Ripley’s Believe It or Not
Ripley’s Believe It or Not is one of the main attractions in St. Augustine. The Museum, or Odditorium, is the oldest Ripley’s location in the world, having been established in 1950. That’s fairly appropriate for the Historic City!
The Odditorium is located in Castle Warden, a Moorish Revival mansion built in 1887 by William Warden as a winter home. In later years, it was turned into a hotel, until Ripley’s opened the location. It’s been a St. Augustine standard ever since. You can often see this location in the Ripley’s television show, during the opening credits.
The entire property is amazing, with exhibits outside such as an exact replica of Michelangelo’s “David,” an 18-foot tall hand-carved marble statue weighing 20,000 pounds. David is located in front of the building, however, due to his nudity, he is hidden behind some bushes. You do not need a ticket to see David, nor any of the other outside exhibits. That includes the House Inside a Redwood Log, A Stallion made entirely from vintage 1950’s and 60’s chrome car bumpers, and more.
Inside the Museum.
The inside of the museum features over 800 exhibits from a wide variety of mediums. There are Jelly Bean mosaics, a motorcycle made of animal bone, space vehicles made of match sticks and erector sets, and much more. There are hands-on exhibits as well, such as contortion, a pirate shooting gallery, and other things you won’t find any place else.
The tour is self-guided, so take your time. The average tour length is about 2 hours, though you can make it within an hour. There is an elevator that stops on each floor, so the tour is wheelchair accessible. There is also restrooms and vending machines available if you need them.
After the Tour.
You can take your St. Augustine adventure to the next stop by jumping on a Ripley’s Sightseeing Train right in the parking lot. These trolleys will take you around town and stop at all the attractions of interest, from the big ones to the small ones. Every part of St. Augustine is covered by the guided trolley tour. For the brave among you, Ripley’s also offers Ghost Adventures, a paranormal experience that takes you to well-known haunted locations at night. This Trolley will have low lighting, and a spooky narrator. There are more than 18 stops on the Ghost Adventures tour across St. Augustine.