Encompassing 15 acres of lush Old Florida landscape, The Fountain of Youth National Archaeological Park in St. Augustine is the perfect way to spend a day in the Nation’s Oldest City. It’s also considered the state’s oldest attraction and houses thousands of years of history like nowhere else.
The oldest masonry structure of its kind in the continental United States, Castillo de San Marcos was built by the Spanish in 1672. Constructed to guard the coastline against invasion, the historic fort was occupied by military forces for more than 250 years before being deactivated and taken over by the National Park System.
What better place to study Liberal Arts than inside an oasis of architectural beauty? Flagler College, situated on the grounds of the original Ponce de Leon Hotel, offers students four-year degrees in several dozen areas of study. The hotel was built in 1888 and was known for its opulent setting and luxurious amenities. Many millions of dollars have been spent renovating and restoring the historic buildings, and visitors as well as students spend many hours just enjoying the ambiance.
Explore the darker side of the Nation’s Oldest City and let our Ghost Host be your guide. Face your fears in Potter’s Wax Museum’s Chamber of Horrors and then ENTER the Town’s most haunted building, the “Old Jail,” for an up close and personal encounter. Don’t miss this frightfully fun riding tour!
You won’t want to miss this Ghost Tour! It’s the only ghost tour that takes you inside Two of the city’s most haunted buildings!
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 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.
A St. Augustine attraction for history enthusiasts, curious souls and those who enjoy marvelous architecture, The Oldest House Museum Complex offers many things for many people. Owned and operated by the St. Augustine Historical Society, the complex includes Florida’s Oldest House, two museums, a changing exhibition gallery, an ornamental garden, and a museum store. The González-Alvarez House is the oldest surviving Spanish Colonial home in Florida.
An incredible adventure for kids and adults of all ages, the Pirate & Treasure Museum offers visitors a chance to journey back 300 years 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.
The Scenic Cruise company was founded more than a century ago when Frank Usina and his wife settled in North Beach, which at the time was only accessible by boat. In the early days, Frank would ferry guests of the Ponce de Leon Hotel and Alcazar Hotel back and forth from St. Augustine to North Beach, showing them the beautiful sites along the way and treating them to oysters, Minorcan cuisine, music and dancing.
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.
For a truly memorable experience while visiting St. Augustine, take a whimsical ride on one of the various Horse-drawn carriages. Enjoy the breathtaking views of the Castillo de San Marcos and the activity in the picturesque harbor as you enjoy a nostalgic step back to a simpler time—horse-drawn carriage rides throughout St. Augustine are just one of the many ways visitors can relive the history of our nation’s oldest city.
The Pirate Ship Black Raven is a one-of-a-kind live pirate show full of music, thrills and pure entertainment! Participate in our adventure, sing along with our crew, and find your inner pirate while you see the beautiful sights of the Matanzas River.
The Schooner Freedom gives its guests an opportunity to experience a sail reminiscent of an authentic 19th century Blockade Runner. St. Augustine’s own tall ship, the Freedom was constructed in 1982 and is a double masted 72’ replica of the topsail ships of that time. Choose a fun-filled day sail or relaxing evening cruise—your two hours on board this spectacular vessel will include music, sightseeing and perhaps even manatees, dolphins and other friendly wildlife.
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. America’s first and oldest wax museum, it was founded by George Potter, a man who traveled around the world as a young child with his family. It was during one of his many trips that Potter visited a London wax museum and became inspired to create his own wax sculptures in America.
According to historians, St. Augustine is believed to be the birthplace of American wine dating back to 1562. And so it only makes sense that one of the country’s premier wineries, San Sebastian Winery, would call the Nation’s Oldest City home.
For a contrast to today’s high-tech pharmacies, stop in at the Oldest Drug Store located in Historic downtown. You won’t see any computers – instead, antique cash registers, wood floors and bottles of remedies, elixirs and tonics are a charming representation of an era gone by. Be sure to visit the gift shop where you can pick up collectibles, jewelry and seasonal items.
The St. Augustine Distillery, housed in a historic ice manufacturing plant built in 1917, is now meticulously restored as a working distillery. The Distillery’s opening in March, 2014, coincided with the release of the first spirit produced legally in northeast Florida since Prohibition. Free daily public tours include information about Florida’s distilling heritage and the building’s former life as an ice plant, as well as a tasting room and a chance to watch spirits being made from scratch using age-old techniques in two copper pot stills.
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.
Home to prisoners for over 60 years, the Old Jail in St. Augustine looks more like a resort than a maximum-security facility. The original structure was built in 1891 by Henry Flagler; and although it has been restored and renovated throughout the years, it looks very much the way it did when it opened over a century ago.