The oldest city in the United States, St. Augustine is one of the most popular places to visit in the country. The 450 years old city is based on Florida’s North East Coast and it is the one permanently occupied European settlement which was founded in the year 1556 by the Spanish people. A home to some of the most important landmarks of history, various kinds of museums, unique attractions and romantic inns, the St. Augustine City of America should be a must visit in your bucket list. Here are 15 things that you can do in St. Augustine, United States –
1. Take a tour of the Castillo de San Marcos
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The Castillo de San Marcos is basically a massive defense structure which took almost 23 years for the Spanish to build (1672-1695). The Castle is one of the most visited attractions in St. Augustine and if you are someone with a knack of history as well architecture, then this one is a must visit for you. The Castillo is built on the Western shore of the Matanzas Bay and the Spanish used coquina, which is a native beach stone.In the year 1924, the Castillo was recognized as the National Monument and people from across the globe visit the monument to experience the astounding beauty of the place.
2. Relive the History in Colonial Quarter
Step back into time and relive the St. Augustine in between 16th-18th century. This living history museum lets you understand what it was like to be in the city back in those days. Known as the “First City”, it hosts an array of shipbuilding projects where they are constructing a replica of a beautiful 16th century caravel. The beautiful city of St. Augustine lets you understand the lives of Spanish people during the 17th century. With all those hourly drill musket drills and blacksmith shops, and many other replicas from that era make the city an amazing place to visit.
3. Visit the St. Augustine Alligator Farm
Established in the year 1893, the St. Augustine alligator farm is another tourist attraction that you should not miss out on. Once a small reptile exhibition center, it is now a zoo based on the Anastasia Island that hosts almost every species of Alligators and Crocodiles. It is the only alligator farm that is a house of 23 recognized species of crocodilians, that has been approved by the biologists. A visit to this crocodile farm is surely going to give you an amazing experience.
4. Pay a Visit to the Lightner Museum
The best historical collections from the 19th century, both decorative and fine arts are proudly displayed in four floors of the Lightner Museum. This museum, however, was previously built as a hotel named as Alcazar Hotel back in the 1888 by Henry Flagler. You will find many eccentric collections in the museum along with Tiffany glasses, various kinds of porcelains, sculptures, beautiful furniture and most importantly some amazing paintings by veterans. Above all, some weird collections of mummies, shrunken heads, used cigar labels and various musical instruments also can be found. Take a tour to this world of amazing adventure and have a great time.
5. Roam around the St. George Street
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Many tourists, who travel across the St. Augustine city, love to take a tour of the St. George Street and beyond. There are plenty of things to see and do in the street and you are surely going to be baffled with what it has to offer. However, it is wise if you take a walk without any guide’s help. This will help you to explore the place in a much better and a deeper way.
6. Visit the beautiful Anastasia State Park
Just about 5 miles away from the historical city of St. Augustine, there lay the naturally beautiful Anastasia State Park. This park takes you to an extraordinary world of ancient dunes, tidal marshes, pristine beaches, as well as dense mangroves. This park is situated in an area of 1600 acres of land and it includes many beautiful wonders. You can enjoy the day while swimming in the sea, hiking, beachcombing, bird watching and even stay at a night camp.
7. Make yourself home at St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum for adventure
For adventure seekers, the St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum is a must visit. The museum is located right across the Castillo St. Angelo and it is beautiful old building. It beautifully offers a glimpse of the thrilling, exciting and bloody era, when privacy had no value, and various treasures were plundered from ships across the seven seas. The most exciting thing about this museum is that it holds the largest collection of pirate treasures and various artifacts. If you are someone who loves such things, this is a place for you to be.
8. Be prepared to be amazed at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum
The oldest standing brick standing in St. Augustine, the tall lighthouse was built during the 1871-1874 in order to replace the original wooden watchtower one. When it was the time for the WWII, the coast guards used this tower to keep an eye on the shore. The lighthouse is also known to be the first ever permanent navigator aid in the entire North America. Be a part of the amazing journey – and have an amazing adventure.
9. Ximenez-Fatio House Museum
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The museum was built during the 1798, but it was basically, a house of a merchant named Ximenez-Fatio. Built with the help of the native coquina, the house was later bought and restored; and then turned into a business house by a woman named Miss Fatio. This place has some amazing history to live by and it showcases the best of St, Augustine city. Visit the house museum at least once to understand the ethnicity of the place.
10. Eat Some Great Food at the Floridian Restaurant, St. Augustine
It would be a wastage of your vacation if you do not indulge yourself in some culinary activities when you are in St. Augustine. One of the most popular restaurants in the city is the Floridian, where you can simply enjoy the best food of in the city. Enjoy some of the best traditional Southern fare, with some of the best fresh and local ingredients – meals that you can die for!
11. Be very surprised at Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum
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The name itself is strange, isn’t it? But Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum actually does exist and it has some amazing things to experience for you as a traveler. The museum was basically a hotel named Castle Warden Hotel, which now hosts around 800 exhibits of Robert Ripley’s various collections. The auditorium of the museum has been amusing the guests since the 1950s and it is surely one of the places where you are going to be all shocked with the kinds of things that you will experience. A must visit if you are in a mood for experiencing varieties.
12. Take a cruise at the Schooner Freedom and El Galeón
Love sailing? Then this is the place for you to be! The Freedom offers you an amazing sailing experience on an authentic replica of a 1900s two-masted blockade runner. During summer, you can sail across the sea, and experience the beauty of the surrounding. It also offers a moonlight cruise of three days a week. It, however, absolutely depends on you how you want to spend the beautiful cruise trip.
13. Visit the Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse
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Experience the perfection of the oldest standing wooden Schoolhouse which was rebuilt after the British Raid set it on fire during the 1702. The schoolhouse was basically a co-ed one, where students used to gather knowledge. Now, it houses some of the oldest and most original books which were used by children during the 1900s.
14. Experience the military life at Spanish Military Hospital Museum
Another museum at St. Augustine, but surely a must visit. The original structure of the building was built during the Spanish Colonial period and then it was again re-built keeping the size, structure and site in mind. They built the hospital museum exactly the same way how it would have looked during the 1791s. A must visit for the history buffs.
15. Do not forget to visit the Ponce de Leon's Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park
The park is built near along the Matanzas River on a land of 15 acres. It is famous because of its freshwater spring and it also has been named after the same. The archeological park is a host to many amazing historical stories and it has plenty of things that you should pay attention to. A must visit for people who love nature and love being a part of the history.