Elegance and history, grace and sophistication all come together in the glorious rooms, walkways and exhibits at the Lightner Museum. Originally The Hotel Alcazar, the building was built by railroad tycoon and hotel developer Henry Flagler and is a magnificent example of Spanish Renaissance architecture. Browse through costumes, furnishings, mechanical musical instruments and collections that bring back the grand Gilded Age, a marvelous period in the 19th century. See beautiful works of cut glass, Victorian art glass and the celebrated work of Louis Comfort Tiffany. Tour the museum and take a historical journey that will not soon be forgotten.
When visiting Villa Zorayda, make sure to leave yourself a good hour to explore this architectural and cultural gem. It’s been added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and houses one of the most unique collections of antiquities in America. Such rarities on display include the “Sacred Cat Rug,” which is over 2,400 years old and said to be made from the hairs of ancient cats that roamed the Nile River. You can also see hand-carved tropical hardwood furniture and impressive interior details like the flooring and windows.
An incredible adventure for kids and adults of all ages, the Pirate & Treasure Museum offers visitors a chance to journey back to the era of the Golden Age of Piracy. This unique museum showcases one of the largest collections of rare pirate artifacts in the world including Captain Thomas Tew’s 17th Century Treasure Chest and the Journal of Captain Kidd’s Final Voyage in 1699.
Walk in amazement and wonder as you see more than 800 exhibits at Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum. Everything from the weird and unusual to the exotic is on display and ready to excite and entertain people of all ages. The museum is the original Ripley’s Believe it or Not, opening in 1950 just a few months after Robert Ripley’s death. Here, people can explore and interact, witness incredible illusions and see for themselves what Ripley collected from his travels around the world—many too outlandish to believe.
The Spanish Military Hospital Museum offers visitors a look into how healthcare operated during the Spanish Colonial Period. The building that the museum is housed in is a reconstruction of a Military Hospital that was on the same site in the late 1700s. As you tour the museum, you’ll be given an inside look into how patients were treated here. From the ward beds to the surgeon’s tools and even the mourning room where patient’s last rites were given by Priests, the museum is an interesting and unique spot to see.
The Government House has long been the home to many administrative and political offices. Throughout its many centuries of existence (the earliest records date back to the late 16th century), it has been a residence for Governors, a courthouse, a post office, government offices and more. Following the plans of the royal decree from Spain, it along with other major buildings in town, faces the central plaza. Visitors of all ages benefit from the many exhibits and learning activities available in the museum.
Potter’s Wax Museum is located on Orange Avenue in historic St. Augustine and offers visitors a unique opportunity to see some of the world’s most famous people up close. The figures are known for their remarkable likeness to the characters they represent due to the process that’s used to create them. The eyes are handmade in Germany and the hands are sculpted in Belgium.
Watch in amazement as our friendly clerks, butcher and Snake Oil salesman demonstrate the very latest inventions for turn-of-the-century living. Step back in time and discover the latest and best time saving miracles from 1900! Items such as a goat-powered washing machine and a gas powered iron! It’s truly like walking into a Sears Roebuck catalog from 1908. From steam-driven tractors, tonics, worm syrup, guns, bikes and so much more.
Henry Flagler was a powerhouse and catalyst for change in the real estate and transportation industries. His contributions to Florida are documented and displayed throughout the St. Augustine History Museum. As you tour through, you’ll also see authentic artifacts, unpublished photographs and learn about the evolution of St. Augustine and Florida under Spanish and British rule.