On April 2, 1513 Juan Pounce de Leon lands here and claims all of North America for Spain, calling it La Florida. Therefore, Maryland was once part of Florida.
I think I will search for the Fountain of Youth while I am here.
This landing precedes Jamestown, and the Pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock by over a 100 years. In fact, both the Spanish and the French were here before the English.
St. Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied European-established settlement within the borders of the continental United States. The City was founded on September 8, 1565, by the Spanish conquistador Pedro Menéndez de Avilés. He named the area St. Augustine in honor of the feast day of St. Augustine, that honored that Catholic saint, and was being celebrated when he first spotted this site. He came here on the orders of King Philip II to drive out the French, build a fort, and set up a permanent settlement for Spain. The French had built a fort a few years earlier, in 1562, in present day Jacksonville, Florida, just north of here, which was Spanish territory.
Immediately upon landing, Menéndez marched his soldiers overland for a surprise attack on the French Fort, where they find that French military is not there. By chance the French set sail for St. Augustine to drive out Menéndez and the Spanish. Unfortunately, they get caught in a hurricane and their ships are wrecked or scattered. Menéndez hearing about this (I think he got it on twitter), returns to St. Augustine where the French survivors are coming ashore, Menéndez executes them all. The name of the bay at St. Augustine is now called Mantanzas, the Spanish word for slaughter.
Eventually a fort and wall were built around the city. The gates to the city:
Of course, restaurants abound, and we took full advantage:
Aviles Street, named after the founder of St. Augustine, is the oldest street in the United States:
And now, I leave you with this thought:
Lake City, Florida to St. Augustine, Florida: 104.4 miles
2 hours 13 minutes