How First-Timers Do St. Augustine, FL: The Oldest City in the Nation

How First-Timers Do St. Augustine, FL: The Oldest City in the Nation

Are you really even American until you visit the first and oldest city in the United States? 

Sorry, New Englanders. Long before Jamestown and Plymouth Rock, there was a small, coastal settlement founded by Spanish admiral, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, in 1565.

The city is St. Augustine. The location is the northeast corner of Florida, just south of Jacksonville.

Like most stories of colonial conquistadors, this one entails a long history of bloody battles between European settlers, the Spanish and Native Americans.

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SOUTHWEST FLORIDA HERITAGE ON THE BABCOCK RANCH ECO-TOUR

SOUTHWEST FLORIDA HERITAGE ON THE BABCOCK RANCH ECO-TOUR

Somehow I breezed by in high school without giving my full academic effort. Yes, I admit good grades just came naturally (except for math). Many Florida high school students remember being assigned to read A Land Remembered - a historical novel by Patrick D. Smith set in the pioneer days of Florida. Of course, I never read it.

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FLORIDA'S WATER CRISIS & CAPTAINS FOR CLEAN WATER

FLORIDA'S WATER CRISIS & CAPTAINS FOR CLEAN WATER

What started as one fishing guide protesting on the Caloosahatchee River bridge has grown to be a nationally-recognized non-profit that has become a powerful voice in the fight against a decades-old water crisis.

Daniel Andrews, a full-time fishing guide in Southwest Florida, was protesting the Lake Okeechobee discharges that have long been polluting our Florida estuaries and were now threatening the lifeblood of his business. He held a handmade sign painted with four words

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THE DRY TORTUGAS & A SINISTER FORTRESS IN PARADISE

THE DRY TORTUGAS & A SINISTER FORTRESS IN PARADISE

It’s been 6 months since we first washed up on the shores of Fort Jefferson, right alongside a deserted Cuban refugee raft emblazoned with the words “Vamos Con Dios.”

Translation: We Go With God.

A haunting welcome to a place that couldn’t be more paradoxical. Sinister remnants of a 19th-century military fortress, splattered across a backdrop of paradise - blue skies, turquoise waters and silver flashes of rolling tarpon.

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HELP BRING “C.A.S.T. FOR KIDS” TO FLORIDA

HELP BRING “C.A.S.T. FOR KIDS” TO FLORIDA

These words hit me almost with a pang of guilt. Two things I enjoy most in this world, boating and fishing, and so easily take for granted.

Jeff Barnes, the Eastern Regional Director of C.A.S.T. for Kids, was giving us a rundown on the history of the non-profit charity. Just the night before, what started as a heart-to-heart led Mike and I down a path that we had both been pulled toward for quite a while and hadn’t yet realized.

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