The boys and I love to travel, and we do so about a third of the year. However, they still need to keep up with schooling. So, in addition to their regular school work, I try to do a bit of roadschooling with educational attractions, historic locations and other fun activities that offer opportunities for learning. Yesterday was the first day of our #FLBlogTrip and we kicked it off with an afternoon in St. Augustine before heading to our vacation home at Hammock Beach Resort.
The Colonial Quarter
St. Augustine, the nation’s oldest city is the perfect mix of fun and learning for families. It just so happened that this weekend was the Pirate Gathering, so we had the added bonus of having the streets lined with pirates in traditional garb. Since we only had the afternoon in St. Augustine, we wanted to fit in as much education as possible in a few hours. We just finished up an eight week study on Colonial times, so a stop at Colonial Quarter was the first stop on our list.
Colonial Quarter is an interactive educational attraction that provides plenty of learning and fun for all ages. Taking you on a tour of St. Augustine from the 16th-18th centuries, families can experience a variety of colonial activities. Historic Adventure Tours are included in the price of your admission and are led daily at 10:30am, noon, 1:30pm and 3:00pm. During the tour, a guide will lead you through the lengthy history of St. Augustine and you’ll get the chance to experience thrilling activities like musket firing and cannon drills.
When not on the tour, you are free to explore Colonial Quarter on your own. Climb to the top of a 17th century watchtower to get a birds eye view of the Castillo de San Marcos, see an example of ship building, view a printing press, dig for archeological St. Augustine artifacts, and more.
Colonial Quarter is open seven day a week from 10am-6pm. Tickets are $12.99 for adults and children ages 5-12 are $6.99. For more information or to plan your visit, go to ColonialQuarter.com.
Castillo de San Marcos
Next up, we headed to Castillo de San Marcos, which is just across the street from the Colonial Quarter. This is a great budget attraction for families that are looking to save a buck. Admission is $7 for adults with ages 15 and under getting in for free. National Park passes are accepted and discounts are given for military personell too.
The Castillo de San Marcos encompasses almost 450 years of history. It is the only example of 17th century military construction in the country, and is one of only two forts in the world built out of the sem-rare limestone known as coquina.
Here, families can tour various rooms and areas of the fort. From sleeping quarters to exhibits on explorers, and other important historic figures whose histories were intertwined with that of the fort. Each hour on the hour until 3pm, you can see a cannon firing with soldiers in traditional uniforms. The whole ceremony is authentic as can be, down to the instructions being given from the lead soldier to the others in Spanish.
Families can stop in the theater to watch a short film on the history of the fort and area. Additional activities including junior ranger programs are available throughout the day, and incredible views of the harbor and city are available from the top of the fort as well.
Where to Eat
If you’re looking for a great place to get a bite to eat when exploring the Colonial Quarter and Castillo de San Marcos, the Milltop Tavern located on St. George Street. Over 130 years old, this laid back restaurant located on top of an old mill offers classic American fare including wings, salads, BLT’s and more. The boys had chicken tenders and fries and I enjoyed some delicious crab cake sliders.
For information on other educational attractions for families or plan a visit to St. Augustine, visit FloridasHistoricCoast.com.
Our admission to Colonial Quarter was provided, all opinions are my own.