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“fun day”

Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park
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Ranked #26 of 190 things to do in St. Augustine
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Explore the 1565 Birthplace of St. Augustine and Colonial European America. Your History Starts here! Drink the legendary waters. See Stars in the Planetarium. Hear a Spanish Cannon roar. Visit the Timucua Indian Village. Learn the Archaeological History of the site. From Timucua Indians living at this site for 4,000 years to Spanish Explorers arriving in 1513 to Smithsonian institute Archaeological Digs starting in 1934, the hisotry is amazing. Guests have been visiting this important site since 1871. Now you can too. Don't miss it!
Reviewed March 2, 2014

interesting history lesson on St. Augustine. People dressed in character gave informative speeches. planetarium show reminded me of how far technology has come in 50 years. I'm still waiting for the water to take affect though (LOL!)

1  Thank dianar04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 2, 2014

It is hard to imagine that there are such dedicated people who want to share historical and important information with park visitors with such a passion! I am not certain if the park presenters dressed in period attire are paid, volunteer or a combination of both however their presence and willingness to share information make the experience worthwhile.

I was able to speak to presenters who shared the fact that new artifacts and added elements to the attraction have been created to make the tour more interesting and fun.

The park does have a small fountain to drink from and paper cups are provided. The fountain is surrounded by an exhibit of the Native American people who once inhabited the area prior to the Spanish invasion of the area. I believe that the name of the Native-American people was Tumcuan Indians. You can look up the spelling online to be certain but they were a rather tall group of people who were resourceful and passionate. Not far from the fountain is a planetarium which I did not have time to visit.

The grounds hosts beautiful peacocks and peahens, a simulated Native-American Village scene and you are likely to be spoken to by several reinactors dressed in period attire who will tell you about the history of the site. I saw a demonstration of shooting a bow and arrow and a traditional Native tool that allowed the demonstrator to launch long spear type tools which were most likely used to hunt for food historically.

We were unable to see the canon demonstration due to weather concerns however the reinactors were informative and willing to allow photos to be taken with them. The reinactors were not only informative but they were very gracious about taking time with the small adult groups as well as the large school groups of students.

The grounds has an model of an old Catholic church, a couple of wooden boats, areas of archaeological digs, a peer where you can walk out to look at the water and you can get a glimpse of Anastasia Island and a lighthouse off in the distance.

The park offers an opportunity for young children/students to learn and later explore and expound on the history of the area through study and further research. The park's historical presenters seemed open to discussions with adults and I am sure that they are willing to answer the many inquiries of history buffs and scholars.

There was a gift store on the grounds however my party did not have any time to really browse nor purchase any items from it.

Some of the grounds keepers were preparing for a wedding later that evening so that was interesting. Just outside of the archaeological park grounds there were interesting homes for a tourist interested in architecture and homes to tour on foot or by car. Not far from the grounds was a museum and a few other points of possible interest however my party ran out of time so we did not spend time in that area.

Take your camera, a bottle of water, good walking shoes (ladies high-heels are not recommended) and an umbrella could prove useful to protect oneself from either hot weather, rain or both.

My hat is off to the dedicated team of presenters that inform because their interest made me want to research more about the history of the area which prior to my arrival in St. Augustine I had very little knowledge of.

A final note: Students of archaeology should bring a journal, notebook, eraser, pencil and possibly a sketch pad to take note of information and make preparations to do further research after the walk-a-bout and tour.

I believe that this park will continue to grow and to make improvements. I would say that people with skills that might prove useful to help further with the park's evolution should inquire about avenues through which they might lend a useful hand. Most places like this also take donations for enhancements, improvements and basic support. Locals and tourists alike can benefit from a visit to this site. I was there at the end of Florida's winter season so I did not have to fight off local insects, however summer will most likely bring out lots of bugs! It rained a great deal and was relatively cool during my visit but I would imagine that in the summer one might be wise to use some sort of repellent (I prefer natural products with the least toxic ingrediants) but better to be prepared to defend your skin!

I do not know if there is a place to purchase food at this site however it appeared that one could bring a sack lunch and or snack and eat. People should be mindful to dispose of their own waste and be respectful of the grounds. Children should walk and not run to minimize any possible accidents and I would say that families can enjoy a tour together.

I could definitely feel the loss of the Native-Americans who came before the conquistadors and I felt very sad that they had become a people to be spoken about in the past-tense. In spite of this sadness, I was able to learn about human nature and behavior and ponder the social aspects and implications of people who conquer and the impact that conquering has on the Native people who once lived in the area and the future.

1  Thank SongbirdSpirtWalker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 28, 2014

While there are some historical facts exhibited, it is aimed at juveniles rather than adults. The grounds are well kept and you should walk the entire area but beware the many school children on a field trip as it can become noisy and congested at the exhibits. Note: the so called fountain of youth is more than likely not the one that was discovered in the 16th century as there are many areas where the spring waters flow to the surface. The site was developed as a tourist attraction by Luella Day McConnell in 1904. Price of admission was $12 / $11 seniors and children.

1  Thank CTLYankee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2014

I didn't expect much in the Fountain of Youth Park, but it is gorgeous. The grounds are well-kept and beautiful. They have several interesting things to see. Make sure you walk the entire area. Drinking from the fountain is a fun thing to do and makes for an amusing story to tell.

1  Thank Sizzlechips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 26, 2014

This was very informative. But you really only need to do it once. Very interactive. Fun for kids. The gift shop sells cute bottles with the water in. Great keepsake.

Thank Jmbrown0526
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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