Travel Guide to Florida

2017 Travel Guide to Florida

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T his is where America was first settled. Nestled on the Sunshine State's striking northeastern shore, fittingly dubbed Florida's Historic Coast, St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra enchant visitors with 42 miles of unspoiled natural beaches, world-class golf and historic charm. DO The beautiful shoreline shimmers with white quartz sand, beckoning all interested in shelling, surfing, sandcastle building or relaxation. Take a dip, throw in a line or enjoy water sports with the entire family. Off the beach, there are more than a dozen championship golf courses and the World Golf Hall of Fame. If you're in town May 9–14, watch pros tee off at THE PLAYERS Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach. Shoppers must explore the small boutiques and art galleries along St. George Street in the Historic District of St. Augustine. Or, search for bargains at the area's two outlet malls—St. Augustine Outlets and St. Augustine Premium Outlets. SEE Visit more than 60 historic sites and attrac- tions in St. Augustine where old-world charm abounds from national monuments and architecturally rich churches. Explore the Castillo de San Marcos, the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum, and the Colonial Quarter. Attempt to reverse your age at The Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park. The more intrepid can spot every species of crocodilian in the world at the Alligator Farm and Zoological Park. Experience life in the 15 th through 17 th centuries at historical re-enactments, the most popular being that of Pedro Menéndez de Avilés's landing at St. Augustine on Founder's Day in September. EAT AND PLAY More than 95 restaurants serve fresh seafood and locally sourced produce, and food and wine festivals are scheduled throughout the year. Tour the St. Augustine Distillery, producing small handcrafted batches of whiskey, rum, vodka, gin and bourbon using local ingredients. Or sample your way through the Whetstone Chocolate Factory and the San Sebastian Winery. Live music emanates nightly from taverns, bistros, bars and restaurants in the St. Augustine Historic District. The night scene heats up May through September with free evening concerts held downtown and at the St. Augustine Beach Pier. INSIDER'S TIPS Visit Florida's Historic Coast Monday through Thursday when hotel rates are lower and enjoy free daily tours of historic churches and Fort Matanzas. For US$10 or less, explore the Lightner Museum, Flagler College and the Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse. REDISCOVER FLORIDA'S Historic Coast BY KEVIN FRITZ FLORIDASHISTORICCOAST.COM S T. AU G U S T I N E & P O N T E V E D R A St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches Visitors & Convention Bureau Alligator Farm & Zoological Park Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park Lightner Museum San Sebastian Winery St. Augustine Attractions Association St. Augustine Distillery St. Johns Cultural Council The PLAYERS Championship the-players-championship.html Whetstone Chocolates World Golf Hall of Fame FEATURED LINKS TOP: Cycling on Anastasia State Park Beach. CENTER: Touring Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine. 154 2017 TRAVEL GUIDE TO FLORIDA

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