Yes, in warmer weather, there’s the beach, cute restaurants and easy access to family-friendly attractions like the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, which include award-winning tiger and jaguar exhibits — but St. Johns County's main appeal is found in its history. And, it is tailor-made for families to escape from wintertime blahs. The historic district is small, with scores of sites packed into just a few square blocks, and there are many, entertaining quirky sightseeing tours.
Potter’s Wax Museum - the First Established Wax Museum in the United States
Located inside the oldest pharmacy in the country, Potter’s Wax Museum is unlike any attraction of its kind. It houses a very wide variety of figures dating back to the Roman Centurions to the most current athletes, celebrities and political leaders. One section is devoted to horror movies! Often you may run into an artist who will take you to the workstation where these figures “come to life”!
For the brave at heart, but not necessarily the young kiddies, visit after hours with Ghosts & Gravestones St. Augustine for an extra hair-raising experience - Potter’s Wax Chamber of Horrors.
Hours: Daily - 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Location: 31 Orange Street, St Augustine, FL 32084
St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum
Not only is the St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum considered a world class museum, the property is enhanced with a scenic outdoor courtyard and a beautiful deck that overlooks the historic Matanzas River and majestic Castillo de San Marcos, a 17th century Spanish fort located directly across the street on the bayfront.
Spanning about 5,000 square feet with its 1,300 square foot courtyard and 500 square foot deck, the museum is a must see destination. A visitor can choose from several event packages that also include museum access. Our event coordinator will provide all options upon request.
Hours: Daily - 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Location: 12 S. Castillo Dr., St. Augustine, FL 32084
Phone: 877-GO-PLUNDER (877-467-5863)
Ripley’s Believe It or Not ? St. Augustine
The strange, the shocking and the beautiful can be discovered at Ripley's Believe It or Not! on San Marco Avenue. All will delight in the eye-popping exhibits. It is where visitors can pose with the world’s tallest man, get lost in some mind-boggling visual illusions, and even look at a vampire kit! The wide array of weird will be remembered always. This is the best one-stop family fun in St. Augustine!
Curiosity seekers will not be disappointed. Ripley’s Believe or Not is the best spot for family fun on San Marco Avenue! From shrunken heads to some incredible artwork, our odditorium, will leave you amazed. For a truly bizarre but very entertaining experience, explore the mysterious and enjoy the weird!
P.S. Don’t forget
- Ripley’s Red Train Tours - 8:30 AM-5:00 PM
- Ripley’s Ghost Train Tour - 8:00 PM-12:00 AM
- Ripley’s Bayfront Mini Golf - 9:00 AM-8:00 PM
Hours: Daily - 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Location: 19 San Marco Avenue, St. Augustine, FL 32084
St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum
Beginning in 2007, local community members and organizations, known as the Nation’s Oldest Port National Heritage Area Alliance, have met to share the rich maritime landscape, converging waterways and the Atlantic Ocean. These areas have all uniquely shaped the culture and traditions of Northeast Florida’s Nassau, Duval, St. Johns and Flagler counties.
The Heritage Area Alliance’s goal is to celebrate the unique heritage and natural resources of the region and to recognize this area as a special place in America.
The Alliance is dedicated to “connecting residents and visitors with the historic, cultural, natural, recreational and scenic assets of the region through education, preservation and promotion of the area’s distinctive stories, resources and traditions.”
Hours: Daily - 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Planning a Day on St. George Street
Starting at the Old City Gate, take a walk down St. George Street all the way to the Plaza de la Constitucion. Keep in mind, the pedestrian-only zone ends at the plaza, however, you are encouraged to continue south for a few blocks the Lincolnville Historic District. Like the Castillo de San Marcos, the Alligator Farm, and the St. Augustine Lighthouse, St. George Street is a destination must visit in St. Augustine. Plan entire day to fully explore the lively and famous street. Since the street has so much to offer, while walking, check out these historical sites.
Old City Gate
The Old City Gate is located at the very north end of St. George Street. In 1808, the residents of St. Augustine built the coquina pillars and a wall as a defense mechanism. Today, the Old City Gate is a historical siting and a unique photo opportunity.
Oldest Wooden School House
Built over 200 years ago, the Oldest Wooden School House is representative of simpler times. It was built with red cedar and cypress and put together with wooden pegs and handmade nails. In the 1700s it was established as the residency of Juan Genopoly, who under British rule was no longer an indentured servant. In the following years, Genopoly opened his home to children and taught them to read and write English as well as practice arithmetic.
Photo from the Woman’s Exchange of St. Augustine.
The Pena Peck House was home to influential families of Spain, Britain, and America. First, it sheltered Spanish Royal Treasurer Juan Estevan de Pena and his wife Maria Antonia. When the British took rule, it was turned over to governor John Moultrie, followed by his successor Governor Patrick Tonyn. Most recently, three American generations of Pecks resided here. The last of the Peck’s donated the house and asked that it be maintained “as an example of the old antebellum homes of the South.”