Fountain of Youth

Fountain of Youth St Augustine

A 2 story globe. 15 waterfront acres. 30 peacocks. 500 years of documented history. 600 foot observation dock. St. Augustine's Fountain of Youth Park is a surprisingly refreshing stop if you know what you're diving in to! Our family is enjoying "staycationing" in our hometown this summer. Perks come with staycations... like knowing the summer weather patterns! We visited the Fountain of Youth one afternoon and timed it so we'd spend the rainy part of the afternoon in the 2 inside attractions. The first is the Navigator's Planetarium where a peacock tried to … [Read more...]

First Colony Exhibit in Government House

St Augustine First Colony

St. Augustine's First Colony Exhibit in the Government House is a rich experience museum that tells the story of St. Augustine's early years.  Our family explored the exhibit a few weeks ago- here are some favorite memories. We walked from lunch at Taberna del Caballo on St. George Street to the Government House Museum.  I walked a few steps behind because I never want to forget this image of Daddy and his little girls: Our visit to the First Colony Exhibit was my first time inside the gorgeous Government House building.  You'll find the cleanest public restrooms … [Read more...]

DOW Museum of Historic Homes

St Augustine History dow

** update: The Dow Museum has, unfortunately, closed. ** I thought I'd just run in to the Dow Museum of Historic Homes to gather info for a piece I was writing for Compass Magazine.  Instead, I was drawn into a magical collection of old homes and an afternoon of fun discovery with my children! The Dow Museum is a collection of 9 historic homes dating from 1790 to 1910.  Kenneth Dow purchased and donated these homes- thus the name of the museum.  I'm not sure what I expected {besides boring}, but via my camera lens, I enjoyed this time-worn history collage through my … [Read more...]

Picasso for Kids – 5 tips to enjoy fine art as a family

Picasso Exhibit St Augustine

Do a local staycation this summer! Lots more fun & affordable ideas here: 31 Days of Summer in St Augustine St. Augustine's Picasso exhibit is here through the summer! And the city of St. Augustine wants every child to have a chance to encounter fine art.  They're offering discounted admission to families and free admission for St. Johns County students!  I took my six children last week - read on below for 5 tips to enjoy fine art as a family this summer!! What: Picasso Art & Arena Where: St. Augustine Visitor Center When: extended through August 11, 2013 9:00 … [Read more...]

St. Augustine’s Old School Museum

Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse in USA

You knew, when I said "St. Augustine's Old School Museum" in the title of this blog, that we're talking about an old school building- not old school as in Naughty by Nature's "Hip Hop Hurray Heeeyyy, hoooo, heeeyyy, hoooo, hip hop hurray, hoooo, haaaaay, hoooo..." or something even more Old School like... well, I don't know like what because I'm not that old.  {Help me out, Karl?!} Anyways, this post is about the Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse Museum in St. Augustine - a St. Augustine attraction for decades and a nice place to prop up your feet for a bit in the midst of busy … [Read more...]

Colonial Quarter St. Augustine!

Colonial Quarter St Augustine Blacksmith

If you've been downtown anytime over the past few years, you've heard sounds from the Colonial Quarter. Hammering continues as the boatwright works on the boat, staccato clangs hint at hot fires in the forge, and the occasional gunshot explodes behind the wall. You've heard it but many tourists never see the Colonial Quarter. Although this two-acre attraction is tucked between two busy tourist corridors, it blends seamlessly into historic St. Augustine... because it is historic St. Augustine. Walk with me through a few highlights of St. Augustine's Colonial … [Read more...]

St. Augustine Tourist Traps

Lock your kids in jail St Augustine

When our family road tripped to Ohio, we stopped in Chattanooga, TN along the way.  We decided against "wasting" our time & money at dated tourist trap Rock City and opted instead for the aquarium and a train ride.  We regretted it!!  Sometimes the best way to experience a city is via their kitschy, dated, or outright tacky tourist traps.   So I polled facebook {you should be my facebook friend- click here} and twitter {I'm @SimplyStAug} to learn all about St. Augustine Tourist Traps... the good, the bad & the uuuuugly. Without further ado, may I … [Read more...]

Spanish Military Hospital Museum

Spanish-Military-Hospital-St-Augustine

Our Spanish Military Hospital Museum guided tour started with a trip to the morgue.  Did you know a couple of hundred years ago when someone was dying, the hospital would ring a bell to summon family on the alert at home?  That's where the saying, "for whom the bell tolls" comes from!  True story!  I learned a lot at this St. Augustine Museum... like this stop isn't for people with weak stomachs! Back to the morgue- that's it below- it wasn't just for dead people.  No, it wasn't a cold storage place but a quiet, private room for people to visit with their beloved soldier … [Read more...]