Hardly a weekend goes by when there isn't something going on in St. Augustine. Perhaps it's an arts and crafts festival with lots of good food or maybe there's a free concert in the Plaza. There may be a reenactment of 16th century battle on the city's narrow streets. Whatever the event, it's sure to be more fun in St. Augustine. Shopping in St. Augustine is a buyer's delight with boutiques, unique gift shops, antique stores and museums waiting to be discovered on nearly every downtown street. On the outskirts are shopping malls and retail centers such as the mile-long St. Augustine Outlet Center, located just off I-95 at SR 16.
Residents of St. Augustine can delve into the city's history by visiting one of many museums depicting the way of life of early Spanish colonists. Others may choose to simply enjoy the feel of history by strolling the narrow Old World streets. Day to day life in St. Augustine makes it easy to appreciate the rich heritage that makes the community such a unique place to live. The Colonial Spanish Quarter is a living history museum. Costumed interpreters relive a time when St. Augustine was a remote outpost of the Spanish Empire. The Quarter provides a glimpse into the life of Spanish soldiers and their families in 18th century St. Augustine. Tradesmen go about their occupations in blacksmithing, carpentry, leatherworking, candle making and other trades.
There are plenty of places in the area to get out on the links and play some golf. The area's highlight is just north of St. Augustine at the World Golf Village - a resort that pays homage to the sport. Home to the World Golf Hall of Fame, the village features a resort hotel and convention center; Vistana Resort, which is the PGA TOUR productions headquarters; numerous residential housing developments; shops; an IMAX theatre; and an 18-hole golf course designed by two Hall of Fame members.
Tourism is the mainstay of St. Augustine's economy, with historical sites, beaches and outdoor recreation drawing travelers from around the world. The city's rich history and cultural diversity have helped shape a dynamic city for both residents and visitors. The story of St. Augustine, carefully preserved through archaeological digs and scholarly research, is the foundation of sightseeing tours. Historic landmarks include the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, a living history museum which interprets life in colonial St. Augustine circa 1740; the Fountain of Youth Discovery Park, where it is said Ponce de Leon sought everlasting youth; and the Mission of Nombre de Dios, where Pedro Menendez de Aviles first set foot on Florida's shore in 1565.
Schools in St. Augustine are top-notch as part of the St. Johns County School District. During the past several years the school district has consistently ranked among the top ten percent of school districts in the state with regard to test scores. As part of the Florida School Recognition Program, 14 schools in the district received special recognition.
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