Museums and Historical Sites

St. Augustine Museums and Historical Sites

St. Augustine is not only our nation’s oldest city; it is one of the most culturally diverse and historically well-preserved cities in the country. There are numerous museums and historical sites to experience in St. Augustine throughout its 400 year history. Our historic St. Augustine Bed and Breakfast was built at the turn of the century during the time of Henry Flagler and the establishment of St. Augustine as a world-class luxury destination. Old Powder House Inn will take you back to this time through our period furniture and emphasis on exemplary service and hospitality. We are located just a block from St. George Street and within walking distance of numerous historical sites like the Castillo de San Marcos fort and the Lightner Museum. Stay with us on your next Vacation in St Augustine FL and enjoy the numerous other St. Augustine Activities like St Augustine Golf, St Augustine Outlets and fine St. Augustine Restaurants. Contact us to book your Vacation in St Augustine FL today!

Lightner Museum

the lightner museumKnown as the “Smithsonian of the South”, the Lightner Museum celebrates the rich and luxurious history of St. Augustine’s Gilded Age during the 1800s and 1900s. The Lightner Museum beautifully articulates the grace and culture of this time period through three floors of art, costumes, furnishings, exhibits, mechanical musical instruments and other artifacts from 19th century St. Augustine life. The collections include exquisite examples of cut glass, Victorian art glass and even some fine work by Louis Comfort Tiffany. The museum is located in the former Hotel Alcazar, built in 1887 by railroad pioneer Henry Flagler. Flagler built both the Alcazar and the Ponce de Leon Hotel to accommodate his grand vision of St. Augustine as a luxurious destination for the rich and famous. Years later, the Alcazar Hotel closed and Chicago publisher, Otto C. Lightner purchased the building to display his extensive Victorian collection. In 1946 the Lightner Museum opened and has since been deeded to the city of St. Augustine. Guests of the museum will enjoy the opulent Spanish Renaissance style of the hotel and appreciate Henry Flagler’s attention to detail and design in his vision for this ornate structure. Be sure to visit the museum store for books, jewelry, ornaments, note cards, gifts and reproduction antiques.

Lightner Museum
75 King Street
City Hall Complex on King Street
Saint Augustine, FL 32084

The Florida Heritage Museum

For a historical education and experience spanning 400 years, visit the Florida Heritage Museum. The combination of historical displays and private collections take visitors from the colonial Spanish rule of St Augustine through the English, French and eventual American ownership of St. Augustine. View treasures from a sunken Spanish treasure ship and learn about the pirate tirades that plagued the Spanish for a number of years. The Florida Heritage Museum also includes a Timucan Indian Village and Florida Cracker trading post. The museum is housed in the Old St Augustine Jail built by Henry Flagler during St. Augustine’s Golden Era. Tour the sheriff’s quarters and prisoner’s cells right alongside of the exhibits explaining Flagler’s railroad success; this museum covers everything from Spanish galleons to pirate ships and Native American Indian settlements. Don’t miss out on this incredible experience. Our St. Augustine Bed and Breakfast is just one mile from The Florida Heritage Museum.

Florida Heritage Museum
167 San Marco Avenue
Saint Augustine, FL 32084

St. Augustine Lighthouse

st. augustine lighthouseThe St. Augustine Lighthouse is one of the most famous St Augustine Attractions due to its beauty, significance, history and paranormal activity. Situated on the northern end of Anastasia Island, the St. Augustine Lighthouse was constructed further inland in 1874 because the original lighthouse was being taken over by the encroaching sea. The original St. Augustine Lighthouse finally crashed into the ocean in 1880. Visitors to the lighthouse will enjoy the panoramic views at the top of the tower and the numerous stories and historical information attached to the St Augustine Lighthouse. Perhaps one of the most intriguing aspects of the lighthouse is the Hauntings of the St. Augustine Lighthouse. Over the years, workers and visitors have heard voices and seen shadows, particularly the shadows of two little girls. The SciFi Channel show Ghost Hunters came to the St. Augustine Lighthouse to examine the paranormal activity and the alleged sightings of the two girls, daughters of Hezekiah Pittee, who served as the superintendent of the Lighthouse Construction during the 1870s. Whether you are interested in the ghost legends or not, tours of the St. Augustine Lighthouse are a highlight for visitors to St. Augustine. Tours are offered each day and visitors can then browse the museum, gift shop and former light keepers’ living quarters on the property. If you are interested in Ghost Tours In St. Augustine, the St. Augustine Lighthouse museum offers Dark Side of the Moon tours that delve into the darker history of the lighthouse.

St. Augustine Lighthouse
81 Lighthouse Avenue
St. Augustine, FL 32080

St Augustine Forts

To protect Spain’s strategic and monetary interests in Florida, the Spaniards constructed forts to defend the coastal city. After nine forts made of wood and palmetto were burned by pirates and other enemies of Spain, Queen Maria of Spain commissioned the construction of a fort made of more durable materials.

p_musiumThe Spaniards nearly struck gold when they discovered the strength of coquina, a hard rock-like material made of broken shells. It was used to build the Castillo de San Marcos Fort and was very easy for the Spanish to harvest from the sites in St. Augustine, including the area now home to the St. Augustine Amphitheatre. Wet and pliable when first taken from the quarries, the coquina quickly hardens into a very strong material. Coquina is so strong that it still stands the test of time today at the Castillo de San Marcos Fort. It is due in large part to this fort, built in a masonry star style, that St. Augustine was never conquered. Visitors to Castillo de San Marcos will find 20.5 acres of National Historic Monument land and a reconstructed section of the walled defense line as it would have appeared in 1695.

Nearby Fort Matanzas was built about 45 years after the Castillo from 1740 to 1742. The fort was built to guard the southern river approach to St. Augustine. Because of Fort Mantanzas National Monument’s location as a stalwart defense fort, visitors must take a ferry over to the island fort. Over 100 acres comprise this national monument and there are numerous historical exhibits, guided tours, re-enactors and nature trails to enjoy during your visit. This St. Augustine Attraction is open every day except Christmas with ferries leaving the visitor center dock every hour and a half past the hours of 9:30am to 4:30pm. The ferry tour lasts approximately 45-50 minutes, but you may want to allot more time to enjoy this historic monument.

Fort Matanzas
8635 A1A South
St Augustine, FL 32080

Castillo de San Marcos
1 South Castillo Drive
St Augustine, FL 32084