According to the legend, the fountain of youth is said to restore the youth of anyone who drinks or bathes in it. Do you believe it?
Believe in the legend or not, visiting the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park in St. Augustine, Florida is a fun way to experience “Old Florida.”
Like, you mean there were people actually living here before Walt Disney World?
Well, yes. In fact, St.Augustine is considered the oldest city in the country. This east coast city was actually founded on September 8, 1565 by Spanish admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés a solid 55 years before the pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock.
Today tourists flock to this city to visit a variety of historical interests, enjoy the beach, and of course, take a big gulp of water from the Fountain of Youth.
The Archaeological park has been around since the 1860’s and hosts a variety of different attractions.
The Spring House
The most popular attraction in the park is the Spring House (no surprise there). This coquina building houses what is to be said the Fountain of Youth.
To me it just tastes like Florida water.
And if you’ve tasted the water in Florida you’d know what I mean.
If you haven’t tasted Florida water before just imagine heavy mineralized water with a slight sulfur scent. Yea, that’s about right.
One of the most beautiful attractions of the park is the herd of peacocks which live in the park. They wander around with their feathers out for all to see. If you’re lucky you might find a loose feather on the ground.
Meet A Blacksmith
Each day you can find a blacksmith working away in his hut smelting together tools and objects. He told us all his tools were made out of iron which prompted my sister to ask him how he made the tools if blacksmith tools didn’t exist yet. Kinda like the chicken and the egg don’t you think?
Hear The Cannons
Every hour on the hour historical actors explain how the Spanish protected its new-found territory. Spoiler: they used heavy, heavy cannons and cannonballs.
And as much as you prepare yourself for the blast, you’ll still jump when it goes off. Or maybe that was just me.
Explore the Timucuan Village of Seloy
Your day at the Fountain of Youth wouldn’t be complete without learning about the Timucuas. This tribe had settled on the land of St. Augustine for almost one thousand years before the Spanish landed. And while they both got along for a while, eventually the tribes got hostile towards one another and the Timucua got wiped out by European disease and hostility.
If you ever find yourself in the St. Augustine area be sure to check this park out. And don’t leave Fido at home, it’s pet friendly!