Fountain of Youth Attraction
St. Augustine, Florida, USA
- Fountain of Youth: Just in case it's true, have a drink in the coquina Spring House, protective home of the aquifer reputedly discovered by Juan Ponce de Leon in 1513.
- Mission Nombre de Dios (name of God): Explore this accurate and detailed reconstruction of the oldest church in the country, dating all the way back to 1587.
- Planetarium: Learn how early Spanish and Portuguese explorers navigated from the night sky using only the astrolabe, quadrant, measurements, and expertise.
- Soloy: Explore a recreated village and learn the history and survival skills of the area's native Timucua Indians, who thrived in this part of Florida for more than 4,000 years.
- Founders' Riverwalk: This 600-foot dock over sandbars and marshes provides spectacular views of Matanzas Bay, the St. Augustine inlet, and the park grounds.
About this St. Augustine, Florida tour
You may (or may not) have found the aquifer spring that Ponce de Leon himself may or may not have drunk from when he landed here in 1513. But you've definitely found America's first settlement. It was Spanish admiral and explorer Pedro Menendez de Aviles who officially launched St. Augustine here in 1565, 55 years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock and 42 years before Jamestown.
The village Menendez founded in La Florida was the first successful European settlement on the continent, and it remained the most significant city in the future Sunshine State for three centuries.
As you explore the grounds of this 15-acre archeological park (they've been excavating here for eight decades), you'll hear a 16th-century cannon firing, and trace the routes of early Spanish explorers on an illuminated globe that stands 30 feet high. You'll see Native American artifacts older than the Great Pyramids, and explore a village that recreates the ways of the Timucuan tribe.
And you'll share the grounds with a flock of about 30 strutting (and vocal) peacocks, including rare white ones. You may even see peacock chicks getting life lessons from their doting mother. The park has been owned by the same family since 1927, and kids always feel at home here.
Onward Christian soldiers
Establishing a settlement in La Florida was only part of the task assigned Pedro Menendez de Aviles, St. Augustine's founder. Spain's King Philip II had also directed him to clear hated French Protestants from Fort Caroline (now Jacksonville). The Huguenots tried to attack first by sea, but a storm ended that plan; Menendez then marched his men 40 miles to the fort and killed nearly every Frenchman there. The battle is recalled in the name of St. Augustine's bay: Matanzas, Spanish for massacre.
Please make your way to 11 Magnolia Ave, St. Augustine, Florida 32084.
Price includes all exhibits.
Closed Christmas Day.
To fully participate may require leisurely walking over primarily even surfaces. There may be a limited number of steps and some standing for extended periods of time. Venue is wheelchair accessible.
Family Friendly, Tickets, Wilderness/Wildlife
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated mild. To participate fully, you may be required to walk over primarily even surfaces at a leisurely pace. You may encounter a limited number of steps, cobblestones, or uneven surfaces, and you may have to stand for extended periods of time.
Suitable for all ages. Children under 6 years of age participate free of charge.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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