Happy 500th Birthday to the Sunshine State!

Still looking GREAT!

Happy 500th FloridaToday marks the 500th birthday of our great state, Florida. Juan Ponce de Leon landed on the Pacific coast of Florida in 1513 and established what would become America’s oldest city: St. Augustine.

Many Americans and others in the world believe America’s history is housed in the New England states and, while we don’t dispute there are many fantastic pieces of history in those states, it’s important for the world to know – and for us to spread the word – that Florida lays claim to the oldest established city in America.

St. Augustine today is home to Fort Matanzas National Monument, Castillo de San Marcos, The Alligator Farm, which was founded in 1894, the St. Augustine Lighthouse, which has been standing since 1874, Flagler College, built originally in the late 1800s as the Ponce de Leon hotel and ranked by the Princeton Review as one of the nation’s most beautiful campuses, and The Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse, purported to be the oldest wooden schoolhouse in the United States. Not too shabby for not being in New England!

Smithsonian Magazine has also just recently ranked St. Augustine as one of the best small towns in America to go exploring.

So raise a glass (and/or a piece of cake) to our beautiful state! Here’s to 500 more years of sunshine and prosperity!

Viva Florida!