Back to School Lesson: Visiting Wakulla County’s Historic Sites

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St. Marks Lighthouse

As back-to-school season approaches, learning opportunities are on everyone’s mind. When you visit Wakulla County, you’ll be immersed in a wide range of historical sites that tie into the history of America. Whether you’re an elementary school student or a PhD in history, you’ll love exploring all of the amazing sites and hearing the stories of those who made this country what it is today.

Walk in the shoes of many different types of Americans at Fort San Marcos de Apalache

The towns, fields, rivers, and coasts of Wakulla County have been home to a diverse collection of different Americans over the years. From American Indians of various tribes, to immigrants from England and Spain, to southern colonists and beyond, this area is rich with the histories of many differing cultures.

Nowhere is this more apparent than at Fort San Marcos de Apalache, which sheltered members of all of these groups at one point or another. Now, visitors can explore the fort was first built on this land in 1679, by taking a self-guided tour through the grounds, watching a video that depicts many moments of historical significance, and visiting the museum that houses artifacts that have been recovered from the area.

Explore the significance of the railroads on a beautiful recreational trail

In many ways, the history of the railroads are intertwined with the history of the United States itself. The construction of the railroad tells the stories of expansion, capitalism, and America’s ascension to a world power. Florida’s first operating railroad was built in parts of Wakulla County in 1836, and it is now home to the Tallahassee to St. Marks Historic Railroad Trail.

This 16-mile paved recreational trail is fit for walkers of all fitness levels, and it winds through the lush forests of the Florida panhandle. Along the way, be sure to check the plaques for information about the railroad’s role in transporting crucial goods such as cotton throughout the southeastern U.S.

Go back in time in a coastal lighthouse

Many people don’t stop to think about the historical importance of lighthouses, but they played a critical role in the times before electricity was available and ships were the dominant form of transportation. The St. Marks Lighthouse is the second oldest lighthouse in Florida, and first shone a light for incoming ships in 1831. This beautiful structure has withstood over 100 hurricanes throughout its lifespan, and it remains the only lighthouse in the state with wooden stairs.

Explore more of the incredible history that makes up the fabric of Wakulla County

These historical attractions only scratch the surface when it comes to all of the educational opportunities in Wakulla County. Whether you want to stand on an actual Civil War battlefield or explore the remnants of the earliest settled towns in the area, there is still so much to see and do. With our numerous options for convenient accommodations, Wakulla County is the perfect location for a back-to-school historical adventure.