St. Augustine recently made the list of 14 US Cities With A European Vibe. The basis of the article seems to be ‘you don’t need to spend a lot of money to travel to Europe when these places are close!’ and I must say, it’s a fair point. Traveling to Europe is very expensive, and it’s time consuming too. You can’t just drive over, you’re probably taking a 10+ hour plane ride. That can be exhausting in itself.
Instead, stay close to home and enjoy some of that old world European charm in new world locations. I’ve been to most of them on the list, and if I’m being completely honest here…none of them even come close to the experience of Europe. Sorry, Huffington Post writer. Does that make them less desirable to visit? Not at all. I mean, I can live anywhere I want, and I chose to live in one of the locations in the article, St. Augustine. It’s a fantastic place, but it’s not Europe.
St. Augustine was, of course, founded by the Spanish way back in 1565. Lots of our oldest architecture reflects this, with some buildings hundreds of years old. St. Augustine has it’s own unique history, we don’t need to be Europe for rich stories to tell. We can talk about the Native Americans who settled here long before the Spanish, or we can talk about the region becoming some of the best farmland in the country. We can talk about the wildlife in the woods, or the fish in the sea. We’re diverse, and we can stand on our own.
It’s Not Just St. Augustine
Florida has a rich history, all the way around. You can dig for prehistoric bones, you can see the origins of NASCAR, visit the Space Center, or Disney World. See the oldest city in the USA, see the farthest southern point. Relax on the beach, glide through the ‘glades, or hike through the forests. There’s Miami, and Tampa and Fort Lauderdale and Mount Dora and Leesburg and just oh so many places with deep historical significance to the entire United States. But one thing is always for sure: It’s not Europe.
Other cities mentioned in the article include: Tarpon Springs, Florida; Solvang, California; Leavenworth, Washington; Holland, Michigan; Lindsborg, Kansas; New Glarus, Wisconsin; New Orleans, Louisiana; Frankenmuth, Michigan; West, Texas; Fredericksburg, Texas; Pella, Iowa; Helen, Georgia; and New Ulm, Minnesota. All very good choices.
We have better coffee. And better bathrooms. The Europeans might have us beat on their transportation system though!
We Have It
If you’re looking for some of that old world charm the 14 U.S. Cities With a European Vibe article promises, you can’t go wrong with St. Augustine. Just be sure to explore our history too!