If all you know about St. Augustine is what you remember from eighth-grade history class, then it's time to get reacquainted. Yes, St. Augustine is the oldest European settlement in Florida, dating from 1565, and it might even be home to Ponce de Leon's mythical Fountain of Youth, but this sun-dappled city on Florida's northern "First Coast" offers so much more to visitors.
For history buffs, there's the impressive Castillo de San Marcos, a 17th-century coquina fortress; Fort Mose, the nation's first community of African-Americans who had been freed from enslavement; and several grand hotels built by railroad tycoon Henry Flagler in the early 1800s. Aficionados of fine architecture will revel in the town's Spanish colonial buildings, and outdoor enthusiasts will never want to leave gorgeous Crescent Beach and Anastasia State Park wildlife sanctuary. As you walk the streets of St. Augustine, you can still imagine what it must have been like in this Spanish outpost at the dawn of the New World's settlement.