Admission at Castillo de San Marcos is $6 for adults and free for kids age 15 and under. Our visit lasted just under two hours, which is how long the parking meters will let you go on one feeding of four quarters, and which is just about right for our family.
We arrived just as this guide was finishing up describing how the Spanish defended their fort from the Englsh. It's one of my favorite stories about the Castillo, and I wish my kids had heard the whole thing. But you can read about it here: Covering Your Coqina: How to Withstand Enemy Book.
which overlooks Matanzas Bay and the distant lighthouse.
A tower at one corner -- they could shoot out of the gun holes.
Our kids all had on their red American flag T-shirts which makes them easy to spot.
I like to have them wear these whenever we take a family field trip.
I couldn't find Melody's though, so she just wore a red T-shirt. She's not in the picture below.
Native American culture is also featured...Steps to the upper level from the inner courtyard...
Picnic lunch under a palm tree, and then time to run around.
Our next stop -- the Colonial Spanish Quarter -- is just a couple of blocks away from Castillo de San Marcos, so we left our van there and fed more quarters into the meter.
There is an entrance fee of about $7 for adults, $4.25 for kids or $20 per family. Hours are 9 AM - 4:45 PM. We were here for two hours. You can find more information (rates may be obsolete) here: http://staugustinegovernment.com/visitors/spanish_quarter.cfm
The carpentry shop...
At the leather shop, this crafter was drinking lemonade from a leather tankard he had made.
It is waterproofed with a coating of beeswax, so he can't use it for hot drinks.
We were very impressed with this man's presentation because he was really trying to draw the kids in to the conversation.
The man at the blacksmith shop also explained his job well.
No matter where we are, we can't resist taking nature photos!
Crowing rooster on the fence
Spider on a web
Automated musical instruments -- a whole room of them!
The guide demonstrated most of them for us.