The incredible St. Augustine Pirate Museum has lots of amazing hands-on entertainment and treasures in St. Augustine, Florida.
Making a trip down the East Coast from the Upstate, SC? The St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum is the real deal and has such cool exhibits and treasures! We checked it out and have all the details.
About the St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum
The museum is a brainchild of Pat Croce, a best-selling author, entrepreneur, and pirate scholar. Some of the artifacts in the museum were obtained from dives he did to sunken ships. So cool.
The museum initially opened in Key West in 2005 but was moved to St. Augustine in 2010, where it has resided ever since. St. Augustine, the nation’s oldest city, is no stranger to piracy after all. Famous pirates such as Robert Searles and Sir Frances Drake even visited St. Augustine. Castillo de San Marcos, the Spanish fort which I had visited on a previous trip (highly recommend, super neat), saw its fair share of pirates. It is right across the street from the pirate museum.
Today, the museum spans about 5,000 square feet and holds more than 800 authentic pirate artifacts ranging from the 1600s to the present day. The entire museum is arranged so that you feel like you’re actually on a pirate ship.
Exploring the Museum
Honestly, I thought the museum would be a little cheesy and touristy but I had seen good reviews and wanted to give it a shot. Also, one of my daughters had recently done a presentation on female pirates for school so we were already into the history of pirates and I thought this would make a fantastic addition to her knowledge of pirates.
I am happy to say I was blown away by this museum. It is not even close to being cheesy. I have always been fascinated by pirates and the museum just brings the history of piracy and the more famous pirates to life right in front of you.
There’s a scavenger hunt you can do during your time there where you look for drawers with the Jolly Roger sign (skull and crossbones) and write down what’s inside them on your treasure map. That was easy and fun for all of us and certainly interactive.
We found all kinds of incredible artifacts from sunken ships off the coasts of North Carolina and Florida that had been recovered even up to 2011. There were remnants of barrels, guns, pottery, glasses, and even books and Bibles.
Exhibits featured screens with drawings of famous pirates and their stories. We even found stories about Mary Read and Anne Bonny, two of the pirates my daughter had researched. We learned about knot tying, why certain sails were raised at certain times, how pirates were tortured, and even how the famous pirate, Blackbeard, met his end.
There is a really interesting room that holds the only known pirate treasure chest in the world from several hundred years ago plus gold and silver coins and other pirate treasure that has been recovered from shipwrecks.
My kids are 9 and 12 and they really enjoyed it. Even as an adult, I absolutely loved it. I wish I could have stayed longer and read through more of the exhibits but the kids wanted to see different parts of the museum so we kept on going on our pirate adventure.
Visiting the St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum
The pirate museum is open daily 10 am – 7 pm except for Christmas Day. We spent a little over an hour there and bought our tickets online. We went during Christmas Break so I just wanted to be sure that we could get in. I don’t think we would have had any problems buying tickets at the museum though. It wasn’t terribly crowded.
Tickets to the museum are $17.99/ages 13-59 and $9.99/ages 5-12. Military and ages 60+ tickets are $15.99. You can buy them at the museum or online.
If you’re visiting the nation’s oldest city, I definitely recommend checking out the St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum.
You can park across the street at Castillo de San Marcos where it is metered parking or in a nearby parking garage.
St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum
12 S Castillo Drive, St. Augustine, FL
St Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum Website
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