The heart of the First City is found here in Historic Downtown.
The heart of the city of St. Augustine is here in the Historic Downtown where guests will find a majority of the city's restaurants, shopping, hotels, and attractions. The Historic Downtown is the oldest part of the city with many buildings dating back to the 1700s — and with streets that have existed from long before that —combine to create a walkable city obviously designed with old European concepts. Part of Historic Downtown, Lincolnville also offers history, museums, places to stay, and eateries.
This Historic Downtown is on the National Register of Historic Places, as are over twenty other sites within the district from the Alcazar Hotel to the Ximenez-Fatio House. The Historic Downtown creates a walkable city and a beautiful area for finding things to do like shopping, visiting museums and churches, dining, and listening to live music.
The Historic Downtown is also home to the beautiful bayfront with lovely panoramic views of the Matanzas Bay and an inviting bayfront walk along the Matanzas River from the Castillo de San Marcos to the former 16th Century Jesuit monastery that is now Headquarters for the Florida National Guard. A number of eateries have views of the Matanzas, including A1A Ale House and Harry’s Seafood. Those who wish to stay in the Historic District, near the water, may want to check out the Bayfront Inn and the Edgewater Inn.
The top-rated attractions in the area reflect the importance of history in shaping St. Augustine, including the Flagler Legacy Tours, Lightner Museum, and the Colonial Quarter. Another defining feature of the Historic District is the architecture. The design on building facades represents the height of Spanish Colonial and Spanish Renaissance Revival architecture. This area of town showcases everything from early European design, Florida bungalow-style houses, and Gilded Age extravagance.