There are few places in America where one can capture the essence of Old World Spanish atmosphere in a modern, yet ancient, town. St. Augustine, Florida, is one of these places.

The story of St. Augustine began in 1513, when Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon, formerly governor of Puerto Rico, came to Florida on an adventure. He is rumored to have been looking for the "fountain of youth" hinted to him by the local Timucua Indians.

Once he reached America, he named the land "Pascua Florida," or "land of flowers" because the event took place during the Easter season. The name "La Florida" stuck and has been passed down to us in our present day. Since that day in 1513, Spain attempted without success to make Florida a colony.

In 1586 Francis Drake, with a large force, came into Matanzas Bay and looted St. Augustine. Each year there is a blessing of the fleet for a bountiful season for those who go to sea.

St. Augustine's beauty and appeal covers many genres; untouched beaches, tropical temperatures, Old World ambiance, and European architecture vie for precedence.

Beach-lovers flock here at all times of the year. History-lovers spend hours wandering the old Spanish streets with rustic balconied homes. Spirituality-seekers find many gorgeous churches to explore. And this is just a sampling of all St. Augustine has to offer.

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