I knew that the Fountain of Youth had to be one of our stops when visiting St Augustine – the mystery, the intrigue…the romanticism of exploration and healing waters…
Is this really Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth? Hardly. But is it still a place you should send 2-3 hours exploring? Without a doubt.
You can drink from the famed Fountain of Youth!! While it won’t stop the aging process (I tried, I tried!) it is actually a spring discovered in 1513, flowing fresh water. The water is a bit warm and sulphur-smelling…but that just means it’s authentic.
Inside the spring house we learned from one of the period-costumed staff about the story of de Leon landing in Florida…and he fantastically sifted the myths from the truths about this time period.
Did you know that, contrary to legend, he was not intent on finding the Fountain of Youth? In fact, there is no record of him ever mentioning it – even in the recently uncovered “secret” communications between him and the king. Nothing. Nada.
His mission? Shiny gold and “taming natives.” Not nearly as noble as the legend.
See A Colorful Show
We pulled into the parking lot and were shocked to see a few peacocks. They strutted their stuff, and caught our attention for a good 20 minutes! We were mesmerized!
Then we walked into the park…
The peacocks command the entire 15-acres of the park – roaming free, eating bugs, and cooing between each other!! So unexpected and lovely.
In the flock of 25- 30 birds are a few rare pure white peacocks. They look like giant snowflakes…gorgeous to behold.
Do The Scavenger Hunt
If you’re traveling with kiddos, don’t miss the scavenger hunt they offer (free) at the ticket booth. It’s an easy one, but creates a fun experience for the kids and allows you to guide them through the park and take everything in….even if they ARE learning new things at the same time (shhhh! They’ll never know! ha!)
Experience the Past
Speaking of learning…there are fantastic educational demonstrations within the park on a regular basis. You can see how the colonial guns and cannons were loaded — and even see the cannons being shot!
Watch the blacksmith preparing horse shoes…watch a period crossbow shooting…get a tour from a monk…view the stars as they looked to Ponce DeLeon in the planetarium…and learn about food and weapon preparations within the village.
Demonstrations happen regularly throughout the days; check the ticket booth for the schedule.
Disclosure: Thank you to St Augustine for hosting us. Opinions here are all our own, as always.
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