June 23, 2024

Forget about touring to Europe. I get my fill of Spanish architecture, society, and delicacies by checking out an exceptional city in northeast Florida.

  • I really like touring to Europe, but the extensive-haul flights and fast paced vacation seasons can be challenging.

  • In its place, I visited St. Augustine, Florida, for a taste of Spain in the United States.

  • I liked viewing lovely architecture and tasting Spanish cuisine without leaving my residence point out.

Traveling all-around Spain has been on my bucket listing for yrs, in particular as a person who loves wine, food, and attractive architecture.

I’ve traveled as a result of Barcelona though taking a Mediterranean cruise, but I haven’t been ready to see a lot more of the country. Extensive-haul flights feel specially taxing correct now, and I can not shell out for an intercontinental excursion on a whim.

Luckily for us, I dwell in close proximity to St. Augustine, Florida — the oldest metropolis in the US. It is only about an hour away from exactly where I am from in Jacksonville, so I have been there quite a few periods. But I’ve never taken the chance to seriously dive into all its Spanish influences.

This is what it was like locating a dupe for a European vacation practically ideal in my yard.

I manufactured a position to pay a visit to the Villa Zorayda Museum

The exterior of the villa zorayda museum.

The Villa Zorayda Museum was modeled right after the Alhambra palace in Spain. Megan duBois

I’ve passed by the Villa Zorayda Museum several instances whilst checking out St. Augustine, but I’d in no way ventured within right until this take a look at.

Incredibly, the museum’s architecture was impressed by the Alhambra palace in Granada, Spain.

My $16 ticket integrated an audio tour of each place and some displays, and it took me about an hour to wind through the making.

An ornate Spanish-inspired room.

There have been heaps of little details in all the rooms. Megan duBois

The audio tour was exciting more than enough that my thoughts failed to wander though listening, but I could however choose anything in at my have tempo. Furthermore, I beloved that I failed to have to read through hundreds of very small plaques.

Inside the museum, I saw opulent Moroccan-encouraged lamps, a lot of artwork, and a space crammed with Egyptian relics.

The Spanish impact is seen all in excess of the city’s architecture

More showcases of Spanish architecture can be discovered around the city.

A sign outside Ponce de Leon Hall.

Ponce de Leon Corridor utilised to be a lodge. Megan duBois

1 main internet site is Flagler College’s Ponce de Leon Hall, which was once the Lodge Ponce de Leon. The internet site is acknowledged for its Spanish Renaissance architecture.

A spotlight of Spanish Renaissance Revival architecture can also be discovered throughout the road from the college or university at the Lightner Museum.

The Lightner Museum.

The Lightner Museum hosts some enjoyment group occasions. Megan duBois

In addition to rotating art exhibitions, the museum hosts yoga in the gardens and complimentary guided excursions of the historic pools that had been the moment within the making.

I experienced my fill of tasty foods at a compact bakery

While walking down the iconic St. George Street, I acquired a whiff of freshly baked bread and adopted my nose to the Spanish Bakery & Café.

The bakery is known for its empanadas, sandwiches, and picadillo.

Someone holding a plate with a chicken empanada and a side in front of a sign for a Spanish bakery.

I purchased a hen empanada with a side of pasta salad. Megan duBois

I opted for a rooster empanada. The savory filling was wrapped in a flaky pie-crust-fashion dough and came with a preference of one particular aspect.

Since it was warm the day I was there, I chose the chilled tortellini pasta salad, which finished up getting a good accompaniment.

For a Spanish-inspired consume, I went straight to Columbia Cafe

A pitcher and a glass of sangria.

I appreciate the white sangria at Columbia Restaurant. Megan duBois

When I want a glass of sangria, I straight away assume of Columbia Cafe. The Flordia chain has been all-around given that 1905, and there is certainly a St. Augustine location on St. George Avenue in the Historic District.

The sangria in this article is out there by the glass or pitcher. I shared a pitcher of white sangria with two other folks, and it was loaded with refreshing citrus and a splash of Torres 10 brandy.

The wine — a Viña Sol white mix — was even from the Penedès location of Spain, so it felt really authentic.

I ended my working day at the Castillo de San Marcos for a bit of history

castillo de san marcos in st. augustine florida

The Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest masonry fort in the continental US.Megan duBois

The Castillo de San Marcos — the oldest masonry fort in the continental US — is between the historic component of the town and the waterway.

The Spanish initially crafted it in 1695, and right now, persons can tour the fortress. I paid the $15 entrance charge and skilled dwelling record exhibits and loads of instructional displays inside of the fort.

I was there through the 7 days, but on weekends, there are even musket and cannon demonstrations all through the morning and afternoons.

But my preferred section is the large environmentally friendly place exterior the gates. It really is a good region for picnics just before checking out the space or just to hold out and enjoy a great working day.

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