The Florida Spanish Colonial Heritage Trail is a 64-page, full-color guidebook highlighting more than 50 Spanish heritage and historical sites dating from 1513 to 1821. While St. Augustine and Pensacola are landmark areas, Spanish explorations and legacies are reflected in museums, forts, parks, shipwrecks, memorials and churches throughout the state.
The publication includes color photos and illustrations of sites and artifacts as well as biographical profiles and historical essays examining Native American and Spanish interaction, Spanish missions, forts and outposts, and much more. A timeline traces historical highlights from the periods of exploration, permanent settlement and missionization, and Colonial rivalries, British and Second Spanish Periods.
Important milestones include:
- One of the first European settlement attempts in the United States was Spanish explorer Tristan de Luna’s 1559 arrival in what today is Pensacola Bay. In February 2009, HM King Juan Carlos I and HM Queen Sofia of Spain visited Pensacola in honor of Pensacola’s 450th Anniversary.
- The 2013 Quincentennial Celebrations to honor the 1513 arrival and exploration of Florida by Juan Ponce de Leon and the 500th Anniversary of Florida.
- St. Augustine’s 450th Anniversary in 2015 to acknowledge Pedro Menéndez de Avilés’ arrival and settlement in 1565.
The Florida Spanish Colonial Heritage Trail was produced by VISIT FLORIDA with funding from the Governor’s Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development in cooperation with the Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources. For more information on Florida’s Spanish Colonial history and cultural heritage visit www.VivaFlorida.org.