Locals! Help Describe Our City Vibe for a Swiss Guest

I recently received the following email:

Hi Jak,

someone told me about Sainte Augustine like two years ago. I did some research on google. But i really did extensive research and get on google map and google street. We visited St. Augustine through street map. Thanks to the technoligy, we can travel all around the world, ha ha. Your pictures are so beautiful, they bring another dimension to what we can see on google street.

I’m not french, I come from Switzerland, but even here, there is no place like St. Augustine. Even if I don’t have been to St. Augustine yet, and I will, one day, i don’t think it can be the same. The atmosphere of European cities is completely different as in the United States, and clearly as St. Augustine.

Can i ask you some things ?

– Can you describe St. Augustine ? the atmosphere, the vibe ? I’m curious to have the description from a townsfolk.

-ร‚ย  A year is punctuated by a lot of event, right ? What are the most important event in St. Augustine ?

Thanks if you find time to answer to those questions. If you don’t have time, it’s not a problem, maybe google would help me ๐Ÿ˜€

รขโ‚ฌโ€ Nicole

I would greatly appreciate other’s input for a better view of the town. If we get enough good comments I’ll compile them and make a page on the site for our world visitors (145 countries!) to read.

I listed my reply to her in the comments.

2 thoughts on “Locals! Help Describe Our City Vibe for a Swiss Guest”

  1. Hi Nicole,

    Thanks for visiting the city and my photos! Amazing how technology can make the world a little smaller.

    We have a laid-back relaxed vibe here in St. Augustine, that's one of my favorite things about it. Most people don't care about status or being wealthy. There doesn't seem to be the same consumer drive to for a high standard of living as in many American cities. I think that has to do with having the beach and many bars so close which are cheap forms of entertainment. Success is being able to get your toes in the sand each day. I also love that the city has the feeling of a small town, I run into friends around the town consistently yet with so many tourists there are new faces and people to meet to keep it from being overwhelming. The city is growing though, superstores and mini malls seem to be diluting much of what we love about the town. Also there aren't a lot of corporate jobs which is both a both good and bad. The past few years we've gotten some great music acts coming through despite our small size.

    Traditions and festivals include:
    Night of Lights: For a few months every winter, Christmas lights cover the city. Much of the town will meet to celebrate as the mayor turns them on for the first time.

    Chowder Debate: Area restaurants bring their best clam chowders to the Conch House for a day of taste tests where a winner is declared by majority vote. Winning this means huge restaurant bragging rights for the year.

    4th of July: We celebrate America's Independence by gathering along the Bridge of Lions, Bayfront and Fort to watch fireworks. Probably the biggest crowd of any event.

    Lincolnville Festival: Music and food celebration of our historically black community.

    Gamble Rodgers Festival: Folk music celebration for an entire weekend.

    Rhythm and Ribs: Weekend of BBQ food and southern music.

    I'm sure I'm missing quite a few events right now but these are the ones that come immediately to mind. Hopefully when I post this on the site others will chip in.

  2. St. Augustine, in a word- REAL.

    We have great restaurants who cook from REAL, local ingredients. People aren't pretentious- they're REAL. The beaches are shelly sometimes, washed out others, they're not perfectly imported white sand like Key West- they're REAL. Trails abound in nearby parks showcasing REAL natural Florida. I could go on, but I'm pretty sure I've stretched my illustration far enough. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    My favorite events here are the reenactments. British Night Watch Dec 1, Drake's Raid June 1 (ish), and so many others bring history alive… my kids love the reenactments with "battles".

    You have a great idea of what St. Augustine is like from the photos on this site! I come here for inspiration, too! ๐Ÿ™‚

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