My second trip back to St. Augustine was just as wonderful as the first. I visited a few new places: the brewery, the winery, and Lightner Museum, but the highlight of the trip was the Flagler College tour!
Flagler College Tour
The first time I went to St. Augustine I was told multiple times to book a tour to visit Flagler College. So, my next visit to St. Augustine was centered around going on the tour and I was not disappointed. Being in St. Augustine already made me feel like I had gone back in time, but when I walked through the gates onto the Flagler campus I felt transported back even further. The architecture is incredible. The orange-red clay used on the college is beautiful, the details intricate. There is a large fountain in the center, with different sculptures posted at each hour.
The tickets for the tour are in the main building. There is a beautiful 68 foot hand painted dome inside where tickets are sold and the tours begin. You would think this would be the highlight, and while it’s stunning, it doesn’t compare to the rest of the rooms on the tour. I took plenty of pictures while I waited for our guide to start the tour.
After introductions, our guide showed us details in the dome we hadn’t seen at first. Then we headed outside and our guide told us that the building was built in 1888 as Hotel Ponce de Leon, a hotel for snowbirds. Now it’s known as Flagler College and is a historical landmark. The building is a women’s dorm for the college.
Then we made our way to the now dining area, which used to be a dance area in the hotel. This is the most beautiful part of the tour. The stained glass is enhanced by hand painted art work on the walls, gorgeous lavish chandeliers, and handcrafted wooden chairs with angels.
Ladies Sitting Area
The next room was the ladies room, where all of the ladies staying in the hotel would meet and talk. This area is reserved for the tour now, so it isn’t being used by the college. The chandeliers are dripping with crystals. There are several pieces of artwork and a clock that have been preserved. This area also houses clothing from the era for guests to view. The tour is aweing, everything is impressive.
The Flagler College tour was absolutely amazing! You can walk into the entrance any day, but the tours are available only during certain hours (and on the off season only two tours run each day). The art is gorgeous and all of it is handpainted. I couldn’t get enough of the works before we had to move on to the next room on our tour. One student leads the tour and they do a fantastic job going into detail about the works of art, history, and artists. It’s a must do, add this to your trip plans!
More to do in St. Augustine
St. Augustine has festivals year round, including sea food fests and a pirate festival! In addition, the city also has a boat ride tour during the Christmas holidays to see all of the lights. I haven’t been on this yet, but it sounds amazing. To find more things to do in St. Augustine, read my first post on what not to miss: click here