Considering that it’s the oldest continuously-occupied city in the United States, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Saint Augustine, Florida has numerous attractions that have been around for a ridiculously long time.
Don’t miss these must-see places that have been meticulously preserved for the past 400-plus years.
This historic fort, arguably the most popular sites in town, sits on the Atlantic Ocean and is the oldest masonry fortress in the entire country. Grab a brochure and map and embark on a self-guided tour, or take in one of the interpreter talks that are held throughout the day.
Housed in the former Alcazar Hotel, the Lightner Museum showcases 19th-century art in a sweeping, gorgeous space. Relics from the Gilded Age include Tiffany glass, typewriters, fine art paintings and more. Stick around for a meal at Cafe Alcazar, the hotel’s re-purposed (empty!) swimming pool.
St. George Street
The bustling main drag in Saint Augustine’s historic district, St. George Street, is ultra-quaint and filled with shops, restaurants, and sites that can easily occupy you for an entire afternoon. Take guided tours of the Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse. Or, the Peña-Peck House, which was built in 1750.
Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park
If only you could turn back time … well, you might just try your hand at it here. This park is home not only to the famous natural spring that’s known for its restorative properties, but also to a planetarium, a blacksmith exhibit, and replica Timucuan Native American Village. Keep your eyes peeled for the colorful peacocks that strut around the park as well!
From 1891 to 1953, this served as the prison for all of Saint Augustine’s criminals. Today—if you dare—you can take a guided tour, led by a costumed interpreter. At night, the jail becomes part of the Ghosts and Gravestones Tour, making it even spookier.
Combining both Spanish and British architecture, the oldest house in town has been standing since the early 1700s, and guided tours that cover the history of the Saint Augustine area over a 400-year period are offered daily. There are two museums, an ornamental garden, and a gift shop on the premises.