As I approach the big, dirty, 30 I started to think about my own mortality. But no more! I have found the legit Fountain of Youth. It is located in the same place Ponce de Leon left it all those years ago. I traveled with my husband, mom, and dogs in tow to this gem located in St. Augustine, Florida.
The street leading to the entrance of the park is adorned with mature trees and a canopy of a moss creates a fairy tale- like chandelier. Once I arrived before walking through the gate I was greeted by a beautiful peacock and a brick path with a Pedro Menéndez de Avilés statue at the end along with the 5 Flags of Florida.
We double checked the requirements for pets ( nice dogs can go anywhere, you just have to be a nice person and clean up after them) and the price to enter. I initially thought that $15 was a little steep to go and see a fountain which is more of a “well of youth” however, as the day progressed, I couldn’t figure how they made a profit with all of the unique features and exhibits. It is quite the deal if you love nature or are a history geek like myself.
Once we were inside the park we noticed that there wasn’t just one rogue peacock in the parking lot, there were many peacocks including an angelic white one that was a bit camera shy…perhaps he just wants you to go and see him for yourself.
Immediately we came to the Fountain of Youth building entrance. I don’t know what I was expecting exactly but I didn’t know that they would have options to actually drink the water. Little cups that were branded with “Fountain of Youth” were made available. The water was a bit limey– the mineral not the citrus. One of my furry buddies loved it:
We wound around and got roped in by the super lovely, dog loving park staff to sit through a 13 minute Planetarium show … with both dogs. When they said the place was dog friendly– they really meant it. So, although it went much better than I was expecting, there are some things a pet owner may want to be aware of before entering the Planetarium with pets. One, it’s carpet. Just sayin’. Two, it is pitch black with a bunch of strangers that don’t know that your dogs are the best thing since sliced bread. If they bark, you will probably be judged. I saw the cold eyes of judgement for even going in there. And finally three, <spoiler alert> the first portion of the show has thunder noises… in a pitch black room… with strangers… and your dog. If you are prepared for that, you are a much less anxious person than me. That being said, I took both boys and they were angels for the first times in their furry little lives and when the 13th minute hit I let out a sigh of relief and also realized that this is why I don’t have children.
We continued our stroll around the grounds. There were many Indigenous Peoples displays including a burial ground and village. The tribe that was native to the area were the Timucuans. I don’t want to ruin all of the surprises that await you there. There were plenty of demonstrations that we just did not have time to see. We were in a bit of a time crunch because we only allotted an hour on our way back out from A1A. I truly did not expect to have so much to do and see while inside the park.
I will be going back to this on my A1A trip that I have planned for next year. St. Augustine really did take my breath away I would love to explore it more.
Have you ever visited St. Augustine? The Fountain of Youth? Have suggestions for my next trip either comment or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for wandering with me.