Colonial Quarter Living History Museum
Saint Augustine, FL
Full Price Admission Cost: Adults 16+: $12.99; Kids 5–15: $6.99; 4 and under: free
WWWW Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Anyone who has ever been to Saint Augustine knows the city is full of amazing history. It is, after all, the oldest surviving European settlement in the United States. There are numerous historical sites to see in this city, plus many attractions based on the history of the place.
One such attraction is Colonial Quarter, a living history attraction we had the pleasure of visiting a few weeks ago.
This is on the small side for an open-air museum. That said, it is chock-full of fascinating information, which is presented quite well. We appreciated what we learned here and found it to offer a great overview of Spanish Colonial Florida.
Colonial Quarter is full of signage that provides all kinds of interesting factoids for you to learn, and there are a few different hands-on activities to keep kids entertained. The highlight however, is the guided tour of the place.
Our tour lasted about 40 minutes and was led by an enthusiastic and well informed gentleman who was happy to answer any and all questions we had. The tour included a blacksmith demonstration, which was quite interesting, if similar to other blacksmith demonstrations we’ve seen before. It also included a musket demonstration, something our 8-year-old son found quite intriguing.
We were a little disappointed to find out that this guide was the only historical interpreter in the museum. However, we were able to overlook this disappointment once we spoke with him and realized just how much awesome information he could provide on his own.
All together, we spent about 90 minutes in the museum, and we saw everything there was to see in this time. Considering the tourist-heavy location of the attraction, we felt the cost was quite fair, especially considering that the price of admission allows you to come and go for the entire day.
- A large paid parking garage is available a few blocks away. That said, oversized vehicles can park for free in the open-air lot about a block further away. If you have a dually or are driving your motorhome, this is a great place to go. However, it is not a place for overnight parking, so don’t plan for that.have at least one water refill station, which we made use of with our reusable bottles.
- There are full service restaurants available onsite. However, they are quite overpriced, so you may want to bring water and snacks.
- Take the guided tour! It doesn’t cost any extra and really enhances the experience.
- Make sure to read the signs throughout the museum. They contain some very interesting information about the history of the area.
- Read up on the history of the area and the time period begin portrayed and come with questions. The guide will be happy to answer them!
Books to Read
- St. Augustine A to Z: A Young Reader’s Guide to America’s Oldest City by Susan Shipe Calfee
- Michael Gannon’s History of Florida in Forty Minutes by Michael Gannon
- Twenty Florida Pirates by Kevin MCarthy
- Fort Mose: And the Story of the Man Who Built the First Free Black Settlement in Colonial America by Glennette Tilley Turner
- The History Mystery Kids 1: Fiasco in Florida by Daniel Kenney
- Hidden History of St. Augustine by Drew Sappington
Videos to Watch
- St. Augustine 450
- St. Augustine – First Colony
- Juan Ponce de Leon
- Castillo de San Marcos: A Long Legacy – An Effective Defense
Activities to Do
- Colonial Quarter has examples of many historical Spanish, Floridian, and United States Flags. Design a flag of your own. What do the symbols on your flag mean?
- Learn to tie knots just like the Spanish explorers might have.
- Spanish was the language most people spoke in Saint Augustine for many years. Learn some basic Spanish words using Duolingo.
Things to Discuss
- How do you think the first Spanish settlers must have felt when arriving in Florida? How do you think the Native Americans in the area felt upon meeting the settlers?
- If you were a Spanish explorer, what job would you want and why?
Other Area Attractions
Below are some of the other great attractions in this area. We try to keep things affordable, sticking to free and cheap attractions and/or museums and zoos on reciprocal lists. If an attraction is affiliated with a reciprocal program or offers free admission, I have noted that beside the attraction listing. To learn more about saving money using reciprocal programs, see this post.
- St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum
- Castillo de San Marcos (“America the Beautiful” interagency pass)
- St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum
- Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth
- Old Jail
- Lightner Museum
- Oldest Wooden School House
- Spanish Military Hospital Museum
- Fort Mose Historic State Park
- Oldest Store Museum
- Fort Matanzas National Monument (Free)
- Fort Menendez
- Anastasia State Park
Closest Places to Stay on a Budget
- Passport America: St. John’s RV Park (7 mi)
- Passport America and Good Sam Club: Compass RV Park (5 mi)
- Coast to Coast GNP: Luna Sands Resort (79 mi)
- Trails Collection/Encore Park: Bulow RV Resort (35 mi)
- State Park: Anastasia State Park (2 mi)
Related Attractions in Other Areas
Free or reduced cost admission may have been provided in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed on this website are my own.
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