St. Augustine, Florida is the oldest American city, and has been under French, Spanish and British rule. But its the roaming pirates which kids remember most . . . unless, of course, you take them to the walled fortress of Castillo San Marcos for the shooting of the cannons.
1. Climb to the Top of a Lighthouse
The climb isn't too tough, and the views are stupendous, atop the landmark lighthouse at St. Augustine. Take your crew to the top, and you might enjoy a quick peek inside the historic visitor's center, too. It describes the life of a lighthouse keeper.
St. Augustine Lighthouse — Photo courtesy of D.J. Henson
View from the Lighthouse — Photo courtesy of D.J. Henson
2. See Cannons Shot at a Fort
The little boys in your group will love the live reenactments of the life experiences of the colonists who lived at Castillo de San Marcos as well as historical weapons demonstrations. Reenactment at Castillo de San Marcos — Photo courtesy of Joe Henson
3. See pirates!
St. Augustine has a new pirate museum. The St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum brings 300 years of pirating history to life. It's not uncommon to see pirates and wenches walking down the street! Kids also love love love the Pirate Ship Black Raven, which departs from the city marina. Pirate Ship at St Augustine — Photo courtesy of D.J. Henson
4. Go on a Ghost Tour
With its long history, it's no big surprise that someone has done a lot of research on ghost sightings in the city. For some spooky entertainment, and another perspective on St. Augustine, take a late-night walking tour of the city with Ghost Tours of St. Augustine, while they describe the terrible tragedy at the local lighthouse and introduce you to the spirits in the Old Jail.
5. Follow in Ponce de Leon's Footsteps!
The Fountain of Youth is something most kids read about in textbooks. Won't they be surprised when you take them to have a sip of water from its source?! Ponce de Leon's "holy grail" is part of a wonderful park which also includes a Native American Timucua Village.
6. Enjoy the Beach
Drive across the beautiful Bridge of Lions, to St. Augustine Beach, and it's only a short distance out to the beautiful Atlantic Ocean. If your kids haven't spend time by the ocean, treat them to this magnificent, memorable event.
7. Walk through History
St. Augustine has been the property of the Spanish, English, French and Americans, as well as home to Native Americans. From the Oldest Schoolhouse to cobblestone streets and Indian artifacts, your kids will discover one amazing thing after another in this city by the bay. Walk the streets together and watch their history books come alive. Interior of the Oldest Schoolhouse — Photo courtesy of D.J. Henson
8. Take a Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride
St. Augustine carriage drivers are an entertaining lot, and do they ever know their history! Rather than you trying to hold your kids' interest, let a pro handle the educational part of your trip. Having a horse involved is always a good thing, too! Horse-drawn carriage in St Augustine — Photo courtesy of Joe Henson
9. Touch and Feed Dolphins!
When you embark on a Marineland Dolphin Adventure, you'll get up close and personal with these friendly marine mammals. Swim and have your photo taken with a dolphin, or go all out and be a trainer for the day to learn all about these playful animals.
10. Enjoy the Sun All Year Long!
Florida is called the Sunshine State for a reason. Summer, winter, fall or spring, the weather in St. Augustine is perfect for a family vacation.