The Fountain Runneth Over

St. Augustine unites a rich history with a bright future



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History Hopping 

You will find no lack of transportation in this city given its trolleys, buses, boats and my personal favorite, the horse drawn carriage. There’s just something about the clack of hooves on the ancient streets. Luckily, the majority of destinations are within trotting distance. 

While contemporary culture is succeeding, it helps to know a bit of the history of the city in order to fully appreciate it. Educate yourself by visiting museums and historic sites or even joining in a ghost tour. 

Courtesy Casa Monica

A spot that is highly visited and very much worth the visit is Castillo de San Marcos, the iconic fort constructed of coquina shells during the 17th century. Whether you are a history buff, a student of architecture or just appreciate a spectacular view, the fort is for you. Re-enactors dress in period attire and fire the cannons 363 days out of the year. Take heed and do cover your ears. 

A unique way to see the city is by boat or catamaran. A variety of services will take you along the shore offering striking views of the fort, the lighthouse and the bustling city. Many captains offer informative tours and even a full spread of treats to nosh on.

The Lightner Museum, the Old Jail, St. Augustine Lighthouse, Fort Mantanzas and even the Fountain of Youth are all keys to unlocking the magic of the city. Who doesn’t want to sip on something that makes you forever young? 

 

On Ice

St. Augustine has become a premier destination for all things spirits — not ghosts, in this case. One of the most noteworthy distilleries in Florida is located in the historic Florida Power and Light Ice Plant built in 1907. Charming old buildings excite me, but charming old buildings that produce alcohol intoxicate me. Take a free tour of the distillery and watch workers mix, mash, cook and distill while learning the history of the operation. Of course, they wouldn’t take you through the process without offering samples at tour’s end. 

The St. Augustine Distillery emphasizes the fact that their products are derived from local farmers, as they are a community business, themselves. The sugar cane, wheat, corn and citrus used in their whiskey, rum, gin and vodka are harvested by neighbors. Stop at the gift shop and you are sure to leave with a bottle that will become the star of your bar cart.

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