St. Augustine, Florida is full of fun and unique attractions, but one of the most unique things to do is visit the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park.
Did you know that St. Augustine holds the title of being the oldest city in the country? It’s a place rich with history, having been discovered in 1513 by Juan Ponce de Leon during his quest for the legendary Fountain of Youth.
The city itself was established in 1565 by Pedro Menendez de Aviles, long before the Pilgrims even set foot on Plymouth Rock. If you visit the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park, you’ll be standing on the very grounds where the original St. Augustine settlement was located.
Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park
Come explore the historic Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park! Since 1868, this park has been an exciting destination for visitors from all over. Discover the rich history of the area, including fascinating insights into the Timucua Native Americans who once called it home.
Archaeologists have uncovered remarkable findings on the park’s 15-acre property, such as burial grounds, original Spanish structures, and countless artifacts. These discoveries highlight the park’s significance as both an educational and entertaining attraction in St. Augustine.
As you wander through the 15-acre park, you’ll also encounter its well-maintained beauty, complete with delightful surprises like peacocks. Among the many exhibits, don’t miss The Spring House, where you can learn about Ponce de Leon, the Timucua, and even see the original spring mentioned in a 17th-century Spanish land grant.
You can grab a small cup and drink from the spring, which comes directly from the Florida aquifer and contains many minerals. We took a sip and you could definitely taste the minerals, but we weren’t going to miss a chance to drink from the Fountain of Youth!
Hungry? We’ve got the best St. Augustine restaurants for you to try in this post.
Firing of the Cannon
Experience the excitement of the Cannon Firing exhibit at the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park! Witness a weapons demonstration every hour, complete with a replica cannon, arquebus gun, and crossbow. Learn about the historical significance of these weapons and feel the exhilaration of the booming cannon.
For breathtaking views, take a leisurely stroll down Founders’ Riverwalk. This 600-foot walkway offers panoramic views in all directions, allowing you to see for miles. Imagine what Ponce de Leon saw as he approached the shore all those years ago. It’s truly a sight to behold.
Read about St. Augustine’s top attractions here: Chocolate and Wine Tasting!
Step back in time at the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park and immerse yourself in the impressive history of St. Augustine. The park is filled with people dressed in period costumes, creating an authentic experience.
Discover the fascinating stories and rich heritage of this iconic destination.
Additional Information for Visiting the Fountain of Youth
- You can purchase tickets online, or at the park.
- Parking is free.
- The park is dog friendly.
- You can bring in your own food, or eat at the Smoked Southern BBQ, where all food is locally sourced.
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This article was originally written/published by Vicky Sosa of Buddy The Traveling Monkey in 2019. It has been partially updated by staff in 2023.
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