Have you ever heard of the Legendary Fountain of Youth? Many have heard the legends and stories that surround the Fountain of Youth, but few have been so inspired by the tales that they actually went in search of this legendary place. Ponce de Leon, St Augustine’s founder was one of these few and in the early 1500s, after hearing of the Fountain of Youth, he actually set out to find the spring. Instead of finding the Legendary Fountain of Youth that possesses magical qualities, Ponce de Leon arrived on the coast of Florida in 1513, in the area now known as St Augustine. Visitors to the Fountain of Youth Park can learn more the area’s history, explore the site of the first exploration of the American continent by Europeans, and see and drink from the Legendary Fountain of Youth.
One of the many area attractions, the Fountain of Youth Archeological Park is home to many unique artifacts. Visitors to Florida’s Fountain of Youth Park can learn about the Timucuan Indians who inhabited St Augustine when Ponce de Leon first landed. The tribe had settled in the area near a natural spring and Ponce de Leon believed it to be the healing spring that was spoken of in the legends of the Fountain of Youth. At the Fountain of Youth Park the part of the spring that Ponce de Leon first encountered is protected by the Spring House. The Spring House is a gorgeous stone building that houses not only the natural spring fountain, but also the Landmark Cross. The Landmark Cross was a gift from Ponce de Leon left at the site where he landed. Unearthed at the turn of the 19th century, the Landmark Cross is made of coquina rock and was found near a site where a salt cellar would later be found. The salt cellar was found in 1904 at the Fountain of Youth Park and upon opening it, researchers found a very old document written on parchment paper. The document described Ponce de Leon’s landing on Florida and referenced the Landmark Cross. Today, inside the Spring House visitors can view a replica of the original salt cellar that is believed to have been a gift from Christopher Columbus to Ponce de Leon. Ponce de Leon had traveled with Columbus on his first voyage, and the two remained close following Columbus’ return and Ponce de Leon’s appointment as Governor of the region now known as Puerto Rico.
See the wonderful exhibits and check out a unique piece of St Augustine’s history. Also adjacent to the Fountain of Youth Park is a planetarium which features a special show that provides extra facts and maps out Ponce de Leon’s voyage to Florida. Learn more about the other great Attractions and Things to Do here. Looking for one of a kind Beach Lodging? Our Bed and Breakfasts are located right in the heart of the historic district and nearby to all of the great things to see and do. Each Bed and Breakfast within our association is widely noted, and many have won distinguished awards. Learn more about great attractions like Fort Matanzas, the Castillo de San Marcos, the historic Lighthouse, Marineland, and the Old Jail.
When you stay at one of our featured inns, you’ll be in the center of it all. Don’t miss a thing.