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Pirate & Treasure Museum, St. Augustine

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Louis Yamonico

There is plenty to see, discover and do in St. Augustine. One of the highlights of our trip was this museum dedicated to the rich pirate history not only in this area but around Florida and the surrounding islands. St. Augustine has been threatened by pirates since its birth in 1565, when Pedro Menendez de Aviles came to the shores of St. Augustine and made it a colony. It is a big reason why the Castillo de San Marcos fort was constructed here to protect the citizens of St. Augustine not only from attacks but from inclement weather. St. Augustine was incredibly important for trading because of its connection to the Gulf of Mexico and being such an early settlement.

The stories and history of pirates in St. Augustine is deep. For instance in 1688, the notorious Jamaican pirate Robert Searles captured a Spanish ship and sailed it into St. Augustine’s harbor. He and his men stormed ashore, overpowered the guards and ran rampant through the town murdering and pillaging including several children. Robert Searle and Francis Drake also frequented the area as Spanish trading ships were a huge temptation for these vicious outlaws. Today pirates are popularized but for sure you did not want to run into any of these notorious bandits on the open seas back in the day’

The Pirate and treasure museum will take you back to a time when danger lurked beyond every wave. The museum features over 800 authentic artifacts not only from local pirates but also from areas such as Port Royal and Jamaica. You get to see what it is like being on the deck of a pirate ship in one room while reading about famous pirates on an interactive computer in another. The museum even contains artifacts from the dreaded Blackbeard like his blunderbuster rifle. There are certainly things to do for people of all ages here. There’s plenty to see and especially read about here so if you are a reader you can spend quite some time in this location.

Parking here is difficult. I recommend using the St. Augustine trolley if your going to be spending the day in the city and getting on and off at stops. Although you can manage to do it with your car you do not save much with constant parking expenses. The other option is parking in one place and walking but if it is hot you need to be careful.

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