Ecotourism in Marineland

Ecotourism in Marineland

Explore the vast nature in Marineland with an eco-excursion from Marineland. What this consists of is a 2.5-hour kayak tour into the Marineland Matanzas Basin. While on this tour an expert will be focusing on things like the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin natural habitat. There is no prior kayaking experience needed either, this tour is offered from September – May.

 

Top Five Golf Courses in St.Johns

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Top Five Golf Courses in St. Johns

While St. Johns County has a vast array of golf courses both public and private, these are the top 5 courses in the county.  Happy Golfing everyone!

King & Bear: Located at the World Golf Village, the design of the course is a unique collaboration between Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. Experience truly spectacular forestry with exotic loblolly pines, majestic oak trees, and crystal clear lakes. This course is open to the public.

Slammer & Squire: Conveniently located within the resort of World Golf, this course was designed by Bobby Weed with other design consultants like Sam Snead and Gene Sarazen.  This course is open to the public.

TPC SawgrassKnown as being one of the best courses in the country, this course is located between Jacksonville, Florida, and St. Augustine Florida. Travel + Leisure Golf Magazine has awarded TPC with, “Top 10 Golf Course Resorts in the World”.  This course is open to the public.

Palencia Club: One of the greatest luxuries of this course is the location. Conveniently located within Palencia’s village center, golfer or not, there’s an experience for everyone. Whether it be golfing, fine dining, or a night out, this course has it all. Designed by Arthur Hill, this massive 7,701-yard course consists of ancient maritime oak trees and is along the Intracoastal Waterway.  This a private course.

Marsh Creek Country ClubThe only private golf course located on the barrier island of Anastasia, Marsh Creek encourages golfers of all levels of experience to enjoy the course. There are six tee placements in order to accommodate all level of players.  This is a private course.

 

Why Rent When You Can Own?

 

Why rent when you can own?

Thinking about purchasing a home this year? Discover everything that you need to know to get started.

  • Relevant mortgage information.
  • Credit fixes.
  • Planning for a financially rewarding future.
  • Current real estate market information and the home buying process.

RSVP through Eventbrite or call Paula directly at 904-687-6177 to reserve your space.

Bridge of Lions

bayfront LionsDid you know… In 1895, a wooden toll bridge first connected St Augustine with Anastasia Island, and passengers were carried across it by a mule-drawn trolley. Modified in 1904 to carry the cars of an electric trolley line, it proved to be unattractive and insufficient for the rapidly increasing automobile traffic.

During the 1920’s, a new bridge stretching 1,538 feet was planned to provide a more efficient means to transit to the Davis Shores development. The modern bridge flanked by four towers opened in 1927 with a drawbridge to allow tall boats to pass through. Named the Bridge of Lions for the pair of Carrara marble Medici Lions statues that are copies of those found in the Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence, Italy. The statues were a gift of Dr. Andrew Anderson (1839–1924), the builder of the Markland House, who spent the last decade of his life putting works of art in public places in the Ancient City.

The bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 19, 1982.

Fort Mantanzas – A Hidden Treasure

Built in 1742 by the Spanish to guard Matanzas Inlet, which was used as a rear entrance to the city of St. Augustine, this National Monument listed on the National Register of Historic Places is one of the most popular places to visit in St. Augustine.

Located on Rattlesnake Island, Matanzas Fort is 50 feet long on each side with a 30-foot high tower. The standard garrison of the fort was an officer in charge, two gunners, and four infantrymen although if necessary more troops could be accommodated. There were six cannons which could all reach the inlet when shot, which was less than half a mile away at the time. There was only one occasion when the cannons were actually fired. This occurred in 1742 as the fort was nearing completion.

Today the fort stands as a monument to the history of St. Augustine. Boaters who travel down the Intracoastal to hang out at the Matanzas Inlet enjoy its splendor as they pass by as well as enjoying fabulous sunsets over the fort.

Free tours of the Matanzas Fort are available daily. For more information on visiting the Matanzas Fort go to Fort Matanzas National Monument (National Park Service website.)

