Discover the enchantment of St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra Beach, where history dances with breathtaking beauty.
Uncover timeless wonders, embrace coastal serenity, and create unforgettable memories in this vibrant paradise. You can get all that fun in the sun, art and culture, world-class cuisine and amazing history right here in St. Augustine | Ponte Vedra.
St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra and its beaches offer exceptional opportunities to explore the Florida outdoors, music, art, heritage and culinary adventures – all centered on the diverse groups of people who have lived here for nearly 460 years.
1. What is your destination most known for?
There are a few things we are best known for on Florida’s Historic Coast, but most important is that St. Augustine, Florida is the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in North America; and at Ponte Vedra Beach where one will find some of the most coveted golf courses in America (the Stadium Course and Dye’s Valley Course at TPC Sawgrass, the PGA Tour is headquartered; Also, there are more than 42 miles of pristine Atlantic Coast Beaches, with no towering buildings blocking the late day sun or hampering access to one of the best beaches in Florida.
2. During this time, how can we enjoy your destination?
Located mid-way between Jacksonville and Daytona Beach, Fl, Florida’s Historic Coast has a mild year-round climate where visitors can enjoy year-round. Any time of the year is ideal to explore the historic streets, attractions and architecture of St. Augustine. There are more than a dozen championship golf courses here that stay open for play throughout the year. Oh those mild temps! More than 65 Historic sites and attractions are accessible and enjoyable throughout the Year. There are also an abundance of exceptional dining experiences that make a visit here a delicious adventure anytime. We have an ocean in our front yard, and miles and miles of Florida agriculture in our back yard. Freshness of ingredients are a great inspiration for the many award-winning chefs that have elevated dining on Florida’s Historic Coast to a dining destination of recognition!
Fall is ideal to get out and explore the outdoors on the water and in one of the may preserves or along the trails that are found throughout Florida’s Historic Coast. But nothing shines brighter than Nights of Lights, This year marks the 30th Annual lighting of the City of St. Augustine when millions of twinkling white lights come to life and illuminate the historic architecture of the nation’s oldest city. The festival has roots in the Spanish tradition of placing lit white candles in the windows of homes to mark the Christmas season. Today, Nights of Lights has a global audience, recognized by National Geographic, Conde Nast Travelers, and AAA Auto Club as one of the best cities for holiday lights displays.
In the Spring, thousands of migrating birds nest all along Florida’s Historic Coast. One of the best times to experience this seasonal delight is to participate in the Annual Florida’s Birding and Photo Fest, where there are more than 100 tours, workshops and adventures that explore some of the best birding spots. Or, one could get a seasonal pass to the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park where thousands of wading birds – ibis, roseate spoonbills, herons, egret, wood storks and more roost in the rookery. This is one of the most impressive ways to enjoy watching our feathered friends mating rituals, nest building, and the arrival of their chicks up close.
Spring and summer are a great time to visit to enjoy so many great food, music and art events. It’s also an ideal time to explore the beautiful beaches of Florida’s Historic Coast. The beaches are accessible and over miles of pristine sandy swaths and billowing dunes. Surfing, swimming and beachcombing are great ways to spend a day.
3. What hidden gem should not be missed when visiting your destination?
Live music has returned to Florida’s Historic Coast and visitors can catch their favorite musicians at some of North Florida’s most unique and popular concert venues. The Ponte Vedra Concert Hall is a small concert venue that is ideal for intimate concert sessions hosting performers such as Donna the Buffalo, Acoustic Alchemy and many more. The St. Augustine Amphitheatre is and award-winning outdoor concert venue adjacent to Anastasia State Park where featured include performers Dwight Yokum, Foreigner , The Steve Miller Band, Buddy Guy Farewell tour, Dark Star Orchestra, as well as many other of today’s great performers. The Colonial Oak Music Park in Downtown St. Augustine provides a venue for up-and-coming local artists in a relaxed outdoor atmosphere where visitors can walk right in and enjoy free performances while.
In February, the Fort Mose Jazz & Blues Series is set to welcome another year of exceptional performances to the historic grounds of Fort Mose Historic State Park in St. Augustine, Florida. From February 8-17, 2024, the event promises to blend rich history with the vibrant sounds of jazz and blues, featuring a lineup of internationally renowned artists like Common, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (JLCO) with Wynton Marsalis, Keb’ Mo’, and more.
Fort Mose is the site of the first legally sanctioned free African settlement in what is now the United States. In 1738, an estimated 100 Africans made Fort Mose their home and sanctuary in seeking liberation from English enslavement amidst a large-scale power struggle between European powers in the New World. Pulling from Native American, Spanish and English cultural customs, the founding residents of Fort Mose created a new cultural community.
In 1994, Fort Mose was designated as a Historic National Landmark.the Fort Mose Jazz & Blues Series has not only celebrated musical excellence but also focused on bringing awareness to the historic site and supporting the Fort Mose Historical Society in its goal to reconstruct a representation of Fort Mose. The Fort Mose Jazz & Blues Series not only celebrates musical excellence but also focuses on bringing awareness to the historic site and supporting the Fort Mose Historical Society in its goal to reconstruct a representation of Fort Mose.
Unique outdoor experiences:
The nature on Florida’s Historic Coast is a story unto itself. This part of North Florida has successfully stayed under the radar of big development, allowing for a great deal of conservation and preservation. One unique experience can be found at Guana Lake at the GTM Research Reserve, where an amazing glow from the bioluminescence light created by billions of comb jellies is visible each month during the new moon phase. The experience of paddling through the nighttime waters to see this mystical display is available through Geotrippin Adventures at Ponte Vedra Beach.
4. What’s one feature that can’t be missed when visiting your website?
One of our newest features on www.FloridasHistoricCoast.com is our Must Do Experiences video series. Also, we have one of the most robust event calendars seen for a destination. There is always some event, activity or celebration that provides visitors with exciting immersions and cultural experiences that tell the story of Florida’s Historic Coast. Most important for journalists is our content rich media page: www.FloridasHistoricCoast.com/media which features links to story ideas, press releases, our online image library with more than 400 images and video.
5. How did you hear about NATJA, and why did you join?
I first heard about NATJA @ 2006. I learned about the organization from my friend Dan Schlosseberg and joined the organization.
6. Is there anything else you feel travel media should know about your destination?
Yes, we are happy to assist with journalists getting great stories for their readers. We work hard to assure they have a very informative immersion when visiting. And we are happy to provide resources to get all the details they need – images, itinerary planning, some hosting services, interaction with the people that make the stories, and more.