Founded in 1565, St. Augustine is affectionately known as "the Oldest City." The Spanish settlement that is now the business center of St. Johns County was founded 42 years before the English colonized Jamestown and 55 years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. St. Augustine abounds with an astounding array of historic sites and buildings. Take a stroll along historic St. George Street and you drift back to a time when cobblestone streets were the rule of thumb and life was simpler. Each year, more than 40 festivals and other events are staged that bring the ambiance of the Old City to life. Many of these annual events feature re-enactments where participants are dressed in period costumes reflecting the St. Augustine of old.
Historic Downtown St Augustine is made up of four neighborhoods, Historic Downtown St Augustine, Lincolnville, Abbott Tract and North City. Sometimes a fifth neighborhood, Davis Shores, located directly across the Bridge of Lions is included. All of the areas are close in proximity to each other.
Historic Downtown St Augustine runs from South Street to the Bayfront to West Castillo to Malaga Street to King Street and up to Cordova Street. Flagler College (the old Flagler era hotel buildings), the Castillo de San Marco ("the fort"), Lightner Museum, and St. George Street are located in this area. It has a mixture of many old Victorian homes and newer homes. A lot of the history is located in this area. Some of the homes have wonderful riverfront views.
Lincolnville is located from Riberia Street to Cerro Street to Washington Street to King Street. This area is very rich in history and was a bustling area of businesses and homes owned by the free slaves during the civil war. Florida was a safe haven. You can check out the history through The National Park Service. There are many examples of old Victorian and cracker style homes in this area. The majority of them have been renovated and it is a very popular downtown neighborhood.
The Abbott Tract is located from West Castillo to Water Street to May Street to Ponce de Leon Boulevard. There are a lot of art galleries and small shops located on San Marco Avenue. The Mission is located in this area along with the Fountain of Youth. There are Victorian homes and craftsman style homes. The homes along Water Street are large and located on the water.
North City runs from May Street to Seminole to Hildreth Street to Ponce de Leon Boulevard. A lot of the streets are curved and do not go straight through. There are craftsman style homes, florida cracker style homes and homes built in later years. The Florida School for the Deaf and Blind is located in this area. Nelmar Terrace and Fullerwood Park are similar in style and period.