St. Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied European-established settlement within the borders of the continental United States.
We stayed at the Hilton, touted as the smallest Hilton in North America.
When Hilton built this hotel on the grounds of the former Monson Motor Lodge it paid tribute to its role in the Civil Rights Movement.
In 1964 there were numerous protest and demonstrations throughout St. Augustine.
On June 11, 1964 the demonstration moved to the front steps of the restaurant at the Monson Motor Lodge which was designated “whites only.” As Dr. King attempted to enter the restaurant, he was arrested, his only arrest in Florida. In protest, a group of black and white students jumped into the Monson Motor Lodge’s pool, which was, of course, designated “whites only.” The motel manager poured acid into the pool to get the protesters out of the water, and eventually everyone was arrested.
The concrete steps where Rev. King was standing when arrested were preserved, but the rest of the building and swimming pool are gone.
Once we checked in and donned our winter coats as it was cold, we headed out to explore the historic district.
Saint Augustine was founded 451 years ago on September 8, 1565, by Spanish admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, Florida's first governor. He named the settlement "San Agustín," as his ships bearing settlers, troops, and supplies from Spain had first sighted land in Florida eleven days earlier on August 28, the feast day of St. Augustine. The city served as the capital of Spanish Florida for over 200 years, and became the capital of British East Florida when the territory briefly changed hands between Spain and Britain.
We spent some time visiting the San Marcos Fort which I'll cover in more detail.
Click here to visit St. Photios Church.
The oldest wooden school will also be covered in another post.
St. Augustine Foot Soldiers is in remembrance of the people who engaged in various forms of peaceful protest in St. Augustine in the early 1960s to advance the cause of civil rights, contributing to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Click here for a detailed post about the college.
Across the street is City Hall.
On the National Register of Historic Places it was built in 1883 as the winter residence of Franklin Smith utilizing his method of construction of poured concrete and crushed coquina shell. It is built 1/10th the scale of a section of the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain.
This museum is somewhere I would like to come back to see.
Ancient City Baptist
Back to the hotel to check out.
We made one more stop at the Fountain of Youth.