Captain Thomas Tew’s treasure chest (the only pirate chest left in the world). One of two existing Jolly Roger flags. Buccaneer musket. Journal of Captain William Kidd’s Last Voyage.
The above reads like a props checklist for the filming of the newest “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie, however it’s actually just some of the few things you can discover at the recently opened Pirate and Treasure Museum
in St. Augustine, Fla
“It’s a one-of-a-kind museum for the area,” says Cindy Stavely, executive director. “It’s not your typical museum where you walk through sterile displays. It’s hands-on and interactive, you’re immersed in it.”
With over 800 artifacts, many of them from proprietor Pat Croce’s personal collection makes the museum more “authentic and real,” she says. In addition, there’s also various rare treasures on loan from Florida Division of Historical Resources.
Located across from Castillo de San Marcos
, the museum allows you to explore
the cobblestone streets of Port Royal, Jamaica, a tavern, main deck of a ship and more. Of particular interest is the Below Deck, an audio experience which transports you Blackbeard’s final battle. And no detail is spared as this part was created by Disney Imagineers.
“It’s unbelievable,” comment Stavely. “The dimensions are incredible. The seats even vibrate.”
Even Hollywood pirates are honored in the museum.
Described by Stavely as a “fun room,” you can see everything from the hook used in the movie “Peter Pan” to Captain Jack Sparrow’s sword from “Pirates of the Caribbean.”
An average visit to the Pirate and Treasure Museum typically last about an hour, but Stavely says it can be longer due to all of the interactive features.
She adds the museum appeals to all ages.
“We love to watch everyone’s expression when they’re touring the museum. They just don’t expect to find this in St. Augustine.”
The Pirate and Treasure Museum is opened daily from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the door or online.
photo credit: Tew’s chest, courtesy of Pirate and Treasure Museum.