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10 Places to Explore in The St. Augustine Historic District

Explore the St. Augustine historic districtExplore the St. Augustine historic district and you’ll find it to be a unique relic of the history of Florida and is a must-see when visiting! Here you’ll be immersed in the culture of the nation’s oldest city where many of the buildings and landmarks date back to the 1700s and today are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors will find a majority of the city’s restaurants, shopping, and attractions in this area.

Our bed and breakfast just happens to be located among the sites you’ll see when you explore the St. Augustine historic district. The Inn itself is a historic structure dating back to 1791. We offer the perfect blend of old-world charm and modern luxuries. Here you can unwind and relax after a day of sightseeing around this amazing city. We make it easy for you by being a walkable distance close to restaurants, museums, shops, and galleries. Whether you need a romantic getaway or are passing through for business the St. Francis Inn is here to welcome you. Book your room today!

Explore the St. Augustine historic districtExplore the St. Augustine Historic District

The city of St. Augustine is a distinctive place due to the fact that it was first built between the 16th and early 19th centuries. The historic district was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1970 and encompasses the colonial heart of the city. From the oldest surviving residences to the oldest masonry fort in the U.S. to beautiful bayfront views this area is a must-do on a visit to St. Augustine. The list of things to do here seems endless do we’ve compiled a list of our favorite 10 places to check out when you explore the St. Augustine historic district.

  1. The Gonzalez-Alvarez House otherwise known as the oldest house museum complex includes the oldest surviving Spanish colonial dwelling in St. Augustine. Visitors can take a 25 minute guided tour of the home where history comes alive. The “complex” also contains a museum, a changing exhibition gallery, and an ornamental garden, and a gift shop. Guests of St. Francis in receive 50% off of admission.
  2. The Castillo de San Marcos National Monument is the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States. A popular site as you’ll see when you explore the St. Augustine historic district, the large fortress was constructed to protect and defend Spain’s claims in the new world. There are regular daily programs and ranger-led tours as well as cannon firings and weaponry demonstrations.
  3. St George Street is a destination hot spot that includes restaurants, locally-owned shops, and attractions like the Colonial Quarter and the Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse. The Old City Gate is located at the very north end of the street and is a great place for a photo op as you explore the St. Augustine historic district.
  4. The Lightner Museum is housed in the former Alcazar Hotel built in 1888. This gorgeous building is home to a collection of fine and decorative 19th-century art. There are self-guided tours available.
  5.  First built in 1891 the Old Jail was designed to blend in with the rest of the buildings in St. Augustine. Tours are led by guides dressed in period attire and offers a glimpse into conditions prisoners encountered in jail. The jail is also a part of the Ghosts and Graveyards Tour which includes a night tour of the jail.
  6. The Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine is the oldest Catholic church in the city. The walls are adorned with impressive murals and stained glass windows. Guided tours are available and visitors are welcome to light candles for loved ones at any time.
  7. The Ximenez-Fatio House Museum was built in 1798 as a merchants’ home and later became a boarding house. This house museum has been carefully researched and authentically restored. It provides insights into a little known period of Florida history. Definitely one of the best-preserved colonial structures you’ll find when you explore the St. Augustine historic district.
  8. As you explore the St. Augustine historic district you may find the narrowest street in America which is Treasury Street. Local legend says that the Street was designed to be only 7 feet wide so as to make it more difficult for raiders to loot and take off with the treasure! Another notable street you may find as you explore the St. Augustine historic district is Aviles Street, the oldest street in the nation. Archeologists have found pottery shards here from the early 1600s! Today it is known for its art galleries and restaurants.
  9. Ponce DeLeon’s Fountain of Youth Archeological Park is a waterfront historical attraction where visitors learn about the first Spanish settlers who came here in the 1600s. Enjoy views of the water from the Riverwalk and sample waters from the natural spring. (fountain of youth?!)
  10. After you explore the St.Augustine historic district you may need to sit down for a good meal in a beautiful setting. A number of eateries have excellent views of Matanzas Bay in the St.Augustine historic district and provide a place to have a romantic meal. The A1A Ale House features a made from scratch menu and an extensive selection of craft beers. Harry’s Seafood is a New Orleans style restaurant that offers jambalaya, etouffee, and gumbo.

explore the St. Augustine historic districtThe Perfect St. Augustine Lodging

After you explore the St. Augustine historic district you’ll need a much-needed break from the amazing sightseeing.  St. Francis Inn is your comfortable retreat from a busy day. Our cozy rooms are set up with your ultimate relaxation in mind. All guest rooms and suites are unique and come in varied sizes, decor, and locations.

From a small, intimate room to larger multi-room suites, you definitely will have options to choose from! All guests enjoy free amenities like buffet breakfast, all-day beverage service, use of Inn bicycles, and s’ mores by the courtyard firepit among many others. For those who might prefer an even more intimate experience, check out our sister property Casa de Suenõs Bed and Breakfast. If you are ready for the perfect place to unwind in a place full of historic charm book your stay today!

If you’re interested in visiting other fantastic historic destinations around the country, we encourage you to visit our friends in the charming New England town of Exeter. There, we recommend staying at one of the finest Exeter, NH hotels, the Inn by the Bandstand.

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