When we travel, I like to throw in a bit of history if possible. Our trip to Florida provided us with the opportunity to drive through St. Augustine, which is the oldest continuously occupied European-based settlement in the United States. It was founded by Spain in 1565, but also ruled by the British after the Seven Years’ War, and later the Confederacy, before reverting back to the United States following the Civil War.
There were two historic sites in St. Augustine at the top of my list…Fort Matanzas, which was built in 1742 to defend the city against British attack, and the Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest masonry fort in the continental U.S. (construction was completed in 1695!). We only had time to visit one (and we were there so early, neither location was open for tours), so we walked around Castillo de San Marcos, which is located on the Matanzas River, just across from the northern edge of Anastasia Island.
Even without going inside, the sense of history was undeniable. Seeing something that old, that served so many different governments in its history, is an unusual experience for me as a lifelong resident of the Midwest, and it was a thrilling visit!