Fodor's Expert Review Mission San Luis Archaeological and Historic Site
On the site of a 17th-century Spanish mission and Apalachee town, this museum focuses on the archaeology of the late 1600s, when this and three nearby villages had a population of more than 1,400. Threatened by the Creek and English forces, the locals burned the village and fled in 1704. Research on the in-town site continues while its 63 acres take visitors far away from the modern day. The public is invited to interact with guides in period dress acting as the mission's 17th-century residents. Several buildings have been reconstructed to give a sense of how the Spaniards and Apalachee coexisted and assimilated each other's foods and traditions. Particularly impressive is a Native American Council House. With a palm-thatched roof, the cavernous "city hall" structure stands five stories tall and 120 feet in diameter. A state-of-the-art visitor center features artifacts from the site on display and a gift shop.