If you’re planning a getaway to St. Augustine, FL, you won’t have any trouble finding an endless amount of activities to occupy your time. Savory dining options, beautiful beaches, lavish wineries, one-of-a-kind boutiques, exciting outdoor adventures, and much more await your arrival. But perhaps, one of the most intriguing things about a trip to this coastal city is the history that’s lurking around every corner. You don’t have to be a bona fide history buff to appreciate all the significant landmarks and attractions that have been preserved in what is the nation’s oldest city. St. Augustine’s historic district, which is lined with charming cobblestone streets, is the perfect gateway to the following top historic sites you won’t want to miss during your visit.
The Lightner Museum has occupied space in one of the city’s old hotels since 1948. What was once the Alcazar Hotel and one of the world’s first models of a building made from poured concrete is now a popular museum that has been named on the National Register of Historic Places. It houses an impressive collection of 19th century art, an Egyptian mummy, sculptures, Tiffany glass, and many other highlights.
Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse
St. Augustine is proud to be home to the oldest wooden schoolhouse in the country. Built out of red cedar and cypress wood, the structure began being utilized as an educational establishment in the early 18th century and eventually also became the first school to teach boys and girls together in a co-ed environment. Visitors may take a tour of the schoolhouse and grounds to get a good feel for the classroom atmosphere of that time.
Castillo de San Marcos
The Castillo de San Marcos National Monument is an impressive sight to behold. The stone fort, with its original walls, stands tall at the city’s waterfront where it was erected more than 340 years ago to serve as protection against Spanish enemies. As the oldest masonry fort in the United States, no trip to St. Augustine is complete without adding time to stop and explore its unique design and craftsmanship to the itinerary.
A quick trip on the ferry to Anastasia Island will take visitors to Fort Matanzas National Monument. Construction was completed in 1742 by the Spanish, who used the masonry watchtower to keep an eye out for invading British forces. Oftentimes, guests will get to see reenactments and demonstrations that highlight the fort’s centuries-old history.
St. Augustine Lighthouse
If history combined with a picturesque view sounds appealing, the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum is the place to find both. It was built in 1874, but due to severe damage, had to be restored and was then opened to the public in 1988. Guests are welcome to climb the lighthouse’s 219 steps to the top for a magnificent scene that includes the Atlantic Ocean and the city. The museum showcases various exhibits dedicated to telling the stories of the historic lighthouse and the town’s port.
With so much ground to cover, you’ll need plenty of time in St. Augustine to experience all that it has to offer.