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Living a Beach Lifestyle in Saint Augustine, Florida

The City of Saint Augustine, Florida is the longest continuously occupied European settlement in the U.S. This popular retirement community was established in 1565 by the Spanish. It has been under 4 flags – Spanish, English, Confederate, and U.S. – and some of these (Spain and U.S.) more than once! Located on Florida’s northeast coast and southeast of Jacksonville, Saint Augustine has about 12,000 residents. The area is well known for its fabulous beaches and public golf courses such as St. John’s Golf Club. This diverse city has a mild winter climate.

Several Spanish Colonial Revival Style buildings from the Spanish era still exist in the city, most notably the 1672 fort by the Spanish, Castillo de San Marcos National Monument. Henry Flagler helped build St. Augustine into a winter resort for the very wealthy. Some of the mansions and palatial hotels from this period still exist and have been converted to buildings at Flagler College and in several museums.

Where to Retire in Saint Augustine and Home Prices

Active adults can choose from a variety of housing alternatives. In the city it tends to be single family historic homes showing Spanish influences – these are more expensive than average. Outside of the old city there are newer, less expensive choices and many condos. Single-family homes located on the Intracoastal Waterway or on Anastasia Island tend to be quite a bit higher as they are waterfront property. Further out of town there are retirement communities and a number of mobile home communities. Zillow reports the median home value was $252,600 in late 2018.

What is special about Saint Augustine

 Bridge of Lions; Casa Monica Hotel; Castillo de San Marcos; Cathedral of St. Augustine; Flagler College, part of which is the former Ponce de Leon Hotel; Lightner Museum and City Hall; Fort Matanzas National Monument

What is not special about Saint Augustine

Downtown traffic; hurricane season; living in a tourist town

Climate and Physical Environment

Saint Augustine is in the northern portion of the east coast of Florida. Access to the Atlantic Ocean is via the St. Augustine Inlet of the Matanzas River. This is north Florida so winters aren't quite as warm as further south. It rains frequently in summer.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Saint Augustine cultural events tend to center around Flagler College and the many museums in the city. Nearby Jacksonville tends to be the cultural center.

Crime

Crime in Saint Augustine is somewhat higher than the national average.

Medical facilities

Flagler Hospital West

Transportation

St. Augustine Airport. Jacksonville International (48 miles). There is no public transport, but Saint Augustine is above average in walkability when compared to other communities.

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