Just Florida Things: Castillo de San Marcos, St. Augustine, FL
A few weeks ago, I was writing up our memories exploring one of the forts in San Juan, Puerto Rico. While doing research for that post, I googled myself into discovering another fort right here on Florida soil: the Castillo de San Marcos, in St. Augustine, FL. Like all good adventurers, rather than finish our story in a timely fashion and maybe clean our house or do other responsible things like grocery shopping (side note: sometimes this results in a week of the weirdest meals!), we headed out for our next adventure, only a couple hours from our home near Orlando.
Thanks to our sheer luck at impeccable timing, as soon as we arrived, the ranger mentioned we were just in time for the weapons demonstration. We made a quick jaunt back to the car for my shoes - flip flops are not suggested as appropriate fort exploration footwear – and then went straight to the top for the cannon firing. Talk about starting our day off with a bang! Pun intended:
Yes, that's me screaming and giggling in the background. I had to cover one of Justin's ears so he could film, which left me with an exposed ear. I made do by smashing it against his arm. The guide said that the firing would have been much louder if an actual cannonball had been shot off. Imagine that on top of multiple firings alternating all around the fort! Just one was enough for me - beyond startling, I felt a nerve chill down my entire body!
Now thoroughly in the mood for adventuring, we spent the next couple of hours admiring the architecture, crawling into places that looked like we could fit, & imagining what it would be like to be imprisoned in the tiny, dark cell or living with 1000 other people in the fort while the town was under siege. We even spotted some dolphins frolicking in the Matanzas River. Eventually, we ran out of snacks and headed out for a short walk around the town, managing to catch the next weapons demonstration from the ground floor.
We didn't spend too much time in St. Augustine outside the fort. We did find a little place that sells Dole Whip, which tided our appetites over long enough to drive over the Bridge of Lions and down A1A, stopping to wander on Flagler beach before continuing on to a late lunch and some boogie-boarding at one of our regular spots in good ol’ Daytona beach to end the day. Not bad for a day-cation!
Bonus content! I came across this video from the National Park Service about the Castillo - a little bit of history and facts and another glimpse of the weapons demonstrations. Enjoy:
Have you explored the Castillo de San Marcos and watched the weapons demonstration? Have you been to St. Augustine and have a must-see-eat-or-do to recommend for our next visit? Tell us in the comments!
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Our Favorite Photos From The Trip:
Top Tips and Notes for Next Time: