GETTING OUT THIS WEEKEND
One of the best ways to see the incredible outdoor scenery that St. Augustine has to offer is to get right out on the water or see historic downtown in our 7-passenger limo-style golf cart. And we offer many different tours depending on what you like to do!
If you're interested in some relaxation, please join us on a 90-MINUTE HAPPY HOUR CRUISE in and around the historic Bay Front in St. Augustine. It is BYOB os bring your favorite adult beverage, a snack if you would like, sit back and enjoy the scenery! This cruise leaves at 6:45 p.m. Thursday - Sunday and is for guests 21 years old and up at low cost of only $18 per person.
Another very popular tour is our DOLPHIN ADVENTURE! This boat tour is designed for a memorable experience with family and friends in a picturesque setting. Enjoy a 90-minute boat tour in the Matanzas Bay with your Captain & Crew in search of the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin. The special tour is only $29 per person and leave at either 10:00 a.m. or 12:00 p.m., Thursday - Monday.
Do you have guests from out of town or looking for something to do with your friends and family? Enjoy a private tour from our 7-passenger GOLF CART LIMOUSINE. Our licensed tour guide will take you places the others can't. Learn the history of the oldest city in the United States. Tour is $20 per person and available every day of the week between 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
And for those special occasions, you can charter the entire boat for a private boat ride! E-mail us with your interested date and how many guests and we'll do the rest!
HISTORY OF THE NIGHTS OF LIGHTS
The Nights of Lights season celebrates its 26th anniversary this year where businesses and locals adorn the city with white, twinkling lights. The festival traces its origin to the Spanish tradition of displaying a white candle in the window during the Christmas holidays. It's rumored that some people will hide a red light among all the white ones and people will try and search it out each year!
The festival of lights begins at the Plaza de Constitucion, with its beautiful holiday tree in the center and oaks strung with lights, and stretches out to illuminate all of St. Augustine's historic district. You will see lights strung from roofs to doorway entrances and watch the city start to glow with holiday cheer every night from November 24th through February 2nd. There will be MILLIONS of twinkling lights covering the nation's oldest city.
Nights of Lights has become famous around the world as one of the finest places to see holiday lights and has been featured on top ten lists in publications like National Geographic and Rachael Ray magazines. The best way to see the lights is to enjoy them by boat or by a private golf cart tour. Be sure to book early as it sells out quickly and use the code LIGHTS (in all caps) at check-out to receive 50% off!
SUMMER PRICE SLASH ON DOLPHIN SAFARI!
Don't wait to book a summer tour before seats are gone! This is a great time to see dolphins in action. It's almost like they know it's summertime and they're celebrating!
Now ALL Dolphin Safari trips are GUARANTEED TO SEE DOLPHIN or receive a FREE ticket good for for 1 year from date of purchase!
VOTED BEST DOLPHIN TOUR in St. Augustine 2017 & 2018
HAPPENINGS AROUND ST. AUGUSTINE
St. Augustine is recognized as the oldest city in the U.S. and hosts a number of events from kid friendly to adults only. Many of the annual celebrations in St. Augustine reflect this rich heritage and culture, where visitors AND locals pack the cobblestone streets of historic downtown to participate in events. Here are some great events going on now and coming soon! AND you can reserve a private golf cart tour or boat tour today. Be sure to book today to take advantage of our NEW SUMMER RATES!
GUARANTEE: Guranteed to see dolphin or you will receive a free ticket good for a year!
Furry Paws Festival on Saturday, May 18th at the dog park 3500 International Golf Parkway from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.. Funds raised will benefit K9’s for Warriors.
X106.5 BBQ with Jimmy East World and Taking Back this Sunday, May 19th beginning at 5:20 p.m. at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre.
Weekend Cannon Firing every Friday, Saturday and Sunday – you can be a part of history at the Castillo de San Marcos. The best way is to see the firing by water and you can book here!
First Friday Art Walk is held the first Friday of each month from 5-9 p.m. in the local galleries and at the Plaza de la Constitucion.
