Two hours north of the world's biggest collection of theme parks, St. Augustine is hard to believe. For starters, neither golden arches nor skyscrapers dominate its skyline. Instead? Trees and a lighthouse. Spanish moss might obscure a view - but billboards won't.
While St. Augustine has tourism on every street, substance outweighs sideshow ten to one. Here, tours and trolley buses are actively encouraged - yes, join the crowd! - there's so much to share. Forget textbook history, this pretty city does it better.
Setting a vacation standard are brick-paved streets, which invite you to explore on foot. You'll soon slow to a St. Augustine pace. Should you do nothing in town but sit on a bench, you'll do so in the company of vibrant bougainvillea, antique fountains and clipped box hedges, with a wealth of architecture on every side.
Ready to choose your own old town adventure? As any guidebook should, we've aimed to provide an equal measure of "Go here, tourist!" and "Shh, sneak in there and pretend you're a local". If itinerary possibilities overwhelm, the city's friendly residents will be happy to see you back again.