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MARI SUGGS 

Where to Find History in Florida

I love history, but sometimes I feel that living in Florida means I’m deprived of rich history, like those that reside in any one of our first thirteen colonies. Knowing this is not true, that there is plenty of history in Florida, I decided to immerse myself in some Florida history, beginning with the oldest city in the state, St. Augustine Florida.

1. Castillo anyone?

Castillo De San Marcos is a National Monument located in downtown St. Augustine which is the oldest city in the Nation. The Castillo is the only 17th century military construction in existence today, with the oldest masonry fortress in the United States. You can explore the Castillo on your own, going from one room to another that once housed soldiers and prisoners, then, onto the large interior courtyard and gun deck. Perhaps one of my favorite moments of the tour was when you make your way atop the Castillo, and with full view of the city the rangers lead you on a cannon firing exhibition, instantly you are transported back to the 17th century. The fee is $10 for adults (16 and over) and is good for 7 consecutive days. Kids under 15 are free (with an adult). However, I’ve gone twice and both times have gotten in free because I’ve gone on a national holiday, like Memorial Day!

2. Watchtower

The St. Augustine Lighthouse is located at the north end of Anastasia Island and it’s a must see landmark in all of Florida. Built in 1874, The Lighthouse contains 219 steps and rises 165 feet above sea level. According to some archival records, this lighthouse was placed on the site of another watchtower that was built in the 16th century. Fun fact: the site has a history of paranormal activity which you can learn more about if you take the “Dark of the Moon” tour,   which is put on by St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum. Like always, you can take a guided tour to learn more about the attraction or you can explore it on your own, as I did. General admission for adults is $12.95 and $10.95 for children under 12.

3. Fountain of Youth

Located at 11 Magnolia Ave., in St. Augustine, FL, Ponce de Leon's Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park is the oldest attraction in Florida, with its beginnings dating back to 1565. Guests can enjoy seeing the stars from the park’s planetarium, watch cannon firings, drink from the legendary waters and see if your desire to become, or stay youthful is granted or you can take a stroll through the waterfront outdoor park.  General admission is $15.00 for adults and $9.00 of children 6-12 years old.

There is plenty more history in Florida which I plan to explore. With each visit, I will share my findings with you. If you know of a "must see" historic landmark in Florida, leave a comment so we can all benefit from your travel experiences.

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Till Next Time, Travel Light!

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