Located midway between Daytona Beach and Jacksonville, Florida's Historic Coast features historic St. Augustine, the outstanding golf and seaside elegance of Ponte Vedra, 42 miles of pristine Atlantic beaches – the same beaches that greeted Ponce de Leon in 1513 when he discovered and named La Florida - an area whose boundaries included what would later become the eastern United States.
St. Augustine, the Nation's oldest city, features more than 60 historic sites and attractions, national monuments, architecturally-rich churches and unspoiled natural settings - all providing a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy. Ponte Vedra Beach is home to the PGA TOUR and ATP Tour; The PGA Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, home of THE PLAYERS Champiosnhip in May; award-winning spas; exceptional boutique shopping; and the finest collection of recreational and social amenities available. Forty-two miles of unspoiled beaches make this northeast Florida area one of the Sunshine State's most popular meeting and vacation destinations.
500 Years of History:
Long associated with Don Juan Ponce de León’s momentous voyage of 1513, Florida’s Historic Coast (St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches) will serve as a center of studies and events related to the 500th anniversary of the first major landing by Europeans on the shores of what would become the continental United States.
To honor and celebrate Florida’s rich Spanish and American heritage, Florida’s Historic Coast will play host to numerous events and celebrations. These will begin in the spring of 2012 with Culturally La Florida, a presentation series highlighting the Spanish influences on Florida, and will continue with the 500th Anniversary of Ponce’s discovery of La Florida in 2013; the 50th Anniversary commemorations noting the pivotal role the City of St. Augustine played in the 1964 civil rights movement; and finally in 2015, the Commemoration of the 450th Anniversary of the founding of St. Augustine, the nation’s oldest city.
Special Behind-The-Scene Attractions Tours and Audio Tours:
This year there are myriad new tours and experiences, each created to enhance the visitor experience and to make St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra more than just a vacation. These include special walking tours such as The Plaza Stroll, a 75-minute tour that reveals the secrets of the Plaza de la Constitucion (the oldest town Plaza in the US); Tour de Chocolate, features chocolate history - from the Aztecs and Mayans to Europe via the Spanish Conquistadors; Whetstone Chocolate Factory Tours, featuring tastings, demonstrations and exhibits about harvesting the cacao to wrapping delicious artisan chocolates.And, in commemoration of the Civil Rights Act, the 40th Accord has just released the Freedom Trail Audio Tour, a free audio description of events at 31 St. Augustine sites--each of which contributed to the passage of The Civil Rights Act.