Tourism In St Augustine Essay Research Paper

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Tourism In St Augustine Essay, Research Paper Tourism in St Augustine St . Augustine , A Tourism DestinationIntroductionSt. Augustine, North America s oldest city, rests on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean in Northeast Florida. This historic landmark lies with in close proximity to three of Florida s main cities. Jacksonville is a short thirty minute drive to the north, Daytona is a one hour drive to the south and a two hour drive to the southwest will put you in or around the Orlando area. Approximately two and one half miles off of St. Augustine s coast there is a large ocean current, the Gulf Stream, that played an important part in the settlement of the area. As a member of Florida s First Coast, St. Augustine has twenty four miles of beautiful beaches that offer a plethora

of recreational activities. This aspect is a perfect complement to any town involved in the tourism industry. The topography of the area is consistent with the associations of any coastal town in Northeast Florida. The city is bound by three different waterways. To the west of the city lies the St. Johns River, while to the east is the Intercoastal Waterway which empties into the Atlantic Ocean providing a natural inlet and bay for passing boats. Off shooting the rivers and waterways there are vast rich wetlands, estuaries and tidal marshes. Indigenous to the area, large moss draped oaks provide a shaded canopy that is a perfect place to picnic, play or just sit and relax. Just over the Intercoastal and the famous Bridge of Lions, is Anastasia Island and the beaches of St.

Augustine. Thick hammocks of palmetto, sea oaks, sable palms and sea oats grow wild along the seemingly never-ending coastline, while twenty foot dunes protect the island from extensive erosion damage. The hard packed sand beaches are blanketed with an endless supply of seashells such as sand dollars, moon snails, and angel wings. At the southern tip of the island the beach is encrusted with patches of coquina reef that provides protection for nesting sea turtles. If one is lucky he or she might witness an act of God as baby sea turtles emerge from their burrow and make way to their new home in the ocean. With a semi-tropical environment, St. Augustine is conducive to tourism year round. With an average annual temperature of 70 degrees the snow bound travelers of the north find

it easy to escape the bitter cold winters in this sun drenched paradise. As North America s oldest city, St. Augustine has managed to protect and preserve more than five centuries of history and culture. This coastal colonial village is like a time capsule with one hundred and forty-four blocks of homes on the National Register of Historical Places. The city has a certain mystic created by, a contradiction of Old and New World influences jumbled into a refreshing mixture of antiquated romance, youthful vibrant and southern sweetness. The area was first discovered by Ponce de Leon on his life quest to find the Fountain of Youth. The permanent settlement was founded on September 8, 1565, by Pedro Menendez de Aviles in the name of his king, Philip II of Spain. After fifty years of

Spanish failure to colonize the area, a city in Florida finally appeared. With the French starting a settlement to the north, in Jacksonville at the mouth of the St. Johns, St. Augustine became a strategic fortification. The king of Spain gave orders for the construction of a military fort, the Castillo de San Marcos, for the purpose of protecting the Spanish treasure fleets as they road the Gulf Stream back to the European Continent and for organizing troops to oust the French from the extensive Spanish Territory. After a storm forced the majority of the French fleet ashore somewhere near Cape Canaveral, the survivors marched north in hopes of reaching Fort Caroline, the French fortification in Jacksonville. Hearing of their misfortune, Menendez and his men intercepted the