Taking a trip across the country to relive Spain’s colorful roots through the centuries, we celebrate European Heritage Days, with some Spanish historical settings you shouldn't miss
Spain’s history started in the 1500s in Florida. The Calusa Heritage Trail at Pineland, Pine Island, is a walking route leading visitors through Spanish historical accounts and archaeological remains, to discover the first meeting of Spaniards and the Calusa people in Florida.
Another eye-opening experience can be found at the Mission San Luis, Tallahassee. Once the western capital of Florida for Spanish settlers, the mission is now a national landmark, reliving the 17th century in period dress, exhibitions and reconstructed buildings from those times.
If you’re intrigued by treasure, there are several sunken Spanish treasure ships along the coast of Florida. You can either dive to see the sunken ship at the San Pedro Underwater Preserve at Islamorada or visit the McLarty Treasure Museum at Melbourne beach.
St. Augustine, Florida, by the way, is the living testament to Spanish colonial architecture.
Home to the Alamo, San Antonio, Texas, is the capital of Spanish history in the state. One of numerous missions set up by the Spanish settlers along the river, San Antonio became one of the most successful ventures by the missionaries in these parts, and Hispanic heritage is still evident. Once part of Mexico, as well as Spain,, the city is a true meeting point of Latin and American culture.
Spanish settlers first arrived in lower California in the early 16th century and, in later years, in upper California. There are several missions that we can still visit today around the Golden State but, for a fully immersive experience of old world Spain, head to Santa Barbara, CA - hailed as the American Riviera. That’s because it has broad, sandy beaches and an undisputed Spanish vibe. The Old Mission Santa Barbara was established in 1786 and, it seems, the first settlements influenced the architecture and culture we still see today. The highlight is its Old Spanish Days Fiesta - a week of parades, dancing and music concerts. Oh and check out the wineries too!