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In a letter dated Sept. 11, 1565, Spanish admiral Pedro Menendez de Aviles wrote these words to King Philip II of Spain:“If I were to possess a fortune of a million ducados or more, I would spend all of it on this Florida enterprise.”The enterprise in question is the settlement of St. Augustine, now known as America’s oldest city.

And while much has changed in the last 450 years, families will find a visit to this place a very worthwhile experience.My family and I vacationed here because we wanted a beach getaway that offered more than just saltwater, sand, neon signs and mini-golf. We’d grown weary of beach communities where the ravenous appetite for tourist ducado often left us feeling like both the customer and, somehow, the product. St. Augustine strikes an impressive balance between preserving and presenting its history while making itself engaging and accessible for tourists.

Source: St. Augustine, Fla.: History runs deep at beach getaway
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