“What Ponce de Leon was looking for”
Fascinating, informative, entertaining tour of Ponce de Leon's Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park, the original site of the Nation's oldest city. Located in the area first explored by Juan Ponce de Leon in 1513 and settled by Pedro Menendez de Aviles in 1565, historic St. Augustine is the oldest successful European settlement in the United States. Colonial America started right HERE, 55 years before the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock, and 42 years before Jamestown! With a long, rich history spanning nearly 500 years, the Fountain of Youth Park will delight and amaze you. The actual Fountain of Youth, peacocks, history, cannons, pet friendly, lots of fun!
Really great park! Parking is free and the grounds are dog friendly. I went in the morning right after they opened so it wasn't too hot and the school groups hadn't arrived. I recommend going around then, the parking lot is expansive, but it's easier to navigate when empty. The cannon firing was especially cool, but the first firing wasn't until 11am (park opens at 9). But that meant there was plenty of time to lazily stroll around the different exhibits and end with the cannon. The peacocks that roam around are definitely a highlight!
I went in August 2014 but it was the first stop of the morning for us so it didn't get too hot until we had been there an hour. You can actually drink from the "Fountain of Youth" and it doesn't taste too bad. It's not fancy but it goes with the rest of the 1500's theme. There are lots of exhibits, canon demonstrations, musket firing, interactive exhibits, shows, a staff dressed in period outfits, replicas and a cute gift shop. It's kind of pricey but to a history buff like myself, it was worth it. You can find discounted tickets online or in the brochures around town so that can help with the price.
Just a warning, if you're visiting in the summer it can get pretty damn hot. Be aware that the fountain isn't as grandiose as you might think, and it's behind bars. Aside from that, it's got some great displays and exhibits. Overall, it's a really nice family attraction. But it's a great stop on a road trip to or from Miami!
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Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park
- Sun - Sat: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
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