St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches
Visit the spot where a nation’s history was born.
Visit the Fountain of Youth in St. Augustine, where you can delve into history, explore scenic grounds – and maybe capture eternal youth.
The Fountain of Youth in St. Augustine is legendary, known as the place where Ponce De Leon discovered the healing waters that magically maintain your youthful appearance. Drink from the magical spring’s waters, plus explore many exhibits and historical attractions at the 15-acre Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park. The park is home to a Discovery Globe, Planetarium, Timucua Indian Exhibit, Spanish cannons, and Native Christian Burial Ground Exhibit.
The Fountain of Youth Archaeological park is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
General admission ticket costs: Adults: $19.95; Seniors $17.95; Children 6-12 $9.95; Children 5 and under Free. Special rates are available for St. Johns County Residents and for tour groups of ten or more. Parking is free and tickets include all exhibits.
Make sure to set aside enough time so you can explore the park at your leisure – we recommend at least two hours.
Yes, the park is pet-friendly!
Yes, guests can enjoy farm-to-table dining options at Smoked Southern BBQ, the on-site restaurant. There are also picnic areas and a gift shop available.
First things first. Take a drink of water from the legendary spring and see if you’ll enjoy eternal youth. Learn the history of Ponce de Leon’s search for the Fountain of Youth. The myth of the Fountain of Youth is actually a Taino Indian legend about a spring that was said to exist on the island of Bimini and a river, in what became known as Florida that would restore youth to those who bathed in their waters. Ponce’s quest was not to settle the new land, but to explore for gold and riches; however, he ultimately claimed “La Florida” for Spain. See the nostalgic dioramas depicting the first encounter of the Timucua residents and Spanish explorers.
Ponce de Leon arrived from Spain in 1513, but the area’s history began long before that. Archaeological discoveries, including hut foundations and relics, point to Timucua habitation on the site for about 3,000 years. The Timucuans thrived in the abundant surroundings, hunting with bows and arrows, cultivating corn and pumpkins, and fishing from land and canoes.
Pay a visit to the Native Timucua Village of Seloy, where you can learn about how these Native Americans lived and hunted. Learn about their customs and sophisticated social structure.
Visit the planetarium, watch the show, and learn about how early explorers used the constellations to guide their long voyages at sea.
The glowing, two-story-high Discovery Globe traces the routes of Spanish explorers from Europe, across the vast Atlantic to the New World.
There’s a lot to see and do on the park’s scenic 15-acre waterfront grounds. Stroll beneath large live oaks, rest on a bench, enjoy a picnic under the shade trees, and wander along a 600-foot-long observation platform over the marshes. Among the wildlife you’ll encounter are peacocks and native birds. Don’t be surprised if you hear a loud boom – a Spanish cannon is fired regularly.
When Spanish explorer Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles came ashore in 1565 to claim Florida for Spain, he and his crew established the first St. Augustine settlement along the shores of what is now this beautiful park. The land was the home of the Native Timucua Indians in the village they called Seloy. And they lived together peacefully for a time.
One of the first actions taken by the Spanish explorers was to serve a meal of celebration from food provisions stocked aboard their ship. They invited the Tiumucua Indians to join them. This was the very first feast of Thanksgiving held on September 8, 1565, in St. Augustine, 56 years before the pilgrims of Plymouth enjoyed a meal together in gratitude of their first harvest.
To learn more about the rich history of the birthplace of St. Augustine, annual archaeological digs take place at the Fountain of Youth each year. This historic land serves as both a sacred place of the past, and an attraction that immerses visitors in the Colonial experience.
Local Tip: Check out the view from the 35-foot watchtower and learn about how a light burning in a watchtower led to a fateful raid on the town in 1586 by Sir Francis Drake and his men.
There's plenty to do and see near the Ponce De Leon Fountain of Youth. Plan your day with these additional St. Augustine attractions that are close by:
St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches
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