From the landing of Ponce de Leon in 1565 to present day, the oldest city is steeped in history. And while that history will intrigue you, it’s the city’s charm that will steal your heart. Breathtaking architecture spanning from Spanish Colonial Renaissance to the Gilded Age instantly transports you back in time. From air, land and sea, there are many ways to fully immerse yourself in the allure of St. Augustine, Florida’s nostalgic past. These experiences will make you feel that you have stepped into a time machine and have been transported into different eras of the city.
St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum
The St. Augustine Lighthouse looks out over the entire city and Atlantic Ocean in a 360-degree fashion. The lighthouse is approximately 165 feet tall with 219 steps of spiral staircase to the top. If that sounds like a lot of steps, there are eight rest areas where you can pause as you climb to the top. While en route, you can see the old lighthouse keeper’s quarters as well as hold the heavy bucket used for oil that was carried to the top. Once having your fill of the scenery, there is a Maritime Museum where you can dive deeper into the sea culture and the history of the lighthouse. The house and museum are open from 9am to 6pm every day and while you’re on the island, explore some of the beautiful beaches in St. Augustine, Florida.
The Lightner Museum: Vintage Bicycle Exhibit
In 1890, Hotel Alcazar (present day Lightner Museum) offered its own bicycle academy where guests learned how to ride through town. To honor that history, the museum has a special exhibit running through September, Ride On! Historic Bicycles from the Keith Pariani Collection. This private collection showcases late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century bicycles. The collection will be available from the months of February to September, so make sure to see it while visiting the oldest city!
Traveling back to the Roaring 20’s did not seem possible until Pastime Tours. Experience St. Augustine, Florida during the Golden Age, a unique tour of St. Augustine that you will remember for years to come. Tour guides dress in classic 1920’s style clothing as well as play music from the era. For smaller groups, the company seats guests in an authentic Model “T” car that holds three people. Their electric replica Model “T” car holds up to four passengers. Finally, the model Woody is an electric car that seats six people. These cars can be used for weddings, events and photoshoots. Can you hear the ‘Ahooga’ horn and jazz playing as you travel the brick roads of historical downtown?
Explore St. Augustine, Florida through the waterways of town. Schooner Freedom, a 76-foot steel sailboat, is the only schooner vessel between Charleston, South Carolina and the Florida Keys. This ship encapsulates a unique naval history as well as honoring privateers from the 1800s. Schooner Freedom is a family-run business, where the captain and his children all share a deep passion for the ocean. While relaxing on the sailboat, learn about the enchanting city with a drink in hand. The company offers a variety of tours. Enjoy an afternoon or evening sail while admiring the views at different hours of the day. If you would like to see St. Augustine lit up by the moonlight, choose the Full Moon Sail. If you have a passion for maritime and ecology, you cannot miss the Fins and Freedom Sail, where local marine biologists from Marineland educate you on the local marine and ecosystems of the city.
Whichever incredibly unique experience you choose to explore St. Augustine, Florida, rest your head at The Local – St. Augustine! Located on Anastasia Island, conveniently between downtown and St. Augustine Beach, our newly-renovated rooms and comfortable amenities are waiting to greet you after a busy day.