This state-house museum is one of the oldest structures in St. Augustine. A Spanish storekeeper named Andres Ximenez constructed the house in 1798 using native coquina stone (a mix of coral rock and cement). The house and property are well-preserved and the tour includes a visit to the artillery officer's room, the dining room, guest parlor and captain's room as well as interpretive exhibits in the visitor's center. Today, the house is restored in order to depict a tranquil 19th-century inn, although throughout its history, the property has seen tumult and chaos, from Spanish-American battles to the Seminole Wars. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
All of the animals at the St. Augustine Wild Reserve are rescued from abusive or inappropriate places of acclimation. This natural reserve is dedicated to providing new, appropriate habitats for the rescued wildlife. The reserve's mission objective is to educate the public about these rescued animals.
The oldest extant Spanish fortification in the United States, this bulwark stands as a remnant of the European colonization of America. The Castillo de San Marcos dates back to 1672 and is a fine example of military architecture built in defense of the Spanish crown. The fort's masonry is called coquina and for more than 200 years of battle, this limestone withstood countless strikes among European powers. The dearth of traditional materials in Florida forced the Spanish to use this porous, yet resilient material, to the dismay of their enemies who found the fort impossible to conquer in battle. It was declared a national monument in 1924 and today, San Marcos remains a fascinating place. At the visitor's center one can join a ranger program, see a live re-enactment or just walk around and explore the fortress, whatever the choice, the fort definitely merits the trip.
At this historic lighthouse, visitors can find out what it's like to be a light keeper when they climb the 200 odd steps to the top. Not only do guests see the well-maintained, functioning light, they also have a breathtaking, panoramic view of the surrounding St. Augustine area and beaches. The tour of the tower, the keeper's house and grounds are both guided and self-guided, however only the guided tours allow visitors a more in-depth, behind-the-scenes look. This 19th-century tower is one of only six lighthouses in Florida that is still open to the public.
When you come to Florida, stop by the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park to get a look at some of state's most deadly reptiles. This gator farm has been around for nearly a century and since then it has featured that quintessential Florida reptile. Be prepared to take out the phone camera to catch educational shows when you can care and feed them along with other reptiles throughout the day. One of the main highlights here is the zip-line, where visitors can zoom over the "Crocodile Crossing" with 50 different obstacles. Definitely an informative and fun way to spend an afternoon under the St. Augustine sky.
Join the swashbuckling pirate antics at this fantastic museum located in the heart of the old city. Renowned local businessman Pat Croce's established this theme spot in order to share his passion for everything related to these marauders. The museum's collection is quite comprehensive and it's considered to be one of the best of its kind. Exhibits include Captain Thomas Tew's Treasure Chest, authentic Jolly Rogers Flag as well as actual shipwreck treasures from around the world. Apart from these, the museum has a myriad of intriguing exhibits and interactive displays. Tours are available and there's an eclectic gift shop present inside the museum.
Built in the year 1750 by the Spanish King for his royal treasurer, the Pena Peck House is one of the most beautiful Spanish- styled architecture in the city of St. Augustine. Visit this house, which is replete with vintage furnishings revealing the 18th Century antiques. Learn more about the Pena and Peck families as you take a tour of this place.
This historic edifice stands on the original cathedral established in America's very first Catholic parish sometime between 1565 and 1575. When the Spaniards first gained a foothold in what was then Timucuan country, they hastily constructed a church to which the British subsequently burned. The second and third incarnations befell similar fates until the present one was erected in the late 18th Century. The cathedral is open to the general public throughout the week in addition to Mass on Sunday.
Flagler's Legacy, affiliated with the nearby college, offers a god jumping-off point for tourists interested in the history and culture of St Augustine. They offer discounts and information on tours in the St Augustine area, with an emphasis on wineries, golfing, historical sites, and other points that might interest the more well-heeled visitor. They also feature a modest gift shop, including photo books, local artwork, and other souvenirs.
This plaza, once the center of colonial St Augustine, is the site of a historic monument commemorating the imprisonment of several signers of the Declaration of Independence. A lovely spot to take a load off for a few minutes after a walk down the iconic Saint George street, the plaza also features some informative plaques and interesting displays of Revolutionary War era cannon and shot.
A haven for early Greek settlers, this lovely 18th century structure with an open courtyard contains a small museum highlighting the history of Greek culture and worship in the formation of St. Augustine. Also on offer are Greek-themed souvenirs and books in the modest gift shop.
Visit a bit of the old world at St. Augustine's historic St. George Street and Spanish Quarter Village. The entirety of St. George Street is a quaint pedestrian strip and it's closed to all motorized traffic. Most of the buildings are reproductions of homes and shops that visitors would have seen in St. Augustine centuries ago. Inside some of those buildings, shops and restaurants are available and a myriad of street performers provide the entertainment—you can meet with and talk to colonists and soldiers as they go about their tasks, mimicking daily life during the mid-18th Century.