Make history in the oldest city in America when you check into one of these fab, hand-picked hotels near the Castillo de San Marcos, bookable with Culture Trip.
Against a backdrop of dark skies and moonlit bay waters, with spotlights dramatically illuminating the exterior wall, the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument cuts a striking image. It’s the star-shaped centerpiece of the Historic District in the oldest city in the country, Saint Augustine, Florida. To really get up close and personal with it, book into one of these nearby hotels and take a trip back in time.
It’s not hard to understand how this captivating hotel got its name. Since the 16th century, the site has been collecting not just artefacts and architectural details, but stories – and a host of notable visitors, from Abraham Lincoln to Mark Twain. Today, it feels as much a living museum as a hotel, with moss-furred statues, coquina (a type of sedimentary rock formed from compacted seashells, unique to this part of the world), stone walls and reclaimed hardwood floors.
Casablanca Inn on the Bay does have a small set of rooms in their Secret Garden, but we’re steering you to the Main House for their two bayfront rooms. Room seven is your lucky number with a private bay-view porch, decorative fireplace, and a desk facing the water. Can’t get enough of the Castillo views? Walk the block north to White Lion, a local dive with cheap booze and arguably the best fort views this side of the Matanzas.
Family vacation staples with romantic, Spanish-colonial flavors make this bayfront Hilton hotel a winner for a St Augustine stay. All the creature comforts you need are included, such as a restaurant, pool, fitness center, and free wifi – plus you’re within a hop and a skip of the major attractions such as Castillo de San Marcos, the shipwreck museum, and an Old Town Trolley stop. Recharge the kids’ batteries with fantastic made-to-order slices at Pizzalley’s.
Steps from the Historic District, but on a quieter side of Avenida Menendez, Bayfront Marin House is perfectly positioned for a romantic getaway. This historic inn is an escape into the sublime, spoiling you with rooms that feature fireplaces, oversized showers and private waterfront decks. With a complimentary Southern breakfast and daily happy hour chalking some zeros off the bill, you can splash out on a Creole seafood supper at Harry’s Seafood, Bar & Grille just up the road.
Get a new view of the historic district from across the Matanza River at Marker 8. The Bridge of Lions is all that stands between you and the gateway to St George Street, though this waterside hotel will keep you plenty busy during your stay. The marina-side decking comes with a heated outdoor plunge pool, the fitness center should help you work on your sea legs, and a daily social hour will get you jolly as a pirate.
You won’t need your car when you stay at St George Inn, right on its namesake pedestrian thoroughfare. It’s home to Bin 39, arguably the best wine bar in Florida, which has 65 different bottles waiting to be uncorked in your honor. So, if slipping on your walking shoes on that first day feels a bit of a stretch, just grab a long-stemmed glass from downstairs and take a visual tour of the Castillo de San Marcos from the balcony of your elegantly decorated Castillo King room.