A charming city with tons of historic appeal, St. Augustine is a popular vacation spot for tourists from around the world. What’s even better than visiting St. Augustine? Living there full time.
Most people who are looking for a place to live in Florida give at least a small amount of consideration to settling down in St. Augustine. That’s because this is an exceptionally well-known city for numerous reasons.
Will one or more of these reasons convince you that St. Augustine should be your new hometown? Keep reading to find out why so many people are moving to this one-of-a-kind community.
1. St Augustine’s History
One of the reasons why St. Augustine is such a popular tourist attraction is its fascinating past. The city has the distinction of being America’s oldest continuously occupied European settlement. It began with the French Huguenots in the 16th century.
They wanted to establish a settlement here, but Spain believed that it already had a claim on the territory. King Phillip II of Spain sent Pedro Menendez de Aviles, a bold young conquistador, to Florida to solidify their claim. The conquistador, whose name is frequently made use of in the region, triumphed over the French and named the new settlement for Saint Augustine of Hippo.
In the following centuries, Native Americans, the English and the Spanish continued to fight for the land. Each culture left enduring marks on St. Augustine that can still be seen and felt today. The War of 1812 put St. Augustine into American hands, and the tireless work of Henry Flagler later in the 19th century, which included establishing Flagler College, ensured that St. Augustine became a popular vacation spot for northerners looking to escape the freezing cold of the winters.
History is Alive in St. Augustine
Perhaps no place provides a better example of St. Augustine’s rich and complex history than the Castillo de San Marcos. Widely recognized as the U.S.’s oldest masonry fort, the Castillo was constructed between 1672 and 1695. Most locals visit the fort on numerous occasions to gain a better appreciation for St. Augustine’s past as well as the gorgeous views of the Matanzas River.
Other historic sites that you won’t want to miss include the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum, Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park, the St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum and many others. If you are a history buff and want your kids to grow up surrounded by fascinating sites, St. Augustine is the place to be.
2. Don’t Forget the Beach
Many people move to this city seeking to live the quintessential Florida lifestyle. That means great proximity to the beach.
In fact, you’ll find that numerous properties in St. Augustine are either located on the beach or close to it, giving you plenty of opportunities to enjoy sandy strolls, sunbathing, water sports and more.
With more than 40 miles of coastline, there is a beach for everyone in St. Augustine. Some of the options include Anastasia State Park, Vilano Beach and South Ponte Vedra Beach Recreation Area.
You can take full advantage of the Florida sun when you settle in St. Augustine.
It’s Friendly and Accessible
St. Augustine is a community that is easy to get acquainted with. That is mainly because so much of it is accessible by walking or cycling. If you choose the right neighborhood, chances are good that you’ll have everything you need practically at your fingertips.
Select a neighborhood that’s close to the beach or one that puts the best elementary school on the same block as your new house. Do you want to live close to plenty of bars, restaurants and entertainment options? If so, then you might select some real estate that’s close to downtown.
Work with a local Realtor so that you can become more familiar with St. Augustine’s many neighborhoods. Your Realtor will help you find the perfect community regardless of what your family’s needs are.
3. It’s Small but Close to Big Cities
One of the things that makes St. Augustine so attractive to families is that it has genuine small-town appeal. You’ll get to know your neighbors, and there are many community festivals. At the same time, it is only about a 30-minute drive from Jacksonville.
In fact, many people who live in St. Augustine make the daily commute to Jacksonville, giving them access to the best of both worlds. Jacksonville is much larger, frequently hosts a variety of professional and collegiate sporting events as well as headlining concerts and boasts an international airport.
Travel in another direction from St. Augustine, and you’ll come to Daytona, home of the famous NASCAR race as well as beaches and many other attractions. Theme-park capital of the world Orlando is just a two-hour drive from St. Augustine, which means that it’s centrally located no matter what your interests may be.
St. Augustine Is Just the Right Size
St. Augustine might be smaller than Jacksonville and Daytona, but it’s not short of attractions and interesting things to do. Among the highlights are the 5,000-seat St. Augustine Amphitheatre, the St. Augustine Distillery and the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Of course, it’s essential to also mention the food scene at St. Augustine. This is a gourmand’s paradise. You’ll find one remarkable restaurant after another, each one serving delectable fresh seafood or other irresistible delicacies. Whether you are in the mood for an upscale gourmet meal or fast casual fare, you’ll have no trouble finding it in St. Augustine.
The city is even home to a surprisingly robust wine and craft beer scene, making it a major draw for those who love to imbibe.
4. Great Schools
It would be remiss not to mention that St. Augustine also is a fantastic place to raise a family. One of the main reasons is the Johns County School District. Only five Florida school districts have received an A rating for a decade or more, and this district is one of them.
If you want your kids to grow up in an academic system that has a proven track record for success, St. Augustine is where you need to be. In addition to educational excellence, these schools are known for their extracurricular activities, ensuring that your kids will enjoy a well-rounded experience.
5. Downtown Is Always a Delight
When you think about the “downtown” area in a city, chances are good that you picture towering skyscrapers. Things are a little different in St. Augustine.
Old-fashioned, quaint, charming and without a skyscraper in sight, downtown St. Augustine is popular with tourists and locals alike. You’ll find an incredible concentration of shops, dining, taverns and attractions all in one relatively compact area. You could choose to live in downtown, but the reality is that this neighborhood is pretty accessible from any part of the city.
Let Florida’s Choice Realty Be Your Guide
Are you ready to get to know St. Augustine? If so, then you need a local expert to be your guide.
At Florida’s Choice Realty, we have helped dozens of families find the perfect home in St. Augustine. Contact us today if you are ready to discover the many subdivisions and neighborhoods that await discovery in this charming and historic city.