- Start exploring the city with a walk along George’s Street, a kind of promenade with many art galleries, small author’s shops and restaurants.
- Go on a sightseeing trolleybus to see the main city attractions. Tickets can be used for three days and include admission to the Florida Heritage Museum.
- Sail to Anastasia Island to take a picture of the striped lighthouse – one of the symbols of the city. Today, the lighthouse, built in the 1870s, is a museum.
- See the building of the oldest wooden school, on George Street, near the city gates. This is a living antiquity, which is more than 200 years old.
- Visit the San Sebastian Winery just a few blocks from the Old City. The winery hosts free tours with tastings lasting 45 minutes every 20-25 minutes.
According to Toppharmacyschools, Flagger’s second historic hotel in St. Augustine was the Alcazar, which stands directly across from the Ponce de Leon. It was also built in the spirit of the Spanish Renaissance by the same architects, from the same material and completed a year ahead of its sister hotel. Alcazar was no less exclusive: there were steam rooms, massage rooms, a gym, a three-tiered ballroom and the largest swimming pool in the world at that time. The hotel closed in 1932, and in 1946 Chicago publisher Otto Leiter bought the building to house his extensive collection of Victorian items. Two years later, in a building with amazing symmetrical towers and an arched bridge over a fish pond, the Lighter Museum was opened, which the collector later donated to the city.
In the Lightyear Museum, you can see not only artifacts of the Victorian era, but also other curiosities: objects related to the North American Indians, stuffed birds, a small Egyptian mummy, models of steam engines, a golden elephant with a globe on its shoulder and ancient mechanical musical instruments in a separate room created between the 1870s and 1920s.
Another amazing building for which St. Augustine should thank Flager is Memorial Presbyterian Church. It was built on Valencia Street in 1889 and is a very ornate building in the Venetian style. The same Carrere and Hastings, during the construction of the church, were guided by the Basilica of St. Mark in Venice, although they built it using the same latest casting stone technology at that time. As in the hotel buildings, many individual parts of the church are made of terracotta, which gives it an extremely elegant look.
Located on George Street, the Spanish Quarter Colonial Museum is a trip back in time. You can go to the forge, to the carpentry workshop, to visit the soldier’s wife (and they will all go about their daily business). Costumed characters tell stories of everyday life in St. Augustine in the 1740s, when the city was a remote outpost of the Spanish Empire. Tourists can walk around the quarter on their own, without a guide.
“Florida’s Oldest House” is not even a common name for a house, but for an entire museum complex run by the city’s historical society. The complex includes two museums, an art gallery with temporary exhibitions, an ornamental garden and a museum shop (you can see all this with one ticket). An additional attraction is the Gonzalez-Alvarez House, the oldest surviving Spanish dwelling in the state. People have lived here since the 1600s, and the current building dates from the early 1700s.
The Castillo de San Marcos National Monument is an old fort built by the Spanish in the late 17th century from shell rock. On weekends, the fort hosts historical performances.
Another national monument, Fort Matanzas, is a small lookout tower built by the Spanish in the 1740s. on a small island to control the southern route to the city along the Matanzas River. Today, daily ferries go to the island, and you can walk along the adjoining Anastasia Island on foot; for this, a special 800-meter path has been equipped here. Finally, another fort – Fort Mose – is a historical park where the first black settlement in America was founded. This happened in 1738, when the Spaniards settled black slaves of the British masters here. The settlement is located about 3 km north of St. Augustine.
In 1908, the city opened an alligator farm that became one of the oldest commercial tourist attractions in Florida in the 21st century. Today it is a zoo, which is located on Anastasia Boulevard and is open to the public.
The status of the oldest attraction is shared with the farm by the Fountain of Youth, a 15-acre archaeological park.
The Potter Wax Museum is located on Kings Street and offers a good time for the whole family. More than 160 figures are on display, ranging from the founding fathers to today’s celebrities. Another fun attraction is the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum, which was first opened in the Castle Worden building. The museum opened its doors in 1950, and fragments of the show of the same name were filmed here. In the exhibition you can see a mummified cat, live and death masks of various celebrities, shamanic objects from different cultures of the world, and so on.