Quality Inn & Suites Riverfront
201 N. 1st Street
Palatka, FL 32177-3703
Phone: (386) 328-3481
Fax: (386) 329-9907
Arts & Museums
This offbeat gallery is housed, as the name implies, in a former garage contains many works of art that are predominantly from local artists. The range of media is vast, from traditional oil paints to wood and glass, eclecticism is the name of the game. The gallery also hosts many events throughout the year, popular ones include its 'First Fridays' or popular Art Garage Sale which pops-up more often than not. Since the gallery opened in 1999 and since then it has brought art to the community at-large.
The Rembrandtz Art Gallery has become something of a catch-all for art, souvenirs, and gifts in downtown St. Augustine. Consistently voted one of the best businesses in the city for gifts and artwork, Rembrandtz occupies a unique niche between showcase venue for local artists, offbeat souvenir shop and the kind of gift shop guaranteed to put a memorable spin on any occasion.
In keeping with the Spanish-Moorish theme of much of old St. Augustine, Villa Zorayda is a sumptuously decorated mock-Arabian palace in the middle of America's first city. The Villa is spectacular inside and out, it features the geometric decor and vaulted arches typical of the Alhambra or the palaces of old Cordoba. In fact, the palace actually mimics a part of the Alhambra in 1/10 scale. The Villa was built in 1883 and since then it had undergone many incarnations as a former casino, private club, residence, and meetinghouse. Today it houses the eclectic collections of its original benefactor Franklin Smith as well as that of former owner Abraham Mussallem.
The Leitner Museum and the administrative offices of the city of St Augustine are both housed in the former Alcazar Hotel, built in 1887 by railroad magnate and giant of Florida history Henry Flagler as he developed the area for tourism and expansion. The building itself is incredible; built in the style of a moorish palace, its like is rare anywhere in America or the old world. It is a unique warren of towers, arches and long galleries and rewards any stroll through its grounds. The Lightner Museum, housed in the former health club of the hotel, contains numerous artifacts pertaining to local history, like archaeological finds and artworks depicting the city's patron saint, and oddities deemed worthy of interest like taxidermied beasts and shrunken heads. The museum also houses a gift shop and numerous other stores and galleries can be found on the buildings grounds.
You will be entertained and educated at Early American Weapons & History museum that features an authentic collection of weaponry, spanning centuries and the globe. You will see all types of unusual guns, rifles, pistols, muskets and swords, along with various artifacts dating from the 15th to 19th centuries. There are also 18th century shipwreck artifacts, English colonial and Spanish artifacts, Civil War relics, a large Confederate Army weaponry display and much more.
Inside the coquina shell-and-limestone walls of this old Spanish house, the decor portrays three centuries and three cultures—Spanish,British and American—that have left their mark on the home. On a narrated tour, you'll get a look at the vast differences between present and past. If you are a reader of Eugenia Price's novels, you may find Maria's Room particularly interesting—it was described in her historical novel Maria. The house is easy to find in downtown St Augustine.
Relics from America's Gilded Age reside at the Lightner Museum located in St. Augustine, the nation's oldest city. Some of the ornately impressive exhibits include fine and decorative arts, unusual home furnishings and the highlight, Tiffany stained glass. The collections also include other Victorian collectibles, costumes and even archaic mechanical musical instruments. The museum is in what was once the Alcazar Hotel, a historic landmark that dates back to 1887, and it features the museum's restaurant, the Café Alcazar, inside the massive old swimming pool.
The local historical society's research library contains a wealth of information on St Augustine's incredibly rich past. Staffed by friendly and engaged locals, you'll find information to complement and surpass anything provided on standard tours, and perhaps enough to create your own off-the-beaten-path trek. The enthusiasm and attention to detail you'll find here is incomparable, as is the opportunity to glean free information most visitors never get.
The Dow Museum of Historic Houses is a wonderful display and collection of historic houses. What started out as a collection by Kenneth W. Dow grew into an interesting and detailed collection of historic houses from 1790 to 1910. There are nine period houses that take you through 400 years of the city’s life and culture. Originally known as the Old St. Augustine Village, the museum also hosts a number of events like the Festival of Trees and the Halifax Art Festival. Do check the website for the details. In the museum complex there a children’s museum and a planetarium as well, and the museum also organizes activities and classes for architecture and other interests. The museum also has a number of art exhibitions including photography and sculpture. The houses are also available for events like wedding celebrations, anniversaries and more.
This house museum is the second oldest exisitng structure in St. Augustine, after the Castillo de San Marcos. Constructed in 1691 out of the same coquina stone used in the Castillo, it was originally a home to Spaniards and probably British during the periods in which both had a foothold in Florida. Father Miguel O'Reilly purchased the home in 1785 and used it as a repository of education for the Catholic Church until his death. He then bequeathed the property to the Sisters of St. Joseph, who continue to run it today. The home has received several renovations over the last 300 years and inside, guests can learn about these construction phases as well as the Catholic church in St. Augustine. Admission is free, but donations are accepted.
This Government House has been the municipal headquarters for Spanish, British and U.S. administrations since it was built in 1598. The original structure no longer stands, however there has been a government building on this site since then. The museum inside the building features the popular exhibit entitled, 'First Colony: Our Spanish Origins.' It explores its history from early native settlements through European colonization to Flagler's Golden Age. In presentations here, you can see the components of the old city's economy, architecture, culture and archaeology as well as silver pieces retrieved from shipwrecks off of the coast.
This state-house museum is one of the oldest structures in St. Augustine. A Spanish storekeeper named Andres Ximenez constructed the house in 1798 using native coquina stone (a mix of coral rock and cement). The house and property are well-preserved and the tour includes a visit to the artillery officer's room, the dining room, guest parlor and captain's room as well as interpretive exhibits in the visitor's center. Today, the house is restored in order to depict a tranquil 19th-century inn, although throughout its history, the property has seen tumult and chaos, from Spanish-American battles to the Seminole Wars. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.