St. Augustine, Florida, USA
Population 13,000 (in 2010)
Urban Area: 69,000 (2012)
St. Augustine (Spanish: San Agustín) is a city in the southeastern United States, on the Atlantic coast in northeasternFlorida. It is the oldest continuously occupied European-established settlement within the borders of the continental United States.
Photo by Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0 <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/>, via Wikimedia Commons
Saint Augustine was founded on September 8, 1565, by Spanish admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, Florida's first governor. He named the settlement "San Agustín," as his ships bearing settlers, troops, and supplies from Spain had first sighted land in Florida eleven days earlier on August 28, the feast day of St. Augustine. The city served as the capital of Spanish Florida for over 200 years, and became the capital of British East Florida when the territory briefly changed hands between Spain and Britain.
Spain ceded Florida to the United States in 1819, and when the treaty was ratified in 1821, St. Augustine was designated the capital of the Florida Territory until Tallahassee was made the capital in 1824. Since the late 19th century, St. Augustine's distinct historical character has made the city a major tourist attraction, and it is also the headquarters for the Florida National Guard.
The city has a fascinating 16th c. history including stories about a French Huguenot colony, raids by the British privateer Sir Francis Drake, etc. The Treaty of Paris (1763) ceded Florida to Great Britain and consequently St. Augustine became a Loyalist haven during the American Revolutionary War. The second Treaty of Paris (1783), which recognized the independence of the former British colonies north of Florida, also ceded Florida back to Spain. Finally, the Adams–Onís Treaty, negotiated in 1819 and concluded in 1821, ceded Florida and St. Augustine, still its capital at the time, to the United States.
Florida remained an organized territory of the United States until 1845, when it was admitted into the Union as the State of Florida. Florida joined the Confederacy after the Civil War began in 1861, and Confederate authorities remained in control of St. Augustine for fourteen months.
In 1965, St. Augustine celebrated the quadricentennial of its founding, and jointly with the State of Florida, inaugurated a program to restore part of the colonial city. When the State of Florida abolished the Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board in 1997, the City of St. Augustine assumed control of more than thirty-six buildings that had been reconstructed or restored to their historical appearance, as well as other historic properties including the Government House. In 2015, St. Augustine celebrated its 450th year of its founding with a visit from Felipe VI of Spain and Queen Letizia of Spain. On October 7, 2016 Hurricane Matthew caused widespread flooding in downtown St. Augustine.
St. Augustine has a humid subtropical climate typical of the Gulf and South Atlantic states. The low latitude and coastal location give the city a mostly warm and sunny climate. Like much of Florida, St. Augustine enjoys a high number of sunny days. Unlike much of the contiguous United States, St. Augustine’s driest time of year is winter. The hot and wet season extends from May through October, while the cool and dry season extends November through April. Frontier Airlines provides service to Philadelphia International Airport and Chicago O’Hare International Airport.