7 Best Family Activities in St. Augustine, FL
St. Augustine is the nation’s oldest city, boasting a rich 450-year history. With a host of fascinating historical sites there is always something fun to do here! Here’s our family’s list of the 7 best things to do in St. Augustine, FL with kids:
Marineland was originally built in 1938 as a “Marine Studio.” Its main purpose was to recreate a realistic marine environment for shooting movies and news reels. Marineland has gone through many changes since then and is now a leading dolphin conservation center focusing on marine animal observation and public education through their various animal encounters, tours and summer camps.
Fountain of Youth
On a quest for eternal youth? Yeah, me too. That’s why our first stop in St. Augustine was the legendary Fountain of Youth. In addition to being able to drink from the infamous spring, we also were able to explore the history of Ponce De Leon and the legend of the fountain. The historical landmark is 15 acres of reconstructed buildings, archaeological excavations and a variety of mini museums all designed to take you centuries into the past to learn about the earliest settlers in St. Augustine.
The Colonial Quarter was easily our favorite place to visit — put this experience on your “must do” list. History meets entertainment for a fun-filled adventure into the past. Embark on the Historical Adventures tour where a lively tour guide takes you through the centuries of St. Augustine’s past. Highlights of the tour include a musket firing and blacksmithing demonstration. Afterward head across the alley to the world’s oldest schoolhouse for an eye opening look into the schools of yore.
Pirate and Treasure Museum
Avast, me hearties! What be ye waitin’ fer? Get yourself ’n ye shipmates below to th’ barnacle-covered Pirate & Treasure Museum ’n live like a scurvy pirate fer th’ day. Wit’ activities like knot tyin’, cannon firin’, treasure huntin’, ’n hoistin’ th’ Jolly Roger, ye’ll be an old salt in no time.
Castillo De San Marcos
The oldest masonry fort in the country, the Castillo De San Marcos is a beautiful and well-preserved monument that holds centuries of history within its grey stone walls. Numerous battles and standoffs occurred in and around the fort. Unlike some other forts in the country, the National Park Service has done an incredible job restoring and maintaining this historic site. Displays are set up in different rooms to give visitors an idea of how the fort worked what life in the fort was like for those that lived and served there.
St. Augustine Lighthouse
You will never see history the same way once you have visited the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum. Hands-on history activities, maritime artifacts and breathtaking views await you when you visit this spectacular lighthouse dedicated to discovering, preserving, presenting and keeping alive the story of the Nation’s Oldest Port.
Whetstone Chocolate Factory
No family vacation is complete without a visit to a chocolate factory and the Whetstone Chocolate Factory doesn’t disappoint. Their sought after chocolate has been a hit with locals and tourists for the past 40 years. My favorites include the chocolate-covered espresso beans, chocolate and peanut butter fudge and white chocolate truffles. Tours and tastings are available daily.
Where to Stay: Hilton St. Augustine Historic Bayfront
The 19 buildings of Hilton St. Augustine Historic Bayfront, inspired by the Second Spanish Colonial period, showcase the beautiful Matanza Bay views. Their colorful buildings surround an inner courtyard and connect through an interior corridor. Close enough to walk to Castillo de San Marcos Monument, the Spanish Quarter and the Fountain of Youth, this hotel makes touring St. Augustine a breeze.
Do you have other favorite things to do in St. Augustine with kids? Please share them in the comments below!
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