One of the things that St. Augustine is most know for is the Castillo De San Marcos . This is a sprawling 17th Century fort is the only remaining of its kind in the United States. While these types of historical places don’t usually interest me, it really is quite an amazing place. Hand made out of coquina and more than 330 years old is like a castle, complete with a moat that can make any little kid dream of princesses, pirates and dragons.
Ephraim had been begging to go the Fort from almost moment one of our arrival in St. Augustine. He had seen the pictures and his vivid imagination had all sorts of ideas about what he would encounter inside.
|Sitting on replica Cannon Balls|
We arrived later in the afternoon on a Friday. We missed the firing of the canons and that is probably a good thing due to Eph’s sensory issues. We had our first little perk when went to pay the admission fee (normally $6.00 for anyone over 15), since my husband is Deaf we were using sign language at the window and the ranger handed my husband an Access card that allows us free admission to ANY National Park in the US. Oh, how cool is that.
After that, we began the Ephraim run through each of the many rooms in the Fort. Pausing quickly for an explanation of what that room was used for and on to the next. It is amazing how cool the coquina rock keeps the inside areas of the Fort considering the heat index was 105 that day. The rooms are set up with signs and posters explaining the history and you can also pick up a walking tour brochure to read along the way. The Rangers that work in the park are very knowledgeable and will answer any of your questions.
Next we went up to the roof. The view from the top of the Fort is gorgeous. You can look out over the water to the Lighthouse, see the down town area all the way out to the Our Lady de Le Leche Crossh. On the top of the Fort, their are replica cannons and other artillery. Ephraim enjoyed pretending to shoot off the cannons. Lu’s favorite part was running in and out of all the turrets.
|Praying in the Chapel|
There is a very strict rule about not touching or sitting on the walls of the Fort, as to prevent further decay of materials. We told Ephraim about the rule and he obeyed it so well that when he saw a lady sitting on the wall he said (and loudly), “Mom, why is that lady breaking the rules and hurting the Fort.” I know she heard him but she didn’t get up. How sad that a grown adult should have such little respect for the rules. I was very proud of Ephraim for identifying a rule being broken and internalizing the importance of the rule. That is sometimes a feat with impulsive kids.
Needless to say, we had an amazing time at the Castillo De San Marcos. If you are on a trip to St. Augustine, this should definitely be on your must do!
Praises: Great Views, Educational, Historical