St. Augustine, Florida is home to Juan Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park, the place once thought to be the famous sought-after fountain of youth. This 15-acre park offers 500 years of historic displays and exhibits and is one to not miss. History buffs will love all the accurate displays and interactive exhibits. Upon arrival, guests were offered a drink from the legendary fountain of youth. The water is not very tasty, but am I looking younger yet?
Historic and Family Friendly Fountain of Youth
It was on this site in 1565 that explorer Pedro Mendendez established the first successful European colony in the US. Today, the Fountain of Youth features visits to a native Indian village and a chance to see stars while learning early navigational methods in the Navigator’s Planetarium. The Nautical Traditions Exhibit features knot-tying and other interesting demos. Colorful and proud exotic peacocks roam the grounds amidst gorgeous oak, cedar, and magnolia trees; wherever you look in the park offers the perfect scenery. A wedding was taking place in the park’s beautiful courtyard and the venue was romantic.
The waterfront of Matanzas Bay (translates to Slaughter Bay) was a great place for photo ops. The 16th century Watchtower was located in that general vicinity. The area where the cannons were fired and the period weapons demonstrated was our favorite part of the park. Matanzas Bay, only a short distance away, was the site that the cannons were fired into. Still, their boom could literally be felt through our entire body. They were so loud! The historically dressed guides (stellar costumes) were helpful and friendly. They described the scene vividly and I felt like I was back in the day.We happened upon an archeological dig while we were there which was most interesting. I later read about their find in the Florida newspaper.
The Fountain of Youth is located in the historic downtown and offered free parking. The hours were 9AM-5PM daily. There is an on-site Five Flags Cafe that had a wide variety of foods and a gift shop. Fountain of Youth is pet-friendly, a big thumbs up in my book!