If you can't go to Spain … try St. Augustine, Florida

Tucked on the northeast coast of Florida is America's oldest city, founded by the Spanish in 1565.

You can feel St. Augustine's 450-year-old Spanish heritage as you stroll through the narrow stone and brick-paved streets of the historic downtown district. There are 144 blocks that are all chock-full of Spanish colonial-style buildings, some dating back several centuries, and now house boutiques, antique shops, galleries, and atmospheric sidewalk cafes.

The city is also home to several magnificent 19th-century Spanish Renaissance Revival buildings that resemble Spanish palaces, including Lightner Museum, whose design was inspired by the Royal Alcázar of Seville.

And don't miss climbing around the ancient stone walls of Castillo de San Marcos, a massive fortress built by the Spanish in 1672 to protect against pirate raids.

Where to stay

Original frescoes, chandeliers, and tapestries adorn the landmark 1888 Casa Monica Resort & Spa, with a Moorish-style facade and ornate interior modeled after the Alhambra in Granada, Spain.

Rooms feature a rich red-and-gold color scheme with classic furnishings and plush red velvet headboards. Entry-level King rooms measure 150 to 200 square feet with rates starting at $170 per night in low season. The hotel is part of the Autograph Collection, so Marriott Bonvoy members can use and earn points for their stay.



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