500 Years and Still Worth Exploring

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St. Augustine/Ponte Vedra on Florida’s Historic Coast blends history, Old World charm, unspoiled Atlantic beaches, outstanding golf, and sunshine to create the perfect Florida destination. And this year marks the 500th anniversary of Juan Ponce de Leon’s discovery of La Florida. It’s been recorded that the log from Ponce’s voyage showed his fleet’s position, on April 2, 1513, was 30 degrees, eight minutes north latitude—just south of present day Ponte Vedra Beach. The explorer and his crew came ashore the next morning.

Today, the impact of that landing is apparent throughout Florida’s Historic Coast where streets and businesses have favored the explorer’s name for generations. In 2013, Florida’s Historic Coast will serve as a center of studies and events related to Ponce’s landing and the resulting birth of European culture in the United States. New events and attractions this spring include a marvelous Picasso art exhibit, plus the grand opening of the Colonial Quarter in March.

As the nation’s oldest city, St. Augustine has history on every street corner and horse-drawn carriages provide a nostalgic clip-clop on ancient brick pavement. Recently selected by National Geographic Traveler as one of the “World’s Top 20 Must-See Places,” St. Augustine’s past creates a lively and exciting atmosphere featuring a unique blend of historic hotels and charming inns, living history museums, nightly ghost tours, award-winning restaurants and a bounty of unique shops and boutiques—all in an unforgettably beautiful setting.

Florida’s Historic Coast is such a haven for golfers that both the World Golf Hall of Fame and the PGA Tour headquarters are located here. Among Ponte Vedra Beach’s exceptional courses is the Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass, home to THE PLAYERS Championship and the iconic 17th Island Green—the world’s most recognized. The Renaissance World Golf Village Resort and adjacent convention center feature two championship courses at World Golf Village while the AAA five-diamond-rated Ponte Vedra Inn & Club offers two of the game’s most appealing courses.

There are also 42 miles of pristine beaches where visitors can relax in sunlit, seaside comfort or surf the big ones. Be sure to experience beautiful Matanzas Bay aboard a schooner, sightseeing boat or authentic pirate ship. Or, head out to sea for some chartered deep-sea fishing.

In St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra, history and beauty are found at every turn. Visit floridashistoriccoast.com to learn more about this enchanting destination and all the new attractions and special events this year.