601 Anastasia Blvd.
Saint Augustine, FL 32080
Phone: (904) 825-4535
Fax: (904) 829-8963
Arts & Museums
At this historic lighthouse, visitors can find out what it's like to be a light keeper when they climb the 219 steps to the top. Not only do guests see the well-maintained, functioning light, they also have a breathtaking, panoramic view of the surrounding St. Augustine area and beaches. The tour of the tower, the keeper's house and grounds are both guided and self-guided, however only the guided tours allow visitors a more in-depth, behind-the-scenes look. This 19th-century tower is one of only six lighthouses in Florida that is still open to the public. In fact, there are only about 30 lighthouses that even remain in the Sunshine State.
The local historical society's research library contains a wealth of information on St Augustine's incredibly rich past. Staffed by friendly and engaged locals, you'll find information to complement and surpass anything provided on standard tours, and perhaps enough to create your own off-the-beaten-path trek. The enthusiasm and attention to detail you'll find here is incomparable, as is the opportunity to glean free information most visitors never get.
Inside the coquina shell-and-limestone walls of this old Spanish house, the decor portrays three centuries and three cultures—Spanish,British and American—that have left their mark on the home. On a narrated tour, you'll get a look at the vast differences between present and past. If you are a reader of Eugenia Price's novels, you may find Maria's Room particularly interesting—it was described in her historical novel Maria. The house is easy to find in downtown St Augustine.
This house museum is the second oldest exisitng structure in St. Augustine, after the Castillo de San Marcos. Constructed in 1691 out of the same coquina stone used in the Castillo, it was originally a home to Spaniards and probably British during the periods in which both had a foothold in Florida. Father Miguel O'Reilly purchased the home in 1785 and used it as a repository of education for the Catholic Church until his death. He then bequeathed the property to the Sisters of St. Joseph, who continue to run it today. The home has received several renovations over the last 300 years and inside, guests can learn about these construction phases as well as the Catholic church in St. Augustine. Admission is free, but donations are accepted.
The Dow Museum of Historic Houses is a wonderful display and collection of historic houses. What started out as a collection by Kenneth W. Dow grew into an interesting and detailed collection of historic houses from 1790 to 1910. There are nine period houses that take you through 400 years of the city’s life and culture. Originally known as the Old St. Augustine Village, the museum also hosts a number of events like the Festival of Trees and the Halifax Art Festival. Do check the website for the details. In the museum complex there a children’s museum and a planetarium as well, and the museum also organizes activities and classes for architecture and other interests. The museum also has a number of art exhibitions including photography and sculpture. The houses are also available for events like wedding celebrations, anniversaries and more.
This state-house museum is one of the oldest structures in St. Augustine. A Spanish storekeeper named Andres Ximenez constructed the house in 1798 using native coquina stone (a mix of coral rock and cement). The house and property are well-preserved and the tour includes a visit to the artillery officer's room, the dining room, guest parlor and captain's room as well as interpretive exhibits in the visitor's center. Today, the house is restored in order to depict a tranquil 19th-century inn, although throughout its history, the property has seen tumult and chaos, from Spanish-American battles to the Seminole Wars. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
Historic St. Augustine is home to Moultrie Creek Studios' folk arts and sculptures. Local artists Gayle Prevatt and Enzo Torcoletti display their one-of-a-kind ceramics and multimedia imagery here. Artwork includes Mediterranean Majolica pottery, folk art, marble and stone carvings. Several of the pieces reflect themes taken straight from the St. Augustine area. This is one of St. Augustine's oldest privately owned galleries.
St. Augustine is filled with historical architecture, however not all structures are original and there are many replicas that can fool the novice. The Spanish Military Hospital Museum is part of the latter as it was reconstructed on the same site as a previous military hospital used in Second Spanish Colonial Period (1784-1821). The interesting 40 minute guided tour leads guests on a journey of what is what like to be both a doctor and patient in 1791. It is definitely a little macabre, but impressive nonetheless.
An entire block of history awaits you at this village museum which contains nine historic houses spanning the period from 1790 to 1910. There are also five exhibit galleries located among the courtyards and grounds, which also includes the site of the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation reading, which freed all slaves in Florida.
They're alive! More than 170 wax renderings collected at Potter's Wax Museum are on display—Hollywood stars, authors, scientists, artists, historic explorers and royalty. Potters was the first wax museum in the United States, and many years after its debut continues to offer both fun and education. Touring the "Chamber of Horrors" exhibit is optional. Potters has the only public real working wax studio. You'll also find a movie theater presentation and a museum shop here.
When you step through the doors of Loves' Art Emporium, you enter a world of unusual and beautiful gifts. Artist Thomas Kincade, 'The Painter of Light' is featured here and the gallery also offers six levels of collectibles from miniscule to extravagant Hawthorne Villages, Nightlights—including plates with an array of backdrops, such as houses, city scenes, gardens, oceans and nature. Loves' Art Emporium is truly a must-visit for every art lover.
This Government House has been the municipal headquarters for Spanish, British and U.S. administrations since it was built in 1598. The original structure no longer stands, however there has been a government building on this site since then. The museum inside the building features the popular exhibit entitled, 'First Colony: Our Spanish Origins.' It explores its history from early native settlements through European colonization to Flagler's Golden Age. In presentations here, you can see the components of the old city's economy, architecture, culture and archaeology as well as silver pieces retrieved from shipwrecks off of the coast.