St. Augustine was founded in 1565 by Spanish explorer and admiral Pedro Menendez de Aviles, sent by King Phillip II to colonize the new territory. It is the oldest, continuously occupied European settlement in the United States.
During the Revolutionary War, British loyalists sought refuge in St. Augustine. In the 1880s, Henry Flagler began to develop the area as a winter resort and playground. In 1888, Flagler built the Alcazar Hotel, which houses the Lightner Museum.