The 10 Oldest Cities in Florida (And Which are Best to Visit Today)

What are the oldest cities of Florida? Which of these are the best places to visit right now? This article will provide details about each city.

The 10 Oldest Cities in Florida (And Which are Best to Visit Today)

Continue Reading To See This Amazing Video

While humans have inhabited Florida for more than ten thousand years, the arrival of Europeans marked the beginning of modern recorded history. Currently, there are over 280 official cities in the state. What are the 10

oldest cities

in Florida? Which are best to visit today? We'll go over the details below.

  1. Gainesville Established in 1854: The Second Best Old City to Visit Today

What is Worth Visiting?

Why is it Worth Visiting?

Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park

The large sinkhole that the park is based around offers three different habitats for exploring. There are also over 100 feet of exposed rock layers to see. Stairs wind down to an observation deck over a lake at the bottom of the hole.


Museum of Natural HistoryIt is free to visit! Their collection includes dinosaur bones and other fossils. You can walk through the butterfly rainforest, a forest area filled with live butterflies.

Haile Homestead

The Haile family owned a plantation that was fueled by slave labor. They wrote a lot on the walls of their home. These words have been preserved and guided history lessons cover the history of slavery. The homestead is closed on weekends.

While it isn't certain if indigenous people had settlements in the Gainesville area, there is evidence of a Native American presence in the region dating back over 12,000 years. Europeans officially settled it in about 1854, which is a few decades after Florida was annexed into the United States.

The oldest and biggest university in Florida is in Gainesville, called the University of Florida. The city is large for northern Florida, with a population hovering at a little under 150,000 people. The greater Gainesville metro area is home to over 300,000 Floridians.

  1. Ocala Established in 1849

What is Worth Visiting?

It is worth visiting.

Silver Springs State Park

The water in the river of this park is fed by natural springs. This makes it crystal clear. Taking advantage of the water is best done by kayak and on glass boat tours.

Kanapaha Botanical Gardens

There are 24 gardens planted along a pathway next to a lake. This walkway is paved, and it's wheelchair accessible. It's about a mile and a half long.

It's believed that Ocala was established by a Timucua village of a similar name. The first European settlements may have existed in the sixteenth century but didn't take root permanently. In 1849, Ocala officially became a city.

Ocala pinned on a map of Florida, USA.


The United States Army built Fort King, which served as a focal point for the construction of Ocala around it. Equestrian activity is important in the city and generates over two billion dollars in revenue annually.

  1. Marianna Established in 1828: The Most Underrated Old City in Florida

What is Worth Visiting?

Why is it Worth Visiting?

Florida Caverns State Park

Large caves with stalactites, stalagmites, and other rare features are available to explore. There is a small parking fee, and paid tours are available. Camping is also available.

Bellamy Bridge

This bridge is the heart of a well-known tourist attraction.

Floridian ghost story

. A woman's spirit continues to wander the area in search of her lover, who wasn't buried nearby as planned. She's been haunting the bridge for 160 years. Originally, a bridge from 1840 stood in the place of today's bridge. It was replaced with what you see today in 1914.

Established in 1828, Marianna was primarily a hub for plantation owners in the region. Today, Marianna a small city with less than 10,000 residents. Its eastern border is the Chipola River. While the town isn't a resort destination, the caverns and bridge offer entertainment beyond what is expected in the region.

Hurricane Micheal devastated the city in 2018. The hurricane damaged 80 percent of the businesses and homes in town. It also caused a power outage that lasted 3 weeks.

  1. Tallahassee Established in 1824

What's worth visiting?

It is worth visiting.

Lake Jackson Mounds Archaeological State Park

There are two temple mounds from the indigenous Mississippian culture on view to the public.

Tallahassee Museum of History and Natural Science

This natural history museum is devoted to the history and wildlife of the Tallahassee area. Animals on display include bobcats, deer,

red wolves

, panthers, and bears.

Tallahassee has been

the capital of the state of Florida

Since 1824. It has an estimated population of 200,000, while the greater metropolitan area houses almost 400,000. It is the largest municipality in the Florida Panhandle.

There have been people inhabiting Tallahassee for thousands of years. The Spanish were occupying an Apalachee settlement in the area called Anhaica in 1538. This old town was about half a mile from the current capitol building.

Tampa was established in 1824

What's worth visiting?

Why is it Worth Visiting?

Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach, just outside Tampa, has long, sandy beaches and clear Gulf waters. Clearwater Marina Aquarium is nearby, making it a great place to spend a day on the beach.

Florida Museum of Photographic Arts

On display are photographs from both the past and present as well as artists. The organization is involved in community outreach, so patronizing them helps to advance these programs.

The U.S. Army officially settled the Tampa area when they created Fort Brooke in 1824. Further development didn't occur until 1845. In 1849, what was then called Tampa Town was officially incorporated. Tampa Bay hosts the seventh-largest commercial harbor in the United States.

