Intriguing museums with costumed actors and period décor offer a look at the colonial beginnings of this charming coastal city.
Centuries of colonial history were made within the former walled town of the St. Augustine Historic District. Today, it’s a living museum, with various historic structure, old-world institutions and religious buildings. Visit St. Augustine Historic District to piece together the past in the center of a town that provides scenic views of Anastasia Island.
Step back into a bygone era via the Colonial Quarter Museum. Its historic buildings today contain modern shops and restaurants. Climb to the top of the watchtower and appreciate the excellent views of the region. The First Colony Exhibit teaches visitors about the multicultural and diverse settlers in the New Colony. Find out about daily life for the Spanish settlers and the native Timucua people.
Conjure up a picture of the past with a trip to the district’s historic buildings. The Father O'Reilly House Museum is one of the oldest buildings in the region, having been constructed in 1691. Learn about the Irish priest Father O’Reilly and the Catholic traditions of the house. Rummage through the trinkets and chat with the period actors in The Oldest Store Museum, which is a replica of the city’s general store at the beginning of the 20th century.
In the heart of the district is the Plaza de la Constitución, a green park with a central pavilion where events are often conducted. Gaze up at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine, the city’s oldest Catholic church. Study its wonderful stained-glass windows and light a candle for a loved one in its Spanish interior.
St. Augustine Historic District is just north of the Lincolnville district, in the southern part of St. Augustine. Travel southeast from Jacksonville for about 40 miles (65 kilometers) to arrive here by car in less than an hour.
While you’re in the region, consider visiting surrounding treasures such as the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve, Lake George and the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park.