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The Oldest City in the United States where snow does not go, the weather is perfect, and artists have been here since 1880 capturing the light on canvas.

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If you think the Sunshine State is all about theme parks and frying on the beaches, you probably haven’t been to St. Augustine. In the oldest, continuously occupied European settlement in North America, visitors get the glorious beaches along with a healthy dose of unexpected delights: Spanish colonial and Moorish-style architecture, interesting museums and history galore.

Founded as a Spanish colonial outpost in 1565 — 55 years before the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock — the Ancient City feels vaguely European, albeit with better air-conditioning. It’s also a distinctly American place where you can indulge in a butter pecan milkshake; explore the city’s 144-block Historic District on foot or bike; and, if you’re willing to step out of town for a few hours, play the imposing 17th island green that the world’s best golfers will navigate at the upcoming Player’s Championship in nearby Ponte Vedra Beach. The water at the city’s fabled Fountain of Youth might not transport you back to your salad days, but there’s enough magic on St. Augustine’s brick streets to make you a believer.

To read more on the New York Times:

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