City of St. Augustine and its nightlife
St. Augustine was founded by Spanish Admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés on August 28, 1565, the memorial day for Saint Augustine of Hippo. The new settlement was named San Agustín in his honor. Previous Spanish settlements, including the original colony in Pensacola (1559–1561) and Fort Caroline, now known as Jacksonville (through 1564), were abandoned.
A Catholic mass in St. Augustine was the first Christian church service held in a permanent settlement within the current borders of the United States.
Martin de Arguelles, born in 1566, was the first child of European descent to be born on the mainland of today’s United States. Twenty-one years later, the English settlements of Roanoke Colony (on Roanoke Island, North Carolina) and Virginia Colony were founded. Successful settlements were then established 42 years later in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Jamestown, Virginia.
In 1586, St. Augustine was attacked by Sir Francis Drake and burned to the ground. In 1668, pirates sacked the city and killed most of its residents.
In 1702, and again in 1740, British forces from the then-new colonies in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia mounted unsuccessful attacks on St. Augustine. The 1740 attack was the fiercer of the two: James Oglethorpe of Georgia joined forces with Ahaya Cowkeeper, chief of the Alachua tribe of Seminole Indians, and laid siege to the city.
In 1763, the Treaty of Paris ended the French and Indian War. Florida, and with it St. Augustine, was ceded to the British following their unsuccessful attempts to conquer it by force. Under British governance, St. Augustine was loyal to the British crown during the American Revolutionary War. The Treaty of Paris (1783) gave independence to the colonies north of Florida, while Florida reverted back to Spanish control.
From 1784 to 1821, St. Augustine was under Spanish governance once more. Spain was occupied by Napoleon during this period and feared it would lose its colonies. However, Florida was no longer as important to Spain as it had once been, while the growing United States felt almost nothing was more important than Florida. In 1821 the Spanish colonies in Florida, and with them also St. Augustine, were peacefully surrendered to the United States as part of the Adams Onís Treaty.
Florida was a US territory until it achieved statehood in 1845. In 1861 the American Civil War broke out. Florida left the Union and joined the Confederation. On January 7, 1861, several months before the war began, Southern troops captured the Fort in St. Augustine, which was occupied by a Union garrison at the time. On March 11, 1862, Union troops retook the city and kept it under Union control for the rest of the war. In 1865, Florida rejoined the United States.
Numerous buildings dating from the Spanish colonial period are still standing today, such as the Fortress Castillo de San Marcos, which was built from 1672 to 1695. It successfully repelled British attacks in the 18th century and was occupied by Union troops during the American Civil War. Later the Indian chief Osceola was detained at the fort.
The railroad came to St. Augustine at the end of the 19th century. Businessman Henry Flagler was the first to choose St. Augustine as his winter residence, and other wealthy elites followed. Several mansions and hotels built during this period of time still stand today and are used by Flagler College and local museums. Flagler was instrumental in developing Florida's east coast. Among other accomplishments, he built the Florida East Coast Railway that eventually reached Key West in 1912.
The well-preserved Spanish Colonial and 18th century architecture is a big tourist draw. In 1938, Marineland, an early Florida theme park, opened just south of the city.
St. Augustine night life
As a famous historical city, St. Augustine offers a wide variety of fun things to do. Pretty much every club, restaurant, and bar in town is open on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, and most tourists come to the historic downtown to eat, drink, and dance.
Try some of our recommendations while you're in St. Augustine:
A1A Ale Works www.a1aaleworks.com
The A1A Ale Works in St. Augustine is a very popular spot. It sits in a historic wooden building with tremendous character and personality, and as the name implies, the A1A Ale Works brews its own beer on the premises. You can even enjoy a beer soup with your dinner.
J.P. Henleys www.jphenleys.com
J.P. Henleys is less than half a mile away from the A1A Alehouse. People love to meet here for a drink, thanks to its extensive international beer and wine list. The global beer selection includes German beers such as wheat beer (“Hefeweizen”). If you are homesick for Germany, this is the place to go.
Stogie's Piano Bar
If you love jazz music presented in an upscale, modern, yet cozy setting, this is definitely the place for you. Stogie's is a smoking-permitted bar with an extensive list of international beers and wines. The back of the bar houses a top-of-the-line cigar shop. You will find lots of cigars, even the famous Cubans. Smoke your cigar as you sip your international wine or beer! A hidden gem and our special tip for you.
Located directly on the beach in St. Augustine, Panama Hatties is a bar with two faces. By day, it is a nice restaurant that has all kinds of delicious dishes. But from Thursday to Sunday nights, it turns into the hottest party spot in town where locals come to have fun. It attracts a predominantly young crowd, including many students from Flagler College.
We'd be happy to give you additional recommendations. All you have to do is ask!