St Augustine Beach Pier

Did you know that the St. Johns County Ocean and Fishing Pier is now considered among the top third of attractions in the St. Augustine area on TripAdvisor, with a rating of 4.5 out of five stars. The gift shop is boasting record revenues generated from pier admissions, merchandise sales and rentals. That revenue, however may not be nearly enough to fund a new pier when the current pier nears the end of its lifespan.

Humble beginnings, A New Deal for St. Augustine
In the 1800s, Anastasia Island was called South Beach. From St. Augustine, beachgoers took a ferry over the Matanzas River at King Street, and then rode a donkey cart on dirt roads to the lighthouse. Later a wooden bridge was built and visitors took the South Beach Railroad from the bridge to the beach. The beach was always a popular recreational area, but it lacked a fishing pier. When Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal economic recovery program came about in the late 1930s, county leaders saw their opportunity. In 1937, they applied to the federal Works Progress Administration for funds to construct a recreation complex that would include a seawall, boardwalk and fishing pier, flanked by a pair of hotel buildings. St. Augustine Historical Society documents show the county received about $66,000 to construct a 1,344-foot pier and 840 feet of concrete seawall. The next year they asked for another $68,000 to construct two coquina rock buildings to house a life-saving station and recreational rooms. Susan Parker, executive director of the St. Augustine Historical Society, wrote in her article, “The St. Augustine Beach Hotel; A New Deal Project,” that these projects were “conceived as an impetus for beach development.”

augustine-pierCompleted in July 1939, the 1,300-foot wooden pier was believed to extend further into the ocean than any other pier along the Atlantic Coast. This boast was very short-lived, though. The first of many damaging tropical storms hit in October 1939, wiping out 500 feet of the pier and demolishing the rest room pavilion. Another 500 feet were heavily damaged. The county applied for WPA funds to rebuild the pier, adding a T-shape at the end. It had to be shortened to just 800 feet. During St. Augustine’s 375th anniversary celebration in 1940, they held a “gala opening” for the official St. Augustine Beach Recreation Project. All too soon World War II “dampened the leisurely, carefree character of the beach front complex,” Parker wrote.
In the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, the Coast Guard controlled all access to the beach during WWII. Civil defense volunteers searched the sea for submarines and the skies for enemy airplanes. No one was allowed on Anastasia Island after dark without identification and those few allowed through had to drive with their headlights off. Turbulent times St. Augustine Beach was incorporated in 1959.old-pier The pier was holding its own until the fall of 1962 when a nor’easter rendered the original pier structurally unsound. The beach suffered terrible erosion.

In the summer of 1964, the beach around the pier made international news when the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) held civil rights demonstrations, known as “swim-ins” or “wade-ins,” in an attempt to integrate all-white beach areas. Historians said this particular tactic was unique to St. Augustine Beach. old pier2In fall of 1964, Hurricane Dora, the first hurricane in 50 years to strike St. Augustine directly, tore off the end of the pier and sent waves crashing over the seawall into the coquina buildings. The pier stayed open for fishing but the beach erosion and the damaged buildings made the area unattractive to visitors. The hotel and restaurants closed. Erosion continued to threaten the seawall, especially during a northeaster in Feb. 1973. A nor’easter in 1978 took another piece off the end and caused extensive damage to the pilings. Concrete shields were placed around them, but they were damaged when Hurricane David blew through. A concrete-bolstered pier opened in 1984 to replace the wooden New Deal pier. It was now 1,000 feet long.

Recreation and renourishment The pavilion, which hosts concert and events, was built in 1998. After this, the era of sand renourishment officially began. Between 2001 and 2012, millions of yards of sand were added to the beach in three big installment projects, according to The Record archives. These projects were done by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as part of a 50-year commitment to keep the beach renourished. The pier was again rebuilt in 2002, with the help of a $17 million U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project to restore the coastline. In 2011, the county approved $300,000 for repair work hoping to extend the life of the pier for another 10 years. Barring another hurricane or mean nor’easter, the pier as it appears as 2014 comes to a close this week, is how it is likely to stay until around 2021. Plain and simple.