St. Augustine, Home of the Irish

When Pedro Menendez de Aviles came ashore to claim Florida for the Spanish King in 1565, he founded the settlement of St. Augustine. And he had with him a crew that included Irish soldiers and missionaries.

The Irish have a long heritage in Florida. The parish priest of St. Augustine, Father Richard Arthur, started the first public school in America in 1606. 

The biggest celebration of the long and impactful Irish heritage on Florida’s Historic Coast is the St. Augustine Celtic Music and Heritage Festival. The three-day festival takes place March 9-11, 2018, on Francis Field in downtown St. Augustine. Internationally acclaimed Celtic Bands, Highland Games, food and Whiskey tastings are all part of the celebration.

In addition the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the only one in Northeast Florida, begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

You can find plenty of bars and restaurants to satisfy your cravings for Irish food and drink. In downtown St. Augustine there is Meehan’s Irish Pub, Ann O’Malley’s Deli & Pub, and Barley Republic. In Crescent Beach O’Loughlin Pub serves up live music along traditional Irish food favorites.

The World Golf Hall of Fame also recognizes history-making Irish players. Visit this fascinating museum where you will find historical facts, memorabilia and artifacts from Hall of Fame members Joe Carr and Christy O’Connor.