Day in St Augustine, FL

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Sunday May 15, 2011 Under Claire, Cobey, Good Eats/Not So Good Eats, Homeschool, Kid's Corner, Travel

On the way down to our  Disney Cruise a few weeks ago, I decided to spend a day in St Augustine because of its rich history. We drove from North Carolina Friday afternoon and spent the night in Jacksonville. We picked Jacksonville because it was cheaper to stay than St Augustine but still close. We had a full day spend and we needed it. There are two places operating tours and transportation- the Old  Town Trolley and Ripley’s Sightseeing Train. Both had good reviews but we decided on Old Town Trolly because of the packages. We got the Fountain of Youth Package which included admission to Old Jail, Fountain of Youth, and Oldest Schoolhouse. Many suggest you go thru the whole loop once and get an overview of the town then go back and jump off at the sites you would like to see. I do think this would have been helpful but we were limited on time and worried we would not have time. We started out by taking a tour of the Old Jail. The tour guide did a great job and it was very informative and interesting. We then got on the trolley and rode to the Old City Gate stop. We hopped off there and took a photo at the gates then went on a short walk to the Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse. The house has wax figures and you press a button to learn more about the school. The kids then went in the school yard to see the well and ring the bell. You can easily visit this

site in a twenty minutes. You receive a diploma as you leave. I don’t know that I would pay to see it if it was not included in a package. We then left there and walked to Castillo de San Marcos. (see previous post on review of this fort) After the fort, we had a nice lunch across from the fort at  Mill Top Tavern. We ate outside and they had live music playing. It was good food, friendly service, and reasonably priced. We then caught the trolley and got off at the stop for the Foundation of Youth. This place is the Spanish version of Jamestown.  We agreed Jamestown was better but this place is worth the admission. Claire liked the white peacocks which we had never seen before. We each tried the water from the fountain of youth. I don’t think it helped me much. Our next stop was the talk and the Discovery Globe. Don’t miss this part because I think the guide was very good and the globe was interesting. After this another guide takes you to the water giving you more information. Along the way you will pass a small Indian Village. My favorite part was the canon firing because they used a magnifying glass to light the cannon which I thought was neat. We walked around the park a little more then headed out. I highly recommend the park because it gives you a totally different historical perspective. We often learn about our English heritage but not the many other countries that explored here. It made me leave thinking what would have happen if the Spaniards  would have kept their claim to America. After we left there, we had time to take the entire loop of the tour. It worked out fine to do it last and I recommend that if you only have a day and have several things on your must do list. I think the trolley did add to the day. We did not have to stress about finding places and parking which I think could have been a problem. It also gave us a good overview of the history of the town. I would like to go back sometime and spend at least two days. I would like to see Fort Matanzas (not far from St. Augustine), the Lightner Museum, Colonial Spanish Quarter Museum, the Pirate Museum and more. I would love to splurge and stay at the Casa Monica Hotel because it would go along with the history of the town.

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