A Field Trip to the Oldest City in America

When you think of the oldest city in the US you may think of Plymouth or Jamestown, but you need to look much further south for the true answer; St. Augustine, Florida!

In 1513, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon discovered what is now Florida on his search 'Fountain of Youth'. He landed at St. Augustine and claimed it as a Spanish territory. The city was officially founded in 1565, which is actually 42 years before the British founded Jamestown (55 years before pilgrims landed at Plymouth).

The area was war-torn in its early days and British forces destroyed most of the original buildings in St. Augustine in the early 1700s. However, today you can still explore the city's historic streets and see dozens of original or near-original buildings throughout.

This city provides a myriad of entertaining education options, with history lessons to be learned around every corner!

Here are the attractions we believe will be the most insightful for your student group during your field trip to the Oldest City in America:

  • Aviles Street
    • St. Augustine's Aviles Street is the oldest street in the United States, home of some of the earliest (or very first) services such as a church, cemetery, jail, hospital, boarding houses, and school. It is also considered to be the original artist district in America, rich in both history and culture!
      Aviles Street Pixabay Public Domain

      Aviles Street Pixabay Public Domain

  • Castillo de San Marcos
    • Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States, established between 1672 and 1695. The 21-acres of fortress land was first built due to an apparent strong need for protection and defense for the Spanish claims in the New World. This spot boasts over 315 years of history.
      Castillo San Marcos Pixabay Public Domain

      Castillo San Marcos Pixabay Public Domain

  • Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine
    • This is the very first Catholic Parish in America, first established in 1786 when the Spanish crown ordered the construction of a new parish church for St. Augustine. The cornerstone was laid in 1793 and the church has been welcoming visitors to join in prayer or tour ever since then!
      Cathedral Pixabay Public Domain

      Cathedral Basilica Pixabay Public Domain

  • Fountain of Youth Archaeological
    • This is THE original site of the Nation's oldest city, first surveyed by Juan Ponce de Leon in 1513 and settled by Pedro Menendez de Aviles in 1565- the oldest successful European settlement in the United States. Colonial America had its start here, 55 years before the Pilgrims ever landed on Plymouth Rock, and 42 years before the settlement of Jamestown!

      Fountain of Youth Credit Visit St. Augustine

  • Oldest House
    • This home-turned-museum is the oldest surviving Spanish colonial dwelling in St. Augustine! It has construction history dating back to around 1723, though the site has been thought to be occupied since the early 1600s. The structure displays a vernacular architecture style and takes up around 87,000 square feet. It is also sometimes referred to as the Gonzalez-Alvarez House.
      Oldest House Pixabay Public Domain

      Oldest House Pixabay Public Domain

  • Oldest Store Museum Experience
    • This museum recreates the original St. Augustine general store operate by C.F Hamblen in 1908. Today you can visit and see the extensive collection of authentic products lining the walls, living history guides dressed as old fashioned clerks and salesmen there to demo all the 'best time-saving miracles from the rockin’ 1900s!'

      Oldest Store Credit Visit St Augustine

  • Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse
    • This structure is, quite possibly, the oldest standing wooden structure in the whole United States! Located near the City Gates, the Oldest Wooden School House is, indeed, an architectural artifact constructed of red cedar and cypress and assembled with wooden pegs and handmade nails over 200 years ago, while Florida was under the rule of Imperial Spain.

      Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse Pixabay Public Domain

  • Spanish Military Hospital Museum
    • This museum reflects Spanish colonial architecture and allows you to travel back in time as you watch an apothecary create medicines, discover how colonial herbs were many modern medicines origin, and even see a surgical demonstration. The educational tour is considered to be the 'only exclusive Second Spanish Period educational tour' in the area!
      Spanish Military Museum Credit Visit St. Augustine

      Spanish Military Museum Credit Visit St. Augustine

  • St. Augustine History Museum
    • This 'Ancient City' has had quite an epic 500-year history, from prehistoric settlers and European power struggles to Henry Flagler's winter haven and railroad base. You will see this 500-year history once you step inside the museum and are 'taken on a sweeping historical journey of the people, places, and things that helped shape this age-old city'.
      St. Augustine Pixabay Public Domain

      St. Augustine Pixabay Public Domain


    There are plenty of really fun things to do in St. Augustine as well, such as the Alligator Farm, Black Raven Pirate Ship, Ghost Tours, Marineland, State Parks, Beach Time, Ripley's attractions, and much more!

    Give us a call for more details at 877.397.5700!