Tampa, Florida.

__LINK__com/Sean Pavone

After the Civil War,

Yellow Fever is a scourge

Most residents voted to abolish the government of the city in 1869. The experiment was successful but the government was eventually reestablished with growth. It was revived by railroads and phosphate mining in 1900. Today, it is a major metropolis with satellite towns.

Because it is susceptible to hurricane damage, it is one of the most dangerous cities in the world. Since the last hurricane, a direct hit has not occurred in 100 years. The coastline has also been developed extensively since then.

  1. Jacksonville Established in 1822

What's worth visiting?

It is worth visiting.

Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

A variety of animals are on display including the Florida bobcat and manatee as well as locals like the eastern diamondback rattlesnake and Florida bobcat. The garden features plants from all over the globe.

Treaty Oak

This tree is 250 years old.

Southern live oak

Growing in Downtown Jacksonville. It's located in the Treaty Oak Park.

Over ten thousand years ago, Jacksonville was home to human beings. A French explorer mapped the area in 1562. Within a few short years, a settlement was established. Jacksonville's location was heavily influenced by its close proximity to the mouth the St. Johns River, which flows into the Atlantic.

The Spanish soon conquered the French and established a mission that was in use until the United States took control of Florida. It became a real town around 1822 as agriculture boomed in the region.

A huge fire ravaged a large part of the city in 1901. Three states away, the smoke from that fire was visible. This opened the door to modernization and led to its current skyline.

Key West was established in 1822. It is the third best old city to visit in Florida

What's worth visiting?

It is worth visiting.

Key West


Today, Key West is home to only 30,000 people. However, this cemetery holds around 100,000 of its deceased.

Southern Point Monument

This is the most photographed tourist attraction on the Keys. Although it is claimed to be the southernmost point of the United States, this is not true.

Ernest Hemingway House

This home was purchased by the Hemingway family, who used it as their permanent residence until their divorce. Today, the polydactyl cat population on the property is descended from Hemingway's pets. Hemingway also placed a penny in concrete on the north side of the pool.

Key West was claimed by a man in 1822 for the United States. This was accepted by all. The island has been part of the United States ever since. Key West was Florida's largest and most wealthy city in 1880s.

Aerial view of Key West in Florida


The Colonial Spanish also called this key Cayo Hueso. This is because Calusa natives believed that the island was used as a burial ground before European colonization. Although the Keys were utilized throughout history, they were not permanently settled until the 1800s.

There is no other American city further south than Key West. It is connected to Florida via the Overseas Highway. This highway is also known as US Route 1.

Lake City was established in 1821

What is Worth Visiting?

It is worth visiting.

Olustee Battlefield State Park

This location was the scene of a Civil War battle that saw thousands of soldiers die in 1864. This was Florida's largest Civil War battle.

This city was founded in 1821 and is located between Tallahassee, Florida and Jacksonville. It was originally called Alligator when it was first founded. The city's location was chosen because it was close to a Seminole settlement. It's now a small, thriving city of just 13,000 residents.

Pensacola was established in 1698.

What's worth visiting?

Why is it Worth Visiting?

Pensacola Beach

The 18 miles of beaches stretch along the coast are white sand.

Plaza Ferdinand VII

In this spot in 1821, Spain's Ferdinand VII gave the USA control of Florida.

Pensacola is Florida's most westerly panhandle capital. It is surrounded by miles of coast along the Gulf of Mexico making it a popular tourist destination for both Georgians as well as Alabamans looking to relax. The Pensacola area is home to the Blue Angels, a US Navy demonstration squadron.

Pensacola is not only one of the oldest cities in Florida, but it's also the best vacation destination on this list. That's because it boasts beautiful beaches with local amenities at affordable prices.

Evidence is available to show that Spanish Colonists established Pensacola's first permanent settlement in America. This initial settlement was only for two years before it fell into disuse. After being surveyed for many years, the Pensacola we see today was officially established in 1698.

St. Augustine was founded in 1565.

What's worth visiting?

It is worth visiting.

Old Slave Market

This open-air market was used to sell enslaved Africans at the highest possible bidder in the Plaza de la Constitucion.

Old Jail Museum

This building was built in 1891 and held 72 inmates from 1891 until 1953. The building can be viewed on a guided tour with staff dressed as actors.

St. Augustine, located on the Atlantic coast south from Jacksonville, is still within its metropolitan area. It was the first permanent settlement of Colonial Spain and has been inhabited continuously since 1565. While some consider this city the oldest in America, others believe that San Juan in Puerto Rico may be older.

The haunted city of St. Augustine has many haunted spots.


A conquistador named "St. Augustine" founded it.

Pedro Menendez de Aviles

It was where Martin Luther King Jr. was held in 1964. He was a key player in violent protests that took place in this city during the turbulent times.

Civil Rights Movement