On our last visit to Florida we went searching for the old Florida and places steeped in history. This led us to St. Augustine, Florida. We liked it so much we’ve been back several times. It is one of my favorite cities in the USA.
Founded in 1565, St. Augustine is the oldest city in the USA. So you know this city has some amazing stories to tell.
St. Augustine can be divided into a few sections
- Historic Downtown
- King Street District
- St Augustine Beach
Where to Park in Historic Downtown
Old Spanish Trail Zero Milestone
This milestone marks the end of the Old Spanish Trail from San Diego to St. Augustine, Florida. It is a near the St. Augustine Visitor’s Center.
Fuente De Los Canos De San Francisco
Near the St. Augustine Visitor’s Center is the Fuente De Los Canos De San Franisco . A beautiful fountain with multi spouts represents the relationship between Aviles, Spain and St. Augustine, Florida. Spain gave the masks to St. Augustine.
Old City Gate
Opened in 1739, the old city gate was the only access point for the north side of Spanish St. Augustine. The pillars were constructed of coquina in 1808 and now mark the entrance of the historic district in St. Augustine.
Historic St. Augustine Florida
The historic district.is the oldest part of St. Augustine and home to buildings dating back to the 1700’s. There is plenty of shopping, restaurants, and attractions for the whole family. See the oldest wooden school house in the USA. Built in 1702 . Tours are available. For information on the tours
Pirate & Treasure Museum
Located in St. Augustine’s historic district, the Pirate & Treasure Museum has the largest collection of pirate artifacts. My daughter said this is the best museum ever and all museums should be like this one.
The museum has nine sections. You receive a treasure map with clues to help you find the treasures throughout the exhibit. Your journey begins at Port Royal. Here you learn how pirates came to be. In the following exhibit you are taken to a tavern to see how they lived. The main deck is built as if you are boarding a pirate ship. It is interactive. Visitors can fire a real cannon, feel the weight of a musket, explore the captain’s cabin, and see the execution dock.
With more than 800 artifacts and treasures the Pirate museum is the most complete collection of all things pirate. It is also home to the world’s only pirate treasure chest. The chest belonged to Thomas Tew and is over 400 years old. We had fun trying to figure out where the lock on the chest was.
You can view recovered sunken pirate treasures, Captain Kidd’s chest, and an original jolly roger flag.
In addition to these exhibits there is a room on pirates from Hollywood and a Disney Blackbeard show. The Pirate & Treasure Museum
Castillo de San Marcos
Castillo de San Marcos was built in 1672 by the Spanish. It is the oldest masonry fort in the U.S. The fort was a military outpost to protect their fleets and to keep pirates from stealing their provisions.
The builders used what was abundant in Florida to create the fort. It is made with coquina, which is limestone made out of shells. If you take a closer look you can see the seashells.
Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park
Looking for the Fountain of Youth? If the stories are true you just mind find it in St. Augustine, Florida. According to the legend, Ponce de León was searching for a mythical spring that restores your youth when he landed at this site in 1513. You can find this fountain within the Archaeological Park.
This park is the location of the first settlement in St. Augustine.