There are 5 things you must do and see in St Augustine, a beautiful old city in northeastern Florida. St. Augustine is full of history, Spanish architecture, and most importantly, the Fountain of Youth.
Fountain of Youth
We all want to find the Fountain of Youth, right? Ponce de Leon came to St. Augustine in 1513 on a voyage of exploration. He had gained experience as a soldier in the Spanish Wars against the Moors under Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand (of Inquisition fame). He was actually named Governor of Hispaniola (Haiti and Dominican Republic) and explored farther west, finding and naming La Florida (named for Pascua Florida Festival of Flowers). There was no mention of a fountain, he was actually searching for gold.
The story I was told at the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park was this: the Spaniards were typical Europeans, being short, toothless, and with a life span of 45 years. The Timucuans, the tribe inhabiting the St Augustine area of Florida, were over 6 feet tall, and reached ages of 70 and 80 years! Why did these people live so long and grow so tall? Well, it was the water, of course! Thus was born the Fountain of Youth, a must-see and do in St. Augustine, not only to drink the water but to enjoy the park. For more information, especially about the Timucuans, see my blog, I found the Fountain of Youth.
St. Augustine was founded in 1565 and is our nation’s oldest city. The buildings, cobblestone streets of Old Town, and the history of the city is worth at least a day of your trip. I stayed at Casa de Suenos , a BNB which is an easy walk to Old Town Trolley Tours. Be sure and take a camera to photograph the numerous beautiful buildings in the city, such as The Lightner Museum which is in the Alcazar Hotel, the Ponce de Leon Hotel, and Flagler College. There is much to see in do in beautiful St. Augustine.
The Bridge of Lions
You cannot miss the Bridge of Lions even if you wanted to! The famous bridge is a double-leaf bascule bridge that spans the Intra-coastal Waterway connecting Anastasia Island to downtown St. Augustine. It is a stunning feature of this historical city. The bridge features a pair of Medici lions made of Carrara marble.
Churches and Cathedrals
St. Augustine has several churches of note, including the first Catholic church in America, the Cathedral Basilica. You’ll also want to see and photograph Grace United Methodist and the Henry Flagler Presbyterian Church. All of these historic churches are well worth a visit!
St. Augustine Eco-Tours
You cannot miss the ocean and wildlife in and around St. Augustine. To get a close up look I booked a tour with St. Augustine Eco-Tours and had a wonderful time. I highly recommend them! You won’t only get a look at the fishing and shrimp boats, but it’s also a great way to see the city and architecture from the water. For more photos, go to my blog about my eco-tour!
More Information about St. Augustine
Be sure to go visit the St. Augustine Lighthouse! And enjoy the beaches while you are there, they are beautiful.
Dine at Meehan’s Irish Pub and don’t miss their homemade Bailey’s Irish Cream, it is out of this world.