As pirates say, "Dead men tell no tales." Fortunately, the St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum, located in America's oldest city, is more than happy to tell all the tales the dead men won't. The museum's collection of artifacts and exhibits was assembled by celebrity businessman and adventurer Pat Croce. They include authentic treasure chests, a Jolly Roger flag, and journals from some well-known pirate figures. The exhibits are interactive and high tech. The museum is located directly across the street from the Castillo de San Marcos, the fort built by the Spanish to guard St. Augustine and their other Floridian territories.
Swordfights are a common occurrence at the Pirate Museum — Photo courtesy of St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum
St. Augustine is a wonderful destination where everything tends to be within walking distance. One of the best hotel options in town is the Hilton St. Augustine Historic Bayfront, which is located across the street from the fort and about a block away from the museum. From the Hilton's location, you will probably have no use for your car during your trip.
Myrtle Beach is swarmed by pirates from time to time — Photo courtesy of mcgeetimes
The Sea Watch Resort is a mere handful of blocks from the business offices of Pirates Voyage, which is owned and operated by Dolly Parton, who's no slouch when it comes to providing family friendly entertainment. Of course, when staying in style at a property like Sea Watch, you'll have more than enough to keep you occupied on site. But for a dinner adventure on the water that you're sure to remember forever, consider striking out on the Atlantic with Dolly's pirates.
A Pirate Reef boat makes a big downhill splash at LEGOLAND — Photo courtesy of LEGOLAND
Ahoy matey! Pirate Reef, a brand new ride at LEGOLAND California, is thrilling all ages. Board the boat and sail up a 25 foot ramp. Round a corner and hold on to your shipmate for a hair-raising ride back down. The inevitable tidal wave-like splash soaks riders and bystanders, who are waiting on the bridge to sop the riders further with water canons.
More than 30 pirate-themed LEGO models, built with more than 223,000 LEGOs, are on display around this long-awaited ride. Admission is free with a LEGOLAND California pass or LEGOLAND water park pass.
Pirates at LEGOLAND's Pirate Reef — Photo courtesy of LEGOLAND
Should you need a nearby, family-friendly place to stay, the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa is the only hotel to boast a private entrance into LEGOLAND California! This means hotel guests do not wait in entrance lines and that discounted tickets available at the concierge desk in the lobby. In addition, guests are bound to decompress, after a long day at LEGOLAND, in the the resort's spa, wine bar, or 24-hour a day heated swimming pool. Golf enthusiasts can swing away at the Crossings Golf Course, adjacent to the resort, while shoppers seek bargains at the Carlsbad Premium Outlets. Pets up to 80lbs are welcome guests too, but they'll have to stay behind while you fearlessly tackle Pirate Reef.
The Pieces of Eight, a 65-foot replica pirate ship in Fort Myers Beach — Photo courtesy of Pieces of Eight
Pirates are big business. Strings of movies, cartoons, and games keep interest in swashbuckling high, especially for kids. In Fort Myers Beach, Florida, the best place to get a glimpse of pirate culture is the Pieces of Eight pirate cruise. A trip on this 65-foot replica Spanish galleon takes about 90 minutes. During the cruise, the guests interact with the costumed crew and explore the ship, including the snack bar and gift shop.
Kids get front-row seats on this pirate adventure — Photo courtesy of Pieces of Eight
True pirates weren't worried about accommodations, but 21st century pirates are. The Sanibel Harbor Marriott is located just on the mainland, equidistant between the Pieces of Eight and Sanibel Island, the seashell capital of the world. There are plenty of things for the kids to do at this resort when they aren't raiding ships and plundering booty.