Ah, the Lightner Museum! This gem amongst museums in a historical town really stands out. It’s not very hard to believe but the Lightner Museum St Augustine was one one of Henry Flagler’s famous posh hotels. Housed in the former Hotel Alcazar and initially built in 1887, the Lightner Museum St Augustine houses some of the most beautiful Victorian pieces I have seen. It’s not all about old furniture though, there are plenty of other things to see spread out across three floors of the former hotel.
When we first arrived, we were greeted by a very serene and calming courtyard complete with gardens and a coy pond. There are a few shops on the ground floor with a variety of things to check out. One half of the building is actually the St. Augustine City Hall, and the remaining half is the actual museum with the Cafe Alcazar on the ground floor. Once we made our way inside the actual Lightner Museum St Augustine entrance, we were greeted by friendly staff and smiling faces.
We had a larger group with four adults, one child, and my little guy in tow. We were loaded with gear from and exciting day in St. Augustine and were just about all wearing back packs. We were surprised to find that we ere asked to check our bags at the front desk. The staff was kind enough to explain that we could keep our backpacks just not to wear them. It sounded like an odd request, but she later explained that in the past people have worn bags and misjudged how much space they have when they turn around. Apparently this has been a problem in the past, so we were happy to oblige.
Ascending to Luxury
We made our way to the elevator and decided to start from the top of the museum and work our way down. The top floor was amazing, and we almost felt like we went back in time to 1887 when the hotel was built. It was easy to imagine furniture and sitting areas spread out amongst a luxurious back drop. You could see all the way down to the ground floor where the largest indoor pool of it’s time once delighted guests. The top floor was mostly intricate furniture and desks, and really added to the feeling of opulence.