When relocating to Northeast Florida, Jacksonville and the Jacksonville Beaches provide great options. But if you venture just 40 miles to the south, you’ll come across St. Augustine, a city steeped in not only Florida history but the history of the US as well. What makes this city so charming? Read on to find out.
St. Augustine, FL
A Bit of History
When you think about the history of the US, the original 13 colonies probably come to mind first. But did you know that Spanish explorers founded St Augustine in 1565?. That was 55 years before the pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. And that makes St. Augustine the oldest European-established settlement in the nation. In 1819, Spain ceded the Florida Territory to the USA. By 1821, St. Augustine became its capital and the Florida National Guard set up its headquarters in the city.
After the civil war, oil big-wig Henry Flagler fell in love with the city and decided to create a winter retreat for wealthy Americans. He built two big hotels (Hotel Ponce de Leon and Hotel Alcazar) and brought several short line railroads to the area to boost its transportation needs. In 1888, his railroad bridge over St. Johns allowed transportation of goods all along the Atlantic coastline. This helped spur on Florida’s development.
According to Neighborhood Scout, 14,576 people live in St. Augustine. Almost one-third (31.7%) of the population is aged 55 or older. It should come as no surprise that hotels and retail businesses make up the majority of employers in St. Augustine, They employ 36.9% of the workers in the city. Realtor.com places the city’s median sale price at $362,500. They consider the local real estate market as balanced, with a “healthy” amount of buyers and sellers.
What to See and Do in St Augustine
With a city this old, you know you’ll find something to satisfy everyone’s interests. Just over two dozen museums cover topics ranging from the human body and medieval torture to golf and pirates. There’s even a Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum in town. Take a ride around town on an Old Town Trolley Tour and learn some fascinating tidbits about the city’s history. Marineland Dolphin Adventure gets you up close and personal with our pals from the sea. Enjoy a free wine tasting at San Sebastian Winery or an alcohol tasting at City Gates Spirits Distillery. There are also boat tours, ghost tours, helicopter tours, and sunset cruises that offer unique glimpses at our oldest city. And no trip to the city would be complete without visiting the world-famous St. Augustine Lighthouse.
If you’re interested in purchasing a property in St. Augustine or the surrounding area, please contact the Welch Team for more information. We’d be happy to show you what’s available.