Founded in 1565, St. Augustine is one of the oldest continuously inhabited European settlements in North America. The city boasts centuries of history, beautiful sand beaches, and brilliant museums. You can spend the entire day exploring the city’s historical sites, including the Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest masonry fort in the United States, and the Fountain of Youth Archeological Park. The city is also the landing place for the famous explorer Ponce de Leon.
If you love birds, St. Augustine is an ideal destination. There are several avian species to see, as well as African and tropical birds. For the adventurous, there is also an albino alligator exhibit. If you enjoy hiking, biking, or exploring on foot, consider taking a tour of the historic area. You can also ride a trolley or ride a horse and carriage through the town. Sightseeing tours can reveal hidden spots and reveal more history. If you have time, take a stroll along St. George Street, which is considered “ground zero” for tourist activity.
The Ximenez-Fatio House is another historic attraction worth visiting in St. Augustine. This building was originally built as a home for the Ximenez family, and over the years became one of the most fashionable St. Augustine boarding houses. The house offered lodging to a number of famous guests. Today, the house serves as a museum and is open to the public. It was beautifully preserved and has interesting exhibits and artifacts. You’ll learn about the history of early settlers, Spanish explorers, and various powers that governed the city.
The Colonial Quarter is an enchanting two-acre area with many historical buildings and shops. There are also private events held here. The de Mesa Sanchez House, which dates back to the 1740s, is another historical site. The museum features an Egyptian Mummy and a shrunken head. You can also visit the St Augustine Spanish Military Hospital Museum, which offers a glimpse into the medical practices of the colonial era.
For something more fun, head to the Pirate & Treasure Museum, located in St. Augustine’s Colonial Quarter. This museum features one of the most extensive collections of pirate artifacts in the world, including the only authentic Jolly Roger flag and gold stolen by buccaneers. The museum also hosts treasure hunts. For the whole family, the Pirate & Treasure Museum is a must-see while in St. Augustine Florida.
Another attraction that will definitely impress your friends and family is the Old Jail, which is near the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park. It provides a unique look into prison life and is now a National Historic Landmark. Inside, you can see exhibits and cellblocks from the era, and costumed ‘deputies’ will explain the jail’s history. Once you’ve finished visiting the historic district, don’t miss the San Sebastian Winery, which is a local favorite.
The Lightner Museum is another excellent museum to visit when you’re in St Augustine. Housed in a former Alcazar hotel, this museum is a riot of 19th century and early 20th century items. Its collection includes fine art, musical instruments, and a shrunken human head. There’s also a distillery in the city, where you can sample their wares and learn about the local distilling process.