Explore St. Augustine’s Top Historic Sites

St. Augustine is filled to the brim with fascinating historic sites. If you want to soak in the enthralling history of the famous ancient city on your next vacation getaway, make sure you add the below three spots to your list.

Fountain of Youth

The Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park is a riveting romp through the natural and non-natural features of historic St. Augustine. Once touted as Ponce de Leon’s famous Fountain of Youth in the history books, the current site is a quiet area to sit and reflect. Large Spanish Moss trees coat the park and provide shade for you to enjoy while you look out over the water. It is fascinating to see this area that was colonized hundreds of years ago- 55 years before the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock and over four decades before Jamestown.

The Fountain is 15 acres of gorgeous walkways and interesting little historical tangents. The Fountain of Youth is open 9 a.m. to 6 p. every day. Tickets are $18 for adults, $17 for seniors, and $10 for children 6-12. Children under 5 are free.

You can even bring your pets along for the trip as the park is pet-friendly. The onsite Smoked BBQ restaurant is a great stop if you love good old-fashioned barbeque. Parking is also free, so stay to 5:30 p.m. daily to get the most out of your downtown St. Augustine vacation.

st augustine fountain of youth
Photo from Shutterstock

Oldest Wooden School House

The Oldest Wooden School House Museum and Gardens is a deep and reflective dive into the history of education and colonization in America. Look through the lens of history and see this national treasure, preserved and protected by the Library of Congress through preservation documents and photographs. The schoolhouse is one of many museums in St. Augustine and one of the oldest attractions in the area.

Visitors receive a guided tour of the schoolhouse, the gardens, and the kitchen. Guests are also greeted by the Professor, who will help provide a warm introduction to the museum.

The schoolhouse was used primarily by the Minorcans, very poor islanders from the Mediterranean. They were servants on a plantation in New Smyrna, a few hours south of the city. After some time, a group escaped and found refuge in St. Augustine, then owned by the British. The Minorcans were provided the schoolhouse and helped shape the history of the ancient city. Even after the Spanish overtook St. Augustine, the Minorcans were allowed to continue unbothered. 

Plan Your Visit

Contact us for more information on any of our available St. Augustine vacation rentals or book your stay today!

Fascinatingly, a group of nine Minorcan students gathered together in 1931, 50 years after graduating from the oldest wooden schoolhouse- one of the oldest and finest examples of a class reunion!

Fort Matanzas National Monument

The Fort Matanzas National Monument is steeped in history. This Spanish fort, built in 1742, was established to help secure the Matanzas Inlet from outside threats. Acting as the southern backdoor protection for St. Augustine, this fort played a pivotal role in keeping the underbelly of St. Augustine secure.

Nowadays, the fort sits happily about 15 miles south of St. Augustine on what is now called Rattlesnake Island. Visitors can enter the historical park and take a ferry over to the fort. It is one of the closest attractions to our St. Augustine waterfront rentals.

The ferry pass, as well as admission to the fort and visitor center, are all free. The park and fort are open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily. While visiting, you can also enjoy the numerous walking paths and small museum in the visitor’s center. Call ahead for any special bird watching tours available seasonally as well as re-enactments and living history demonstrations. It is located at 8635 A1A South.