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Fountain of Youth National Archaeological Park

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Fountain of Youth National Archaeological Park Review

This once-dated attraction continues to undergo a major rejuvenation. There are still fun elements from the original "Old Florida" (admittedly somewhat kitschy), but there's much that's new and exciting, too. The timing is appropriate—in 2013, the park celebrated the 500th anniversary of Ponce de León's arrival. The 15-acre waterfront site is also the location where Spanish explorer Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, in 1565, established the first and oldest continuous European settlement in what's now the United States. Excavations have also shown it was the site of a Franciscan mission to the Timucuan Indians. The park includes a replica of the mission, a Timucuan village and burial grounds, a boatyard in which a 16th-century-style boat is being constructed, and a new observation platform over the marsh. Other highlights include cannon firings, Navigators Planetarium, a gift shop and snack bar, and the springhouse where you can still quench your thirst from "the fountain of youth."

Updated: 06-10-2013

Fodorite Reviews

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    Fountain of Youth National Archaeological Park Review

    We are native Floridians and thoroughly enjoyed this park. Yes, the Fountain of Youth portion of the park left something to be desired, but it has of historical significance. The grounds were interesting to wander through and the live cannon demonstration was informative. On the day we visited there was an archaeological exhibit showing 1,000 year old artifacts that were recently found onsite which we were able to hold and view close up. An added bonus is the view across a small waterway of the cross at Misson of Nombre de Dios.

    by Heartburn333, 9/25/10

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