Edgar Degas: The Private Impressionist at the Lightner Museum through June 15, 2019.
Limelight Theatre presents Calendar Girls through June 9, 2019 at the Limelight Theatre, Inc.
Amphitheatre Farmers Market at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre every Saturday morning from 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Night Market at the Amphitheatre every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month through October 2019 at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre.
Lightner After Hours is a free event held the last Thursday of every month from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. where everyone is invited to enjoy live music, hors d’oeuvres, wine and art.
St. Augustine Flea Market every Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the St. Augustine Marketplace.
Music by the Sea 2019 every Wednesday through September 11, 2019 from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. at the St. Johns County Ocean Pier.
Concerts in the Plaza 2019 every Thursday from 7-9 p.m. beginning May 30th – August 29, 2019 in the Plaza de la Constitucion.
Drake's Raid Re-enactment on June 1, 2019 is an exciting re-enactment at the Colonial Quarter and in the evening along St. George Street and brings to life the siege of San Agustin by Sir Francis Drake in 1586.
Lightner Learning Lab: Degas, Prints, and I held on Sunday, June 9, 2019 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. where kids can learn about the different prints on view in the Lightner Museum.
Ripley’s Free Summer Movies beginning Wednesdays, June 12th – July 31st, 2019 (except July 3rd) at 8:30 p.m. at the Colonial Oaks. This is something the whole family can enjoy!
St. Augustine Music Festival is a free classical music concert series held Thursday – Saturday, June 20-22nd and June 27-29th, 2019 from 7:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine.
DOLPHINS - THE SACRED BREATH OF LIFE
Native Americans believe that dolphins are the keepers of the sacred breath of life.
If you have ever watched a dolphin swim, you will observe a beautiful rhythm as they move through the water and breathe before submerging, holding their breath for the duration while underwater. When dolphins resurface, they will blow out their breath in a manner which sounds like the popping of a cork. Humans can learn much from this technique; as a “popping” forceful exhale is a terrific remedy for releasing stress and tension.
It is believed that dolphins are messengers of Manna or the life force that exists in every material particle of energy. Some relate this to the Great Spirit’s essence. Dolphins teach us to use Manna or energy through breath - revitalizing and healing each organ and cell.
So next time you see a dolphin, remember he is a symbol representing the gift of AIR and the ability to BREATHE! Better yet, come see the dolphins yourself on our next excursion…BOOK TODAY and be sure to book today to take advantage of our new SUMMER RATES.
Guarantee: you are guaranteed to see dolphin or you will received a free ticket that is good up to a year!
GETTING OUT ON THE WATER
One of the best ways to see the incredible outdoor scenery that St. Augustine has to offer is to get right out on the water. And we offer many ways to this depending on what you would like to do!
Our Dolphin & Manatee Watch is one of the favorites by the locals. Sit back and relax for a 90-minute tour as we explore the inland’s and wetlands of our area. This tour is for age 3 and up.
If you’re interested in some relaxation, please join us on a 90-minute Happy Hour Cruise in and around the historic Bay Front in St. Augustine. No need to BYOB as we have a beer & wine bar on board. Adults only 21 and over.
Another very popular tour is our Friday night FAMILY FUN NIGHT! This boat tour is for families only. Enjoy a 90-minute boat tour for a family of four, for only $49! Explore the Matanzas Bay and look for Dolphin and travel to the Bay Front to see the historic sights!
We have recently added a BOTTOMLESS MIMOSAS TOUR. Join us for an adult only boat tour in and around the Matanzas Bay and Tolomato River in St. Augustine. Enjoy sightseeing for wild birds, dolphin and manatee.
And for those special occasions, you can charter the entire boat for a private boat ride with up to 30 guests! Email us with your interested date and how many guests and we’ll do the rest!
