Its official – city is one of ten prettiest in America

Forbes magazine, one of the world’s leading sources of business news and financial information, has named St Augustine as one of the “ten prettiest towns in America”.

The exclusive list names the ten towns selected for Forbes by experts at National Geographic, the Travel Channel and Fodor’s.

The selections were made based on natural beauty, a unique identity, or a combination of the two.

Here’s how Forbes described St. Augustine:

Founded in 1565 by Spanish explorers, St. Augustine is the oldest city in the United States occupied by Europeans (take that, Jamestown!), and it remained in Spanish hands until it was traded to the British for Havana. The town has retained much of its Spanish past in some of its homes and larger architecture.

“Castillo de San Marcos, the formidable 17th-century structure built by the Spanish to defend La Florida, is the country’s oldest fort, and boasts impressive turrets, a moat, and even a double-drawbridge,” says Arabella Bowen, executive editorial director for Fodor’s Travel. “The town’s picturesque historic district is full of old-world atmosphere, historic homes, and easily explored on foot.”

The other towns on the America’s “prettiest” list are: Newport, Rhode Island; Taos, New Mexico; Old San Juan, Puerto Rico; Columbus, Indiana; Gatlinburg, Tennessee; Key West, Florida; Longview, Washington; San Luis Obispo, California; and Tarrytown, New York.

This is the third major distinction received recently by St. Augustine. In December, National Geographic selected the city as one of the ten best places in the world to see holiday lights. In January, TripAdvisor chose St. Augustine as one of the 15 vacation “hot spots” for 2012.

Photo credits: © 2012 Historic City News staff photographer

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