Travel Flashback – A Day in Saint Augustine, Florida

Apr 03

Travel Flashback – A Day in Saint Augustine, Florida

After our cruise to the Bahamas we drove up the coast to St. Augustine. We had a special activity planned for that night and I’ll share what we did next week. Today I’ll share the Saturday we spent in Saint Augustine.

We didn’t plan to stay for so long because we still had a long drive back to Georgia. We really should have stayed through Sunday. There wasn’t enough time to see everything we wanted to see.

We started our day at the Old Jail in Saint Augustine. We toured the jail site and then took the trolley tour with the hop on and off ticket. This would allow us to travel around the city but our car could stay at the old jail parking lot.

The old jail was actually used up until 1953. It’s said to be haunted, especially at the old tree where they still have a gallows on display. We toured the site, but didn’t see any ghosts and didn’t hear anything out of the ordinary.

We took the trolley around the downtown area and stopped off at the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park. Part tourist attraction, part museum, we visited the location of the first settlement of Saint Augustine. This area was founded by Ponce de Leon in 1565, before the Pilgrims and Jamestown. Since we didn’t have a lot of time, we visited the spring house where the original spring is located. We tasted the water from the spring and bought a bottle to give as a gift. I don’t think it made us any younger, though.

We then visited Castillo de San Marcos National Monument. The fort is a “bastion system” of fortification and still has the original gate and several original walls, although due to time and weather they’ve had to be repaired.  The fort is made out of a type of limestone called coquina. This material helped to defend the fort because a cannonball fired into it wouldn’t shatter it. Instead it would absorb or deflect them.

We were able to be there while costumed workers fired off a cannon as an example of how the fort defended itself. The fort was built in the 17th century and is one of the oldest surviving forts in the US today.

We spent the rest of the day exploring the Old City of Saint Augustine. This is an area where vehicles aren’t allowed, so we walked along the old streets, explored shops and restaurants and enjoyed the weather. We knew we still had a long drive back to Georgia, but we ended up staying and exploring until 9:00 that night and drove home overnight, taking turns during our 10 hour drive home.

We should have stayed another night so we could have explored more of Saint Augustine. It’s definitely on our list of places to return to because one day just wasn’t enough.

Have you visited Saint Augustine? Let me know in the comments or get in touch on Facebook or Twitter.

 

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