10 Fun Facts About St. Augustine

Founded in 1565 and dubbed “the ancient city,” St. Augustine is the oldest city in the country. But that’s one of many remarkable facts making the city such a fascinating place to see and read about.

We cover our 10 top favorite fun facts about St. Augustine to make your trip to the ancient city more rewarding.

St. Augustine was the first Florida Settlement

St. Augustine was a well-earned conquest. But it didn’t come easily- or cleanly. The Spanish attempted multiple expeditions to take some control of Florida and all ended in miserable failure. Hernando de Soto wandered for three years and eventually died of the disease. Another attempted to settle around Pensacola but the men disbursed and left their posts and after two years, the area fell silent of Spanish colonization. St. Augustine, by happenstance, became the first Florida settlement after many failed attempts in the region.

Has Real Pirate Treasures

The St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum is more than a novelty gift shop. It is filled with authenticated pirate loot. It is also home to the only confirmed and real pirate treasure chest in the world. It held the gold and treasure of captain Thomas Tew from the 17th century. Bonus fun fact- Thomas Tew died on the Red Sea after being disemboweled by a cannon shot, with reports saying he held his guts in with his left hand and continued slinging and fighting with his right!

Home of the World Golf Hall of Fame

The World Golf Village is in St. Augustine as well as the World Golf Hall of Fame. Bill Murray owns a restaurant with his brothers here and can be often found hanging out or helping during busy holidays.

Former Ice Plant Now Serves as a Distillery

St. Augustine is home to an ice plant dating back to 1927, bought and restored by around 100 independent investors. The majority of the plant was turned into a distillery that offers free tours, and the “attic” of the plant has become the Ice Plant bar (still home to the original industrial piping).

horse and carriage
Photo from Shutterstock

Home of the Fountain of Youth

St. Augustine is home to the Fountain of Youth. It is more than a name. The site of the current museum is near the vicinity where Juan Ponce de Leon first landed in Florida in 1513. You can say the Fountain of Youth is the “official” and “real” Fountain of Youth of history. There’s not a lot there, but it is an amusing anecdote of history.

Horse and Carriage are Used Downtown

St. Augustine is old in many ways. In the days of the horse-and-carriage, downtown St. Augustine bustled with horse hoof claps. Horses are much smaller than cars, usually, making the narrow streets perfectly suitable. Current motor vehicles may not fit as well. Interestingly, St. Augustine is home to the narrowest street in the United States at just seven feet wide. It is called Treasure Street, and people still use it to drive down!

Home of The Castillo de San Marcos

The Castillo de San Marcos, the famous fort along the Matanzas River, was erected to fend off Native Americans. It has switched hands numerous times, changing control from the Spanish to the British, to the US to the Confederates a total of six times. None of these takeovers were by force!

Dolphin Encounters

Marineland, on the fringes of the city, is home to some incredible dolphin encounters right on the St. Augustine beaches. It was also the location where the majority of the science-fiction monster movie classic The Creature from the Black Lagoon was filmed.

Home of the Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse

St. Augustine is home to the oldest wooden schoolhouse. You can still visit it today right on St. George Street.

St. Augustine is Haunted

St. Augustine is famously haunted. There are cases to this day of entire floors of Flagler College being cleared of students in the middle of the night and dorms remaining vacant for months because no one wants to stay in them! 

See All Beach Resort Rentals

Come stay on the beach in our finest St. Augustine condo rentals. We have St. Augustine rentals right on the water on Anastasia Island. Indulge in the nearby attractions. Explore the beach history. Make every moment count!