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Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest masonry fort in North America and a unique park for kids to explore.

Historic St. Augustine Attractions for Families

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St. Augustine, Florida is a charming historic city in Northeast Florida located south of Jacksonville. It is known as the oldest continuously occupied city in the United States and was founded before other well-known towns such as Jamestown, Virginia and Plymouth, Massachusetts. With such a distinction, there are many interesting tours available. Here are my recommended historic St. Augustine attractions for kids.

Castillo de San Marcos

Built in the late 1600s, Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest masonry fort in North America. As part of the National Park Service, you can tour the the fortress, watch an hourly video detailing the history, view demonstrations including cannon demonstrations on the weekends, and participate in the Junior Ranger Program. It is a unique example of Spanish influence in the United States, and I’d allow between one and two hours to explore the fort.

A working cannon at Castillo de San Marcos

The kids found it interesting to see a working cannon at Castillo de San Marcos.

Oldest Wooden School House

The Oldest Wooden School House is on a cobblestone street near the Old City Gates. It was built and served as a school starting in the early 1700s. When you visit, you will see the one-room school house and you can also walk through the gardens and the kitchen. It does not take very long to tour, but most kids find it fascinating to see what school was like for children in other time periods.

The oldest wooden school house in the U.S. is in historic St. Augustine.

The oldest wooden school house in the U.S. is in historic St. Augustine.

Authentic Old Jail

The Old Jail was built in 1891 and was used until 1953. Now it houses The Old Jail Museum which features restored jail cells and sheriff’s living area. You may walk by to take a look or take pictures at anytime, but to see inside you must be part of a guided tour.

Flagler College

Flagler College, a private liberal arts college in the heart of downtown St. Augustine, was once the Ponce De Leon Hall which was a luxury hotel built in the late 1880s. Used as a college since 1968, the historic hotel buildings now serve as dorm rooms and the dining hall. The interior designer for the original hotel was Louis Comfort Tiffany, and now students in the dining hall and visitors walking through can enjoy the world’s largest collection of Tiffany glass windows still in its original location!

Ponce De Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park

While I’m not sure you will leave with any secrets for continuing youth, the Fountain of Youth park does provide a historical and entertaining attraction for kids. It is located on the original site of the town of St. Augustine and now includes a variety of activities including a reconstructed Timucuan Indian Village, the site of the first Mission of Nombre de Dios built by Franciscan friars, and a navigator’s planetarium. And yes, you can drink water from the spring discovered by Ponce de Leon!

For a small town, St. Augustine has a number of interesting sites, but for a sense of history make sure to check out these recommendations. You can see all of them in a day and then relax that night at nearby Hilton St. Augustine Historic Bayfront Hotel.

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Susan is an enthusiastic traveler and mom to a 11 year-old boy and eight year-old girl. Originally from North Carolina, Susan is a Southerner at heart, although…

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