Aviles Street in St. Augustine is the oldest street in the nation — we know because archaeologists, digging several layers under the brick paving, recently found pottery shards from the early 1600s. This historic street is also St. Augustine's original artist district, dating back to the 1930s when the Hamblin Hardware warehouse at 11 Aviles Street was transformed into studio and gallery spaces for artists.
Still one of St. Augustine's vibrant arts districts, the street also boasts some of St. Augustine's oldest historical sites such as the Ximenez-Fatio House Museum, the Spanish Military Hospital, and the Father O'Reilly House Museum.
While autos, vehicle tours, and horse-drawn carriages are normally welcome on Aviles Street, only foot traffic is allowed during the First Friday Art Walk and other special events. At those times, one can often listen to local musicians performing at the corner of Aviles Street and Artillery Lane. Folks can enjoy the music while they drink and dine at a sidewalk cafe or bring their own chairs and sit closer to the musicians. Dancing in the street is encouraged and the galleries are often kept open during these events.
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