AND DON'T FORGET - YOU CAN PURCHASE A GIFT CARD FOR ANY OF OUR CRUISES AT A 50% DISCOUNT WHEN YOU USE THE CODE MOTHER (ALL CAPS). THE GIFT CARD WILL BE GOOD FOR 12 MONTHS FROM YOU PURCHASE DATE! (Offer expires 5/13/19)
ST. AUGUSTINE FUN FACTS
Where St. Augustine is now located, it was initially explored in 1513, 50 years before the city was founded by famed Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon. De Leon, at that time, was the governor of Puerto Rico and claimed the area for the Spanish crown.
Narrowest Street in the United States
Who knew St. Augustine was home to the narrowest street in the United States? Treasury Street is just 7 feet wide and connects the waterfront Bay Street to the Royal Spanish Treasury. The street was purposely built to provide barely enough room for two men to carry a chest of gold to the treasury from ships docked on the bay. This was done to minimize the chances of a horse-drawn carriage riding by and stealing the money.
Oldest Wax Museum in the United States
Potter’s Wax Museum is the oldest wax museum in the country, predating Madame Tussaud’s and even the famed Hollywood Wax Museum. The museum features about 200 figures, from Austin Powers and Angelina Jolie to presidents, royalty and movie stars.
First Catholic Congregation in North America
The Cathedral Basilica is home to the first Catholic congregation in North America. The Cathedral is located on Cathedral Place, just north of Cordova Street. The cornerstone was laid in 1793. In 1887, a fire that started at the St. Augustine Hotel spread to the cathedral, which was subsequently rebuilt. Pope Paul VI in December 1976 raised the Cathedral to the status of minor basilica, the 27th U.S. church honored by the Holy See.
First Free Black Settlement
St. Augustine was the site of Fort Mose, the first free black settlement in North America. The fort, originally known as Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose, was established in 1738 as part of the outer defenses of St. Augustine. The Fort Mose site is part of Castillo de San Marcos National Monument. The Florida Park Service is working in conjunction with the Fort Mose Historical Society to develop a heritage complex on the site.
Do you know the orgin of the word "Florida?" It means "Flowering Easter" after Spain's spring celebration and it's obvious that abundant flora and wildlife have called St. Augustine home since the beginning of time. This area is home to a massive ecosystem of wildlife!
It would be impossible to mention St. Augustine, Forida wildlife watching without highlighting the eclectic selection of aquatic life that can be found in the surrounding waters. With Old City Tours, we offer you a unique look at the aquatic ecosystem and help you to see bottle-nosed dolphins, jellyfish, turtles, eagles and more! Besides the magical dolphins, there is no shortage of bird species in this area. Bird enthusiast flock (please excuse the pun) to St. Augustine to capture a glimps, of not only an eagle, heron or an egret, but other more rare species. This area is an important migratory stopover on the eastern flyway for migrating birds, It is also an important nesting habitat for Least Terns, Wilson's Plovers, and Black Skimmers.
Come out and enjoy a FAMILY ECO TOUR! We are offering a special boat tour for families only. Enjoy a 90-minute boat tour for a family of four for ONLY $49 in St. Augustine. Explore the Matanzas Bay and look for dolphins, birds, manatee and travel to the Bay Front to see the historic sights. Book today!
HOW OLD IS SAINT AUGUSTINE?
St. Augustine is truly the oldest, continuously occupied European-established settlement and port in the continental U.S.
It was established 55 years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, 43 years before the Spanish settlement at Santa Fe, New Mexico and 42 years before the English established their colony at Jamestown, Virginia!
On September 8, 1965, Pedro Menendez de Aviles landed on the shore of what is now called Matanzas Bay and began the founding of the Presidio of San Agustin. Later the settlement would be called St. Augustine in honor of Augustine, a saint of the Roman Catholic Church. For over 200 years, the city served as the capital of Spanish Florida and later became the capital of British East Florida. When Spain ceded Florida to the United States in 1819, St. Augustine was designated the capital of the Florida Territory until 1924 when Tallahassee became the capital.
