February 26, 2017

Jillian Chantal with Some Cool Florida Facts

Jillian Chantal here. I hail from the northwest part of the awesome state of Florida. We have a lot to offer to pretty much anyone except winter sports enthusiasts. We have beaches, hiking, cities with cultural events and even ice hockey teams, believe it or not- so I guess we can make that winter season fan a bit happy. 

Betcha didn’t know how Florida got its name. In the 1500s there was a Spanish Explorer named Ponce de Leon who was searching for fountain of youth and landed on the east coast near present day St. Augustine on Palm Sunday. He called the peninsula where he and his men came to rest, La Florida, as the spring flowers were blooming. Florida means flowering in Spanish. 

Another cool fact about Ponce de Leon is that he was with Christopher Columbus’ second voyage to the new world in 1493. He chose not to return to Spain with Columbus but remained in the Caribbean.
Being from Pensacola on the other end of the panhandle from St. Augustine, I have to mention the friendly rivalry between the two cities. Pensacola was the first Spanish/European settlement in 1559 but was decimated by a hurricane within a month- the survivors struggled for a while but abandoned their efforts to colonize in 1561. In 1565, St. Augustine became the oldest continuously occupied European city on the American continent. So, the two cities have a claim to fame that sometimes the citizens may get a bit bent about. LOL 

Both cities are amazing places and have a lot to offer. When my son married a girl from the southern part of the state, they chose St. Augustine for their wedding as it is such a lovely place and about half way from Pensacola to the Palm Beaches. 
If you’re looking for a beach vacation with a little bit of historical flavor, both cities have both. Take a swim or go boating in the morning and tour a fort or a historical home in the afternoon. Or visit a cool lighthouse. And if you’re a fan of ghost tours (like me!)- that’s a fun thing to do in the evening.
Come on and check us out. 

I love history and have written some 20th-century-set historical romances as well as Regencies. I have a new book out as of January 29, 2017 called The Bachelor and the Dowager – check it out on my Amazon page if you like Regencies. 

Have you ever been to either Pensacola or St. Augustine? If so, tell me your favorite part of either city. If not, tell me what you like better: beaches or history.  I’ll be giving away one e-book copy of my new release to two commenters.  


I love to hear from readers – contact me here:  https://jillianchantal.com/
(all info author provided)


  1. Jillian,
    I love this post. I was born in Miami, went to college in Gainesville, Florida and lived in Tallahassee. Although we live in Atlanta now we have a condo on the beach at Palm Coast. So my favorite part of Florida is the beach. However, I do love Florida history. My sister lives in Ponte Vedra Beach and we had a book signing at the St. Augustine lighthouse and my brother-in-law is the director of tourism for St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra and the Beaches. So we're there quite often. I love the trolley tour of St. Augustine and the Nights of Lights during the holidays. Florida has something to offer for everyone.
    Marilyn Baron

  2. Just commented, but forgot to say I've never been to Pensacola but have been to St. Augustine many times.

    Marilyn Baron

  3. Thanks for sharing about Florida! My hubby would love to move there.

  4. The ghost tours would be amazing fun!

  5. Hi Jillian!
    My mom took a tour of St. Augustine maybe 30 or so years ago, and brought back some amazing pictures! Personally, the only northern city I've been to, besides Kissimmee or Orlando, has been Panama Beach. My relatives live farther south in St. Pete, Naples, and Sarasota.

    Geez...I have to choose between beaches or history? It's a hard choice!!! Can I say I love reading history while sunbathing at the beach? LMAO!

  6. I've never been to St. Augustine, but to Pensacola numerous times during the 8 years that my husband and I lived on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. We visited Destin and Sand Destin too, but mostly Pensacola. For six months he lived on a hotel property in Orange Beach where he was the temporary General Manager. I visited him there many weekends. Wonderful beach areas. Nice that you have a new book available shortly before this scheduled post. Timely for promotion. Well done.

  7. We also have relatives in Sarasota and that is a beautiful town with great beaches.

    Marilyn Baron

  8. Hi Jillian,
    I loved your post today and learned new information about the state I've called home where my husband and I spend half the year in our Bradenton condo. I've been in love with Florida since visiting Pensacola on a high school graduation trip there. And I have visited St. Augustine and most of the major cities and beaches on vacations when my children were growing up. I'm just as happy in Florida's summer heat and in winter but ties in Kentucky keep us from being year-round people. I've seldom met a real "native Floridian" but I'm sure more do exist! Your books sound very interesting, especially the Regency.
    Linda Swift

  9. Marilyn- How awesome that your brother in law is the tourism director - you get to hear about some way cool events, I'm sure.

    Robin- come on down - there's lots to offer and many cool places to live in our beautiful state.

    Victoria- the ghost tours are amazing in both places. It's very much something I recommend.

    Molly- I am with you- let's go to the beach and read a history book!!

    Linda Thorne- how exciting that you got to live on Orange Beach for a while. It's a lovely place for sure.

    Linda Swift- I'm thrilled you live 1/2 the year in this great state. AND I love that Pensacola has a special place in your heart for so many years!


  10. I have yet to get to Florida, but it is looking better and better all the time as a place of refuge after my escape from the exile to which I have been subjected! Seriously, my husband has lived in Pensacola,and we have several friends there,in Miami and a few family members of his are in Tampa. I would LOVE to see all the history there and in St.Augustine.
    Good luck with all of your works!

  11. Thanks Tonette - I hope you get a chance to visit soon! Jillian


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