Colonial America
Things to See & Do in Florida
Ponce de Leon's Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park
This park is the original site of the nation's oldest city. Located in the area first explored by Juan Ponce de Leon in 1513 and settled by Pedro Menendez de Aviles in 1565, historic St. Augustine is the oldest successful European settlement in the United States. Colonial America started right here, 55 years before the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock, and 42 years before Jamestown. With a long, rich history spanning nearly 500 years, the Fountain of Youth Park will delight and amaze you. Whether you visit for an hour or take all day, the 15 waterfront acres will provide you with hours of enjoyment.
Mandarin Museum and Historical Society
Mandarin Museum & Historical Society shares the stories of Mandarin’s history, culture and natural resources by providing engaging programs that educate, entertain and inspire. In the 1800s, Mandarin was a small farming village that shipped oranges, grapefruit, lemons and other fruits and vegetables to Jacksonville and points north on the steamships that traveled the St. Johns River. In 1864, the Union steamship, the Maple Leaf, hit a Confederate mine and sank just off Mandarin Point. Author Harriet Beecher Stowe wintered in the village from 1867 to 1884. Mandarin now is a small section of the City of Jacksonville, Florida, but its natural beauty, parks and historic buildings draw visitors from around the world. School tours are available.
Panhandle Pioneer Settlement
The Panhandle Pioneer Settlement is a living history museum located in Blountstown, FL as a part of Sam B. Atkins Park. It is a collection of historical and recreated buildings arranged to simulate an early agricultural community, with a pioneer settlement and a farmstead. The museum sits on 47 acres in Calhoun County. The mission of the Panhandle Pioneer Settlement is to acquire, document, research, preserve and restore buildings, artifacts and tools that were used in work and daily life of the pioneers of the Florida panhandle region. These collections are used to educate and share the experience of pioneer lifestyles and values with future generations.
Oldest Wooden School House in the United States
Located near the City Gates, The Old School House is a surviving expression of another time. Built over 200 years ago, while Florida was under the rule of Imperial Spain, it was constructed of red cedar and cypress and put together with wooden pegs and handmade nails.
Fort Menendez at Old Florida Museum
Come explore Fort Menendez, meet some colorful characters from early Spanish St. Augustine and the Timucuan village of Seloy, and have lots of fun along the way! Join other adventurers on an interactive trip through time. Earn gold, buy, trade items, and wager with villagers and adventurers alike! Old Florida Museum offers four unique "HANDS-ON" programs designed to be entertaining as well as educational. Students experience life in St. Augustine through the struggles and successes of its people during distinct time periods of Florida’s history. All programs follow the Sunshine State Standards.
Museum of Science and History (MOSH)
Homeschool programs will consist of a 45-minute interactive educational show as well as a suggested “Try This at Home” experiment or activity. All groups will have time before or after programs to explore museum exhibits.
Fort Mose Historical State Park
The power politics of 18th century England and Spain reached across the Atlantic to the Florida frontier. In 1738, the Spanish governor of Florida chartered Fort Mose as a settlement for freed Africans who had fled slavery in the British Carolinas. When Spain ceded Florida to Britain in 1763, the inhabitants of Fort Mose migrated to Cuba. Although nothing remains of the fort, the site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994 for its importance in American history. Visitors may view the site from a boardwalk and stop for a picnic in a covered pavilion.
Museum of Science and History (MOSH)
The Museum of Science and History (MOSH) inspires the joy of lifelong learning by bringing to life the sciences and regional history. Explore the Health in Motion exhibit, learn about the whales, dolphins and manatees of northeast Florida, and check out the daily animal encounters with a naturalists.
St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum
The St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum offers an educational, exciting, and timber-shivering museum experience that transports you and your family back in time over 300 years to Port Royal, Jamaica, at the height of the Golden Age of Piracy.
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