The Upper Atlantic Coast is a region of contrasts: from quiet farming areas along the famous St. Johns River, to thronged oceanside beaches, from historic settlements like St. Augustine to vibrant cities like Jacksonville, the counterpoints seen here make this region almost a microcosm of the state.
The area's chief city, Jacksonville, holds the distinction of being the largest city in the continental United States by area. Not surprisingly, it is also Florida's largest city, though it is often overlooked in favor of its more famous sisters, Miami and Tampa. Yet Jacksonville boasts cultural attractions commensurate with its size, including art and science museums and a symphony orchestra.
South of Jacksonville lies historic St. Augustine, the oldest permanent settlement in North America. St. Augustine has been fortunate to retain much of its original character, and its Old Town district is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the area.
Connecting Jacksonville and St. Augustine, though, and extending both north and south of them, are the true main attractions of this region: the wide, level, palm-shaded beaches that have made Florida legendary as a vacation and retirement destination, and which continue all the way south to Miami and beyond.