Florida Guide > Places to Visit
The Old Jail and St Augustine History Museum
If you get time to visit St Augustine, and I strongly recommend that you do, it is possible to go for a day with a very early start and a late return to Orlando. However to see everything and explore this beautiful city it is good if you can stay at least overnight if not for two nights.
On our first afternoon in St Augustine we took the Trolley Bus Tour to familiarize ourselves with the area. We were amazed at the history of the city and at how beautiful it was. So much so that we extended our stay to two nights.
We decided to start by hopping on to the Trolley Bus (our bus passes allowed us unlimited use for 3 days) and go to the first trolley stop. Here we found the Old Jail and the St Augustine History Museum; we had free passes for the latter given to us when we purchased our trolley tickets.
St. Augustine’s Old Jail was built in the late 1800s and held prisoners for over 60 years.
It gave us a great insight into the cell blocks, gallows and sheriff’s quarters. Our guided tour was led by the jailers and included a close-up view of the men’s and women’s cells, maximum security, as well as a collection of weapons. We were shown where the sheriff his wife and children lived upstairs from the prisoners and used their own kitchen to prepare meals for the inmates. How things have changed! The Old Jail deputies entertained us with tales of justice and punishment when Florida was America' s southernmost frontier. It is a good attraction to go to with plenty of history for both adults and children.
We then went over to the St Augustine History Museum to use our free passes. Here we began to realize that Henry Flagler was a powerhouse and catalyst for change in the real estate and transportation industries all of which is shown buy the exhibits. We also saw many unpublished photos and learnt about the evolution of St. Augustine and Florida under Spanish and British rule.
On display was more than 400 years of history including toys and dolls from the early 19th and 20th centuries, a replica of a Spanish galleon and real gold, silver and jewelry found in lost treasures off the Florida coast. It really did make us think about Florida’s past that previously we had been completely unaware of.
Before hopping back onto the trolley bus we called at Gator Bob' s Trading Post as it was a very hot day and we needed drinks. Also sold here was a wide variety of t-shirts, souvenirs, gator heads, post cards and jewelry.
Drinks in hand we hopped back on the bus to our next destination.
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Page added on: 9 January 2010
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