From historic sites to important moments in St. Augustine’s history, discover the ancient city in all its glory with a friendly and knowledgeable step-on-guide during your St. Augustine sightseeing bus tour.
Fountain of Youth
Discover the saga of Juan Ponce de León’s search for new lands and magical waters, or the fascinating story of Pedro Menéndez de Avilés and the settling of St. Augustine as you start your tour by making your way through the Fountain of Youth.
Mission of Nombre de Dios
The most historic and sacred area in St. Augustine, the Mission of Nombre de Dios traces its origins to the founding of the City of St. Augustine. In September of 1565, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés landed on the site which is now known as Mission of Nombre de Dios and proclaimed it Spain and the Church.
St. Augustine’s Castillo de San Marcos
The oldest masonry fort in the continental United States, Castillo de San Marcos is a National Monument located on the shore of St. Augustine’s Matanzas Bay. As you pass by you will discover the story of the slaves who constructed the fort of coquina and battles and struggles that once surrounded the Castillo.
Memorial Presbyterian Church
As you continue on, you will travel past St. Augustine’s beautiful bay front and through the heart of the city past Memorial Presbyterian Church. Built by architect and millionaire Henry Morrison Flagler during the late 1800s in memory of his daughter Jennie Louise who died after complications during childbirth, the Memorial Presbyterian Church is the only example of Venetian Renaissance Architecture in the USA. Its elaborate terra cotta facings on the building, the intricate mosaic tiles on the floor and the unparallel carvings throughout the building are enough to attract a crowd, but the building is also home to a mausoleum which houses the remains of several members of the Flagler family including Henry Flagler himself.
Learn about Flagler College’s past and present. Flagler College was originally built as the luxury Ponce de León Hotel in 1888 by Henry Flagler and served as an exclusive hotel where many presidents and influential men and women stayed.
Not only will you see Flagler’s Ponce de León Hotel, but also his Spanish Revival style Alcazar Hotel. Just down the road from Flagler College, the Alcazar Hotel sits at the center of an open palm courtyard with an arched stone bridge spanning a fishpond. Another one of Flagler’s luxurious spaces, the hotel boasted a steam room, massage parlor, gymnasium, sulfur baths and the world’s largest indoor swimming pool until it was closed down in 1932.
Located on the west end of the plaza in downtown St. Augustine is the Government House. Constructed of coquina in 1888 by Robert Mills, the same architect to draw plans for the Washington Monument in Washington D.C., the original Government House held the first offices of the colonial Government and is known today as the Government House Museum and the home of the offices of the St. Augustine Preservation Board.
Plaza de la Constitucion
Your Guided Tour of St. Augustine will come to an end at the Plaza de la Constitucion. Located adjacent to the Government House, the Plaza de la Constitucion is the oldest public park in the United States, established by Spanish Royal Ordinances in 1573, thirty-four years before the English settlers of Jamestown waded ashore in Virginia. Learn about its historical significance and look out for historic sites located on the plaza including the old public well that dates back to the 1600s, the historic market place structure and a monument in honor of the Spanish Constitution of 1812.
From the arrival of the first African-American slave to St. Augustine’s role during the Civil Rights Movement, the historic city has played a significant part in African-American history. Those who wish to learn more about St Augustine’s African-American history can choose an alternative route that takes you past Tolomato Cemetery, the burial place of George Biassou, a slave who rose to the rank of general, Woolworth’s, the site where students from the Florida Memorial College held sit-ins at the lunch counter and Lincolnville Historic District, a community established by freed slaves in 1866 after the American Civil War.