North Eastern Coastal Florida - Jacksonville & St. Augustine

Discussion in 'Travel Stories' started by giradman, Sep 22, 2018.

  1. giradman

    giradman
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    Well, we are off on another trip to Florida - this time to the far northeast corner just 25 miles from the Georgia border (see maps below) - flew into Jacksonville, 4th largest city in Florida (after Miami, Tampa, & Orlando) - some historic information below (all from the link given). This is at least our fourth visit to the area (over 3+ decades) and we are staying for a second time at the Ponte Vedra Resort (more pics below), which is located south of the city and on the Atlantic Ocean - our room is beautiful and the patio views the ocean - not sure yet about our activities, but will likely relax in the mornings and tour in the afternoon, except for a full day visit to St. Augustine, the oldest European settlement in the United States, founded in 1565. Dave :)

    P.S. dined last night at the Seahorse Grill - seated by the window w/ a beautiful view of the ocean - had steamed oysters and fresh Florida fish - nice start!
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    #1 giradman, Sep 22, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2018
  2. giradman

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    Jacksonville & Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens

    Relaxed Saturday morning - I went to the excellent fitness center and then we headed into Jacksonville to visit the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens located on the St. Johns River - see quote below for some history; unfortunately the Gardens were devastated by Hurricane Irma last year (a pic below & the gardens before the storm) - a relief fund is in progress for restoration. Although there is MUCH to see in Jacksonville, the Cummer Museum is the only GEM attraction in the AAA guide, so worth a visit!

    Pics below all from the web - many show the Gardens before the destruction by Hurricane Irma - inside images of many of the varied galleries devoted to different eras of European and American Art and that of other more ancient cultures, such as the Greeks and Romans - a small but fascinating exhibit on Japanese woodcuts is just beautiful (last 2 pics) and worth a visit - we really enjoyed - our 2nd visit there and the place seems to have expanded in size and number of pieces on display. Dave :)

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  3. giradman

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    Ft. Caroline - French Colony on the St. Johns River Established in 1564

    Our main activity for the day was an afternoon visit to the Ft. Caroline National Memorial on the banks of the St. Johns River - this was an early attempt by the French to establish a colony in Florida dating from the early 1560s (see more in quotes below) - also simultaneously, the French try to place a colony on Parris Island in South Carolina near Beaufort called Santa Elena (see my discussion HERE from an earlier trip this year). In 1565, the Spanish founded St. Augustine and sent a force to Ft. Caroline, killing most of the inhabitants and eliminating the French presence from the area.

    Below pics showing the Visitor's Center - not large but exhibits nicely explain the arrival of the Europeans and their interaction w/ the Timucuan Native Americans and further development in the area. A half mile trail includes a partially reconstructed native village and a replica of Ft. Caroline - the site was damaged by last year's Hurricane Irma, but is still in good shape. More pics in the next post. Dave :)

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  4. giradman

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    Ft. Caroline (continued w/ more pics)
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  5. scifan57

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    I didn’t realize that the French established the first European colony in Florida.
     
  6. giradman

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    Hi Scifan.. glad to see you here! :)

    Just was thinking about your question and put together a list of early European attempts to establish towns/colonies along the North American east coast - indeed, the first two attempts were by the French in 1562 (Parris Island) & 1564 (Ft. Caroline) - of course, the Spanish took over both locales and for a brief period Santa Elena became the capital of Spanish Florida (more information below in last two quotes).

    Today, we are about to take a 40 minute drive south on A1A to spend a day in St. Augustine (the third entry below) - will be the topic of a number of upcoming posts. Dave :)

     
  7. giradman

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    Jacksonville, Florida & Environs - Things to Do!

    Jacksonville was founded in the early 19th century after the area was ceded by Spain to the United States in 1821 - the city was named after the first governor of the 'new' American Territory, Andrew Jackson, future President of the United States - much more information in the link.

    In addition to extraordinary golf, water activities, and food, the Jacksonville area offers plenty of history, sites to visit, and other attractions - below is a short list that I compiled followed by some pics of these attractions. We've done most of these items on this and previous visits, but a few do remain, e.g. we wanted to visit the Catty Shack Ranch - a large cat sanctuary, but tours are given only on Thursdays. The Golf Hall of Fame use to be in Pinehurst, NC (which we had been to in the past), but moved to Florida - might consider a trip tomorrow? BUT for those in the area or planning to visit, google the listings. Dave :)

    P.S. asterisks are the items we've been to in the past and on this trip.

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  8. giradman

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    St. Augustine, Florida - Oldest European Town in the USA - Introduction

    Today, we drove south on HW A1A along the Atlantic coast to St. Augustine - a beautiful 40 minute trip. St. Augustine is the oldest permanent European city in the United States, established in 1565. Many of the structures are preserved as houses, museums, converted restaurants, churches, and SO much more - just a brief historic introduction in the second quote below - also, right below a list of the many attractions to see (the ones in bold are GEM items in the AAA guide book) - in upcoming posts, I'll touch on a few of the attractions in the list, just too much to see and do and one day cannot do justice to the town.

    Just to mention for those planning to visit - there is a large parking garage next to the Visitor's Center - helpful guides can provide information - also trolley tickets can be purchased which are the typical 'on & off' stops - we decided to park and take the 'Red Train' trolley - includes narration - many of the main attractions have limited parking but others do not, so can be a problem; plus, the 'historic town' is not that large so easy walking. Pics below show maps and just a handful of the places in the list below. BOTTOM LINE - if you're in Florida and near the upper east coast, then St. Augustine should be a MUST stop - :) Dave

    P.S. please click that first quote for a long list!

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  9. giradman

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    Castillo de San Marcos - Spanish Masonry Fort - Part 1

    Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest masonry fort in the United States, construction of coquina stones beginning in 1672 - quite a history as described in the quotes below (plenty more at the link). This was our third visit (free entrance for us w/ our National Park Pass) - the structure is in great shape w/ plenty of canons & mortars - on the lower level are numerous exhibits describing the fort's history and also how the men lived (my pic of the English era) - there are beautiful views of Mantanzas Bay, the bridge to Anastasia island, and St. Augustine - this is the number one MUST see attraction in the town, IMO - most of the pics below are my own - Dave :)

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  10. giradman

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    Castillo de San Marcos - Spanish Masonry Fort - Part 2

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