The Colonial Quarter is around $13 for a ticket, but we were able to get in for a local deal that was going on for a BOGO ticket. It was a cloudy and some what windy day, but it was also cold. Since it’s 95% outside, we recommend going on a warmer day for sure. We missed the first 5 minutes of the tour, but we caught up real fast. Parking is across the street at Fort Castillo. There are meters there. If you have a National Park Pass, put it on your rear view mirror and you should have free parking that way.
The whole tour was about an hour, and it was very informative and entertaining. The first thing we saw on the tour when we caught up was the Flags of St Augustine, representing all the flags that have flown over St Augustine since it’s beginning in 1565.
From there, we saw a replica of a ship that might’ve been similar to one sailed by the famed Pirate Sir Francis Drake when he burned St Augustine to the ground. There’s more about that in the musket firing clip of our YouTube video. Just copy and paste the link below:
From there, you can go to an interactive station to see how important pulleys are when lifting heavy items, the more pulleys, the better.
The walls of the fort Castillo are made from a special shell rock mined in certain areas of Florida, called coquina. There are only 2 forts in the world made from this stone, and they are both in St Augustine. One is the Castillo, the other is Fort Matanzas. Fort Matanzas is free to visit, with a ferry that takes you out to the fort. Coquina is so sturdy, it’s virtually impenetrable. The enemies of the fort were amazed that their cannon balls just sort of “stuck” in the walls and did no damage. Below is a pillar made from coquina.
There was a large canon barrel on display that they found in the ocean, but they don’t know it’s origin. The canon they used for firing was a scaled down replica of the ones you can see at the fort.
The Casa de Mesa-Sanchez is a house that was originally just one room built by a shore guard and his family of 9. As others moved in, it kept being expanded upon, but the original one room house is still part of the structure. (The first two photos of the house).
There is a Ben Franklin series 1 Printing Press so you can see how the first newspapers in the area were printed.
After the fun little scene at the Blacksmith shop and musket firing, (I took a video clip there instead of photos), we were able to climb the 35 foot watchtower and look out over the fort Castillo and the Bayfront. You can see the St. Augustine Lighthouse from here too. We even caught a glimpse of the ocean behind it all. I zoomed in on one photo so you can see the waves. 🙂
We ended our day on St George Street, which is also part of the Colonial Quarter experience. We chose to eat a snack at the Seafood Company because we absolutely love their Lighthouse Lemonade. For every lemonade they sell, they donate $1 to the St Augustine Lighthouse. It’s the perfect mixture of sweet and sour. Hubby got a Cesar salad, and I had the chowder fries. It was a great way to end the day.
We hope you enjoyed our stroll through the Colonial Quarter. Thank you for subscribing to our blog and our YouTube channel. We hope we entertain you as well as throw in a little historical education as well. We appreciate all of you and your supportive comments keep us going.