Tour of St Augustine, Florida: America’s Oldest City |

 Things to do in Florida

Take a peek around St. Augustine. It’s such a treasure! This charming city is simply full of surprises like cool concerts under the trees and breezy restaurants with sparkling lights.

Welcome to the nation’s oldest city. Sweet shops, pizza joints, and sangria bars, oh my! You can’t count the number of places for a romantic toast around here. The Castillo de San Marcos is one of the most unique monuments in our national park system. It’s the oldest masonry fort in the continental U.S. and one of only two in the world built out of an unusual form of limestone called coquina. Just over the stately Bridge of Lions, you’ll find bohemian Anastasia Island with its beautiful coastlines, expansive beaches, and rolling waves.

This castle is seriously awesome. It’s a citadel, which means it’s like a star-shaped formation. This would have been important to protect from pirates like I said. Sir Francis Drake did come here, raiding all the gold ships that came from Mexico and Panama from Peru. This would have been a really important spot pinching off those shipments of gold treasure as they were headed to the Old World. What a view. It’s so cool, honestly. As a historian and a history nerd, pretty incredible. It’s a little bit late for coffee, but, honestly, this could be the cutest coffee shop I’ve ever seen in my life.

A jaunt at the lighthouse steps, all 219 of them, is rewarded with a majestic view of both sea and shore. And the Maritime Museum down below hosts a bevy of cool archaeological finds with enough technology to keep the kids enthralled. Seafood is a staple in most restaurants here, and you can never miss with a scrumptious shrimp dish. Open air spots like Sunset Grille on A1A are favorites of both visitors and locals alike.

This beautiful and diverse area of Northeast Florida is full of personality. Plan a visit when you’re looking for history, culture, and a few days of magic.

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Augustine, Florida, is the oldest, continuously inhabited European settlement in the United States of America. It’s a beautiful place with a crazy story that goes something like this…..

As we all know, in 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean. But on his second voyage, he came with a conquistador named Ponce de Leon. Ponce de Leon became the governor of Puerto Rico. The problem was that position was promised to Columbus’ son. So he set off on a quest for new lands in the name of glory, gold, and god, and supposedly the fountain of youth.

But instead of the fountain of youth, he discovered this land, which he called La Florida and well as the gulf stream, an ocean current that cut two weeks off the return voyage to Spain, making Florida crucial in protecting Spanish gold and treasure from pirates. But St Augustine wasn’t founded until 1565 when the Spanish returned only to find other Europeans, French Protestants known as Heugonots.

When they refused to convert or kneel to the Catholic king of Spain, they were slaughtered, making the blue waters run red, giving the name to the bay in front of St Augustine, La Bahia de las Matanzas, or the Bay of Slaughter. St Augustine became the capital of Spanish Florida for 200 years, during which time it was raided by the feared pirate, Sir Francis Drake, before being seceded to the English, then the Americans, making it the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the United States of America.[/expand] 

 

 

Pirate Museum in St Augustine

 Things to do in Florida

Today we look at the Pirate Museum in St. Augustine and it’s a great place to visit for Pirates young and old. A super cool thing they have here at the Pirate Museum is they give you a treasure map and what you do is you look for the skull and crossbones anywhere in the museum and you could find some hidden treasure like this. Pretty cool, huh? Here they even have an original Jolly Roger Flag. I asked Executive Director Cindy Stavely what the response has been to the museum since it opened. It’s been phenomenal, not only with our visitors the locals absolutely love it we’ve been voted best local attraction for the past couple years and the school groups, we have an unbelievable turn out of the school groups that come to St. Augustine. We did a thousand school groups here last year.

WOW, that’s a lot of kids. Yes, it’s a lot of kids and we love sharing this place with those kids. So I know there’s an interesting story about how Pat got started with Pirates and his fascination for Pirates all together can you tell me that.

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One day he was sitting in the living room of his home outside of  Philadelphia watching the movie Captain Blood. Ok. With his father, with Errol Flynn.  Well, that movie totally fascinated him so from that point on he was fascinated and drawn into the culture and the philosophy of the life of Piracy. So he’s been into this his whole life basically?  His whole life.

And it was about 30 years ago that he bought his first artifact and it’s actually a book, The Buccaneers of America. Antiques Roadshow was recently here in Jacksonville. Right. And they came to the museum to do an appraisal of that book.  And it was appraised for tens of thousands of dollars.

He’s collected over 500 things, documents, weapons, swords, treasures, and then we’ve got things online from places too, not just his things, but the majority of what you see here is his personal collection that he’s been purchasing and collecting for over thirty years.  Now,  another thing that’s pretty cool here too is besides all the artifacts you guys are really well known for the interactive portion that you’ve created. Can you tell me more about that?  Well, you’re going to hear it one second, hold on there. FIRE IN THE HOLE!

That is our interactive cannon firing, we actually have real cannons rigged up electronically so you can fire them. Shhhh, don’t wake him up. I like to let people know that when they’re coming in here what they are going to see is one of the world’s largest collections of authentic Pirate artifacts and I look at the kids and I’m like, you probably don’t know what I mean when I say that I say real things, that real Pirates and sailors used.
hundreds of years ago.. 

As found on Youtube