The “Old Senator” Is Worth a Visit

The Ancient City’s oldest resident, this majestic tree, has awed visitors for centuries.

November 23, 2020
Old Senator tree

Old Senator's History

Some have argued the “Old Senator” is indeed as old as the hills. We’re talking about 650 years old. That would pre-date Ponce de Leon’s arrival in St. Augustine by more than a century. Imagine all that it has seen and all the stories it could tell about the early residents of the city! Whether you believe its age or not, it is undeniable that this ancient live oak tree has a commanding presence and reverential effect on those who see it in person.


Just a short walk from the downtown Historic District, the Old Senator grows in the courtyard of Villa 1565 on San Marco. This charming hotel welcomes guests with its authentic coquina exterior, sprawling courtyard, Spanish architecture, and luxurious amenities. The tree is located in the parking lot, and all are welcome to see it and take pictures. And you’ll want to take some selfies when you see the size of its enormous trunk and its towering, cascading branches. Spectacular any time of year, you’ll especially want to see it during Nights of Lights, when it is lit up dramatically.

Be sure to include a visit to see the tree if you’re at the nearby Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park, Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Museum, or take the Old Town Trolley Tours or Red Express Tours that stop at the tree. It’s worth the visit.