We spent the day in St. Augustine, which was founded in 1565. It is the oldest continuously occupied European-established settlement within the borders of the continental United States. We very much enjoyed our walk through the streets of the historic downtown section. There’s also a trolley tour for those who don’t want to walk. And the visitor’s center was definitely worth a stop.
The main attraction is the Castillo de San Marcos. It is a large stone fort built by the Spanish when they controlled the area. For a structure that was built in 1672, it is in exceptionally good shape. The fort is made of coquina (Spanish for small shells), which is ancient shells that have bonded together to form a type of stone similar to limestone. The stone is soft, so enemy canon balls would be absorbed into the wall, as if it was a nerf fort. The stone is also fire resistant, unlike a typical wooden fort. Basically, it was impenetrable to enemy attack.
The ranger at the fort gave a good history lesson on the fort and the town of St. Augustine. We plan to go back as there was too much to see and do in one day.