Pedro Menendez and his party of about 1500 soldiers and colonists built the city on the site of an ancient Native America village and it has been continually inhabited since its founding. The original Spanish fort, the Castillo de San Marcos, was built in the 17th century. Before Castillo de San Marcos was built there was a wooden fort, which had proved vulnerable to pirate attack and that is why in 1672 the Queen ordered a stronger fort be built to replace the wooden fort.
Castillo de San Marcos was made of shell stone, consisting of walls 30 feet high and 12 feet thick, and was surrounded by a moat. The fort was used as a prison during the Indian Wars and was a battle site in the American Civil War.
St. Augustine was ruled by the Spanish for 256 years, before James Oglethorpe, the British founder and governor of Georgia, launched a series of attacks on St. Augustine and eventually ended the power of the Spanish. Florida was turned over to British rule. The British ruled St. Augustine for 20 years and they established great plantations and St. Augustine enjoyed prosperity.
During the Revolutionary War, the Castillo de San Marcos was converted into a prison for captured American rebels. Heyward, Rutledge, and Middleton, signers of the Declaration of Independence, were imprisoned there.
In March of 1812, the U.S. sent gunboats and troops to lay siege to St. Augustine, but they were forced to withdraw when the War of 1812 broke out with England. American troops again invaded Florida in the First Seminole War and gained control over much of the peninsula. The U.S. acquired the old Castillo in 1821 and renamed it Fort Marion in 1825.
Most of the historic building of St. Augustine are located near the Plaza de la Consitucion. The Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest standing fort in the continental United States and the U.S. government made it a National Park in 1933. The Bridge of Lions, built in 1927, links the downtown with Davis Shores, a residential community dating back to the 1920’s and St. Augustine Beach.
The best way to see these historic locations is by water where you will see the Fort, Bridge of Lions, historical downtown St. Augustine, The Great Cross, dolphins and more! Book today!
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT DOLPHINS
Did you know there are over 40 species of dolphins with the most common being the Bottlenose that inhabits the St. Augustine area? Dolphins are mammals that are known for their friendliness and are found across the world. Here are some fun facts about our friend the dolphin:
They stick with their mothers for a long time
It is in the nature of the dolphins to stick with their mothers for a long time before they leave their pack. Some stay with their mothers for 3 or even 8 years!
Dolphins have 2 stomachs
One is used for storage of food and the other is used for digestion.
They dive up to 1,000 feet
Dolphins are known to be great divers. Being creatures of the sea, they can dive up to 1,000 feet underwater.
Dolphins can live up to 50 years!
Even though the average lifespan of dolphins is about 17 years, some can even live up to 50 years!
There are around 40 species of dolphins
There are many types of dolphins, around 40 different species. While the majority of them spend their lives in saltwater, many can survive just fine in freshwater. The smallest of their kind is 3-4 feet long, while the largest is 30 feet!
Dolphins help the sick or injured members
These caring creatures are often seen tending to the sick, the old and the injured in their group, which is know as a “pod.”
Extremely intelligent animals
Dolphins never chew their food
They give themselves names
They sleep with only half their brain
Dolphins are very friendly to humans and animals
Killer whales are the biggest kind of dolphin
Dolphins can migrate if they don't have enough food
Dolphins have very delicate skin, getting injured at the slightest touch of hard surface. However, due to their fast healing attribute, even the deepest of wounds can be healed within a short time.
Some can swim at 20 miles per hour
WHY SEE ST AUGUSTINE BY WATER?
There are many sightseeing tours offered in and around St. Augustine, so why see it by land when you can see it by water!? For one thing, you can avoid the long trolley lines and step right onto to our 32-passenger boat! While on our boat, you can enjoy an adult beverage or a non-alcoholic beverage of choice. This is your opportunity to take the less traditional sightseeing route to explore beautiful St. Augustine by water with one of our locally licensed historic guides. Our Eco and historical tours let you get up close and personal with the natural Florida wildlife that is teeming throughout the waterways like dolphins and manatees. Whether you are looking for a family outing, a sunset cruise or want to charter the boat for a special occasion, it’s all here for you! Click here for pricing and reservations today!