Things To Do
Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park
When you visit this historic destination, you’ll be standing on the original site of Saint Augustine, America’s oldest city. The area was first explored in 1513 by Juan Ponce de Leon and then settled 52 years later by Pedro Menendez Avilés. Covering 15 waterfront acres, the park features many fascinating things to see, including the 600-foot Founders Riverwalk, Menendez 1565 Settlement Field, and new Spanish Watchtower.
Mission Nombre de Dios
The first mission in America was built on the grounds where Saint Augustine was founded in 1565. It began with a wooden cross presented to Pedro Menendez de Avilés by the chaplain of his expedition, Father Francisco López de Mendoza Grajales. The original chapel was constructed in the early 1600s and was rebuilt several times after being destroyed by attacks and hurricanes. The current structure dates back to 1915.
Castillo de San Marcos
Situated on Matanzas Bay in Saint Augustine, this National Monument is the oldest fort made of masonry you will find anywhere in the continental United States. It was built in 1672 after the area, which was controlled by the Spanish, came under attack. When the U.S. took over the fort, it was primarily used as a military prison for Native American tribes, such as the Seminoles and the Geronimo-led Chiricahua Apaches.
Historic Tours of Flagler College
Get an up-close-and-personal look at the former Hotel Ponce de Leon, a fine example of Spanish Renaissance architecture, courtesy of Historic Tours of Flagler College. The National Historic Landmark was built by Henry Flagler, a railroad magnate, in 1888. Offered every day at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., the tours include the courtyard, grand lobby, dining room, and the Flagler Room, which was originally the Women’s Grand Parlor.
Housed in a building from 1887 that was the former home of the Hotel Alcazar, the Lightner Museum boasts a wealth of artifacts from the Gilded Age. The first floor of the museum is where you’ll discover a Victorian village with various store fronts showcasing everything from stuffed birds and model steam engines to musical instruments. On the second and third floors, you’ll be surrounded by stained glass, paintings, sand sculptures.