St. Augustine Named a Top 10 Destination by American Express & #1 by Good Morning America
A survey of American Express cardholders revealed that 87 percent selected vacation destinations based on their personal interests. The top ten interests named were culinary, family events, music, fitness and exercise, education/learning, history, the arts, wine/champagnes, fashion/shopping and sporting events. American Express then selected ten “unexpected’ destinations worldwide where these interests could be enjoyed. Their history recommendation was St. Augustine , Florida .
American Express said: “Not many history buffs would consider St. Augustine , Florida their ultimate destination. However, this city celebrated its 400th birthday back in 1965. Founded by the Spanish in 1565, it is where the nation’s first schools, hospitals and banks were built. St. Augustine lays claim to the first European birth in the New World and is the oldest town plan in the United States . It was here where the first Thanksgiving actually took place, not at Plymouth Rock.”
St. Augustine was one of only two American destinations to make the list. The other was Virginia ’s wine country. The other recommendations made by American Express were: Culinary –Vietnam; Family Events – Lake Garda, Italy; Music – Iceland; Fitness and Exercise – Madagascar; Education/Learning – Kerala, India; The Arts – Beirut, Lebanon; Fashion/Shopping – Durban, South Africa; and Sporting Events – camel racing in the United Arab Emirates.
The American Express selection is the latest in a series of travel-related accolades recently bestowed on St. Augustine – a city of only 12,000 residents located on the Atlantic coast of northeast Florida . In August, ABC’s “Good Morning America” in conjunction with Travel + Leisure magazine, named St. Augustine as their number one pick for a place where Americans could feel like they were in Europe – without the cost of actually going to Europe. In June, USA Today selected St. Augustine as one of their ten recommended American destinations where visitors don’t need a car to enjoy their visit.