’re there, visit the moon via interactive experiences, feel what it’s like to experience a shuttle launch, and head over to the Astronaut Experience to meet a real astronaut.