Did you know that in 1896, the remains of a giant sea monster washed ashore in St. Augustine? To this day no one is certain what it was. A giant sea serpent, a whale, a kraken?
Join us in our St. Augustine Junket Experience and get a more in-depth, more bizarre, behind-the-curtain look at this magical city. Learn about St. Augustine's history beyond Henry Flagler's railroad and the history of the Fort. Understand why it is such an interesting and off-the-wall narrative, and why even St. Augustine residents still haven't experienced the whole story. From world-class restaurants to quaint architecture, St. Augustine has it all.
Tag along (and try to keep up!) as we take you on an odd ride, that not only gives you the classics- the Civil Rights Movement tour- but hurls you headlong to tales of mayhem, scandals, bloody revenge, and Kaiju insanity. Local experts will detail and walk you through some of this nation's modern headlines, unsung heroes, and secret local hotspots, including the bloody stories of some of St. Augustine's ghosts. Be part of a historic community and have some unforgettable fun, and a once-in-a-lifetime experience as our professional tour guides make you the main character of every story. Choose from any one of our tour experiences:
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The story of St. Augustine dates back centuries to primitive settlements by the natives. A story of tribal traditions and warfare. Of continuous back and forth between landowners- a dispute that was cut short in the 1600s when Conquistadors and others decided they like the open views and the swell landlocked bay. What was a turf war between tribes suddenly became all-out genocide as the land was invaded. Hundreds were decimated, thousands hanged, and for years the place was traded off like Pokemon cards between crowns and fiefdoms. Forts went up, and forts went down. Hurricanes swept the landscape and armies marched all over the place. Its most iconic sport, Castillo San Marcos, has had over 6 flags flown over its ramparts during its 505-year-history. St. Augustine is the oldest "continuous" settlement in the US. It has seen and heard it all. And regardless of all the strife, all the madness, all the burgeoning ambition of its landholders, it continues to exist, to grow, and to bottle a rich history- one associated with some of this nation's biggest historical milestones- into its less than 12 square miles of land.
Located on the west banks of the Florida's east coast, just a stone's throw away from Jacksonville, St. Augustine has been at the center of some of this nation's biggest head-scratching newspaper headlines. Founded in 1565, by Spanish admiral Pedro Menendez de Aviles, St. Augustine is the oldest continuously-inhabited European settlement in the United States. It has a rather colorful history. One that makes it one of Florida's most visited and unique tourist hotspots. One that rivals the might of Disney. Its distinctive past, one that is still very much active as the city maintains its historical "je ne sais quoi" with reenactments and architectural buildings from that long ago ear, has made it a must in every traveler's bucket list. St. Augustine's history spans centuries, years painted in tragedies and triumphs. Years under Spanish conquistadors, in the throes of Bristol rule, under the menacing glare of some of history's most bloodthristy pirates, embedded in the flames of the Civil Rights Movements- years that have even been highlighted unknown creatures, monsters that have been washed ashore on its banks.
A spot of land that has been sacked to Sir Francis Drake and has held the might of the 1896 St. Augustine Monster.
"It is as if some little Spanish town had broken loose floated over here and got stranded on a sand-bank."
With a distinctive historical character, there is much to love about St. Augustine. Today, the city is a hodgepodge of traditions and movements. Traditions and avant garde revolutions clashing together, creating a magical place with its own one-of-a-kind spirit.
in 1965, St. Augustine celebrated its 400th anniverary. In that very same year, along with the state of Florida, it inaugurated a program to restore part of its colonial city. The St. Augustine Preservation Board was born, and over 36 buildings were brought back to life. With it, a new vein was cracked upon- tourism skyrocketed. St. Augustine's history came back to life, and what a history it was.
"Wow, this place is amazing! It's like Disney World, only it's real.
- Anonymous St. Augustine visitor
It's very difficult to describe the magic that is St. Augustine. It is a quirky little old city with something new and enchanting to discover in every corner. A thriving community of juxtaposition- tourists, scoundrels, culinary masterminds, college students, hundreds of different personalities coming together, creating something unique. It is a place where everything has happened, even the most bizarre, and it continues to happen on a daily basis.
St. Augustine is the place you can watch the sunset settle from a Spanish Fort. Where you can visit alligator farms after experience a bone-chilling ghost tour. Where you can enter an old city, right out of a pirate movie, and drink yourself silly like a buccaneer as you stroll down its streets. It is a place where folks will tell you tales and show you pictures of the "St. Augustine Monster".
No city in the US captures the essence, and sometimes insanity, of what it means to be an American. St. Augustine has served as a statement of America's romantic, often decadent, incredibly off-beat, but never dull, history.
If you've gone to St. Augustine, you have most likely already listed the Castillo de San Marcos, strolled through Henry Flagler's University, done the mile-long old city walkabout. You have most likely jotted and triple-checked all those tourist heavy hotspots the city is known for. But to truly get a sense of a place, you'll need to dig in and uncover those crazy nuggets of information, those tantalizing tidbits, not highlighted on a visitor's map. You'll need a guide that will fill you in on the inside scoop. Of where the missionaries were hanged, and that's why it's called "Matanza River" (Massacre River). Of where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his speech. OF where the KKK came in from. The spot where Sir Francis Drake landed with his devilish cohorts. Here's what locals and visitors think should top your list:
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