Monday, May 17, 2010

St. Augustine - Trip 1 - Educational - St. Augustine, FL

Almost 2 and a half years ago we went on our first mini vacation here in Florida.  Duane said that St. Augustine was a good place to go and learn about the history of Florida and that there was also a lot of fun things to do and see.  So off we went.  We drove the 2.5 hours up the A1A so that we could see the ocean and the scenery was just beautiful.  We decided to stay at the Howard Johnson's in St. Augustine.  Home to the "Old Senator" one of the oldest trees in Florida.  That day we took the sightseeing tram to figure out all there was to do and see.  It was very informative and I am really glad that we did it, because we found out all the hot spots and also some background information.

The first stop was the Old Jail.  This was great and since we were on the sightseeing tour we were able to get a discount.  We went inside the jail and they pretended we were criminals back in the olden days.  The kids, especially Cody, got a big kick out of it.  We had to be good to get our pass back to freedom. Outside of the jail they had a lot of pic moments to capture the feeling of the jail.

Our next spot was the Ponce DeLeon's Fountain of Youth.  We were allowed to walk around the grounds a lot and then went to the area that they have set up as the actual fountain that Ponce deLeon considered to be the fountain of youth.  Each person gets to go up and have a drink from the fountain.

The third stop was at the Shrine of the Lady, which once served as a mission and now was a church for the community.  They had a rather large cross that you could walk to as well as many famous saint statues.  The grounds were extremely pretty and we had a nice relaxing time walking through them.

Back on the train, we were off to the downtown area of St. Augustine.  This area you can get off the tram and really walk around exploring the many streets and areas of historial St. Augustine.  One of our stops was the first school house.  This is a small tour throught the "first school house" in Florida.  It is cute and not expensive if you use the coupon from one of the numerous coupon books that you can find around the area.

After exploring the many restaurants, shops and things to do we decided to head across the street and check out Fort Mantanzas.  We paid a small amount to enter and then got to explore the fort and the grounds.  It was really neat to be able to walk around and see how they lived back in the day and how well the fort itself has been preserved throught the years.

Upon walking around we found something that was definitely interesting.  It was palm tree that had grown right up the trunk of another tree.  The legend is that a palm nut fell down a small home of the other tree and grew out of love.  They then named this the love tree.  The legend is that if you kiss under this tree you will be together forever.

There are many other things to do and see around the old historic area of St. Augustine.  I would definetly suggest eating lunch at the old Spanish Bakery.  It is inexpensive, you have to take cash, and  delicious.  They have been cooking the same way since the 1700s.  It is not much to look at, but boy will you walk away full and satisfied.

Want to see more of St. Augustine - take a look at the blog St. Augustine Trip 2.  We went back in the summer and had fun with scooters.

1 comment:

  1. Hi
    My name is Amy and I'm with Dwellable.
    I was looking for blogs about St. Augustine to share on our site and I came across your post...If you're open to it, shoot me an email at amy(at)dwellable(dot)com.
    Hope to hear from you soon!