Few American attractions take you right back to the beginning of European settlement. When explorers first landed in the country, Fort Menendez became one of their first creations. Now, you can see early European settlement in St. Augustine in all its glory.
The Old Florida Museum hosts a recreated Fort Menendez. Examine the tools, hear the tales, and see firsthand how hard living in the 16th century must have been on your next vacation to the ancient city.
What to Expect
The museum is separated into sections. As you venture from one post to the next, informative guides will tell you stories, share artifacts, and explain how people managed daily life. Visitors will have the opportunity to actually handle and hold these tools. It always looks easy. But, at Fort Menendez, you can actually try to make a candle (an absolute necessity in those days) or prepare grain. The museum will certainly be a stark contrast to modern, amenity-equipped St. Augustine vacation condo rentals.
In the courtyard area, you will come across a handful of games. These are not just for display. Challenge a family member and play some authentic Native American games used as a casual past time.
In the trading area, the guide will walk you through a bargain with the local Native Americans. How did the colonists get what they need and how was their relationship with the Native Americans in St. Augustine? You can walk through a typical trade. Will you end up getting the short end of the deal?
Another interesting aspect to consider is the challenge of creating the objects and tools used. One example is a canoe. Making a canoe took months for some. Colonists would delicately scrape a concave hole in the thick wood trunk, smoothing it over and over until it created something that could effectively float and hold passengers.
You will have the chance to see how hard this must have been!
The Pioneer Program
The Pioneer Program expands these lessons. These activities will take a group through a lot of local practices of the time. Kids and adults alike can write with a quill, prepare corn, and use a pitcher pump to retrieve water.
These tasks really take the hands-on element to another level. The museum believes in interaction. At every opportunity, visitors can see as well as experience. When the tour is complete, visitors can check out the Old Florida Store. Memorabilia, novelty items, and other odds and ends can be purchased. You can also take advantage of the admission discount. Kids can also obtain some gold coins along the trip for interacting with activities and getting questions right. These can be turned in for some special treats.
See a life once lived. Witness an authentic adventure through a classic fort, adorned with the right architecture at the right time and experienced through many riveting and exciting stories.
Fort Menendez is located at 257 San Marco Ave., St. Augustine, FL. Adult admission costs $11 and children aged 3 to 18 are $8. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Tours are always available. Guides will keep you informed as you venture from one post to the next.
Sure, you can spend your entire vacation experience grinding corn like the colonists or creating a canoe. Find more possibilities by staying at one of our St. Augustine vacation condo rentals. See what all the historic attractions have to offer while calling St. Augustine your temporary home.
The Ocean Gallery
You may spend your days combing cotton, digging out a canoe, or learning how to make rope at Fort Menendez in St. Augustine, Florida, but your nights can be spent in luxury and comfort when you book one of our elegant and classy Ocean Gallery vacation homes. Visit the past but stay firmly entrenched in the here and now on your unforgettable St. Augustine vacation!
St. Augustine has many other incredible sights to see, including: