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“Sensory Overload & Eccentric Indulgences in an Unusual Museum”

Villa Zorayda Museum
Ranked #38 of 195 things to do in St. Augustine
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: Take a step back in time as you enter this Grand Gilded Age home, built by Franklin W. Smith in 1883. Franklin Smith, an eclectic world traveler, was originally from Boston, and he built the Villa Zorayda as his winter home in St. Augustine, FL. Smith was the innovator of poured concrete and crushed coquina construction that is seen throughout St. Augustine today. On the "National Register of Historic Places", the Villa Zorayda is a 1/10th scale reproduction of a portion of the Moorish Castle, the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain. View the elegant traceries on the walls made of alabaster and plaster which were made in Spain using the same molds that the Moors used for the walls of the Alhambra Palace! In addition to the magnificent architecture of the building is the original art and antique collection: hand pierced brass lamps, hand carved and exquisite inlaid furniture, an Egyptian rug over 2400 years old, and much more! You will also see beautiful hand painted Spanish & Egyptian tiles, Moorish horseshoe arches, and the beautiful architectural details from the Alhambra Palace. Learn the 133 year history of the Villa Zorayda as you take a state-of-the-art audio guided tour, which run continuously throughout the day. The audio guided tour is available in English, Spanish and French. Free parking while visiting the Museum.
Reviewed 6 February 2018

This was one of the most unusual museums I have ever visited... the structure, the construction techniques, the contents, the history and the story of lives lived in this unique home can hardly be believed. It's a testament to what wealth combined with focused and eccentric tastes can create. The audio tour explains how this unique home was created along with the history of both the contents and owners. Brace yourself for sensory overload and enjoy an adventure through this one-of-a-kind home.

1  Thank BohemianBarfly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marcia B, Manager at Villa Zorayda Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 7 February 2018

Hello BohemianBarfly, we are happy to hear how much you enjoyed your visit of the beautiful Villa Zorayda Museum! The architecture of the buliding and the antique collection inside are incredible!

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"audio tour"
in 62 reviews
"cat rug"
in 34 reviews
"candlelight tour"
in 22 reviews
"alhambra palace"
in 12 reviews
"own pace"
in 22 reviews
"egyptian room"
in 7 reviews
"moorish style"
in 7 reviews
"summer home"
in 6 reviews
"inlaid furniture"
in 4 reviews
"from spain"
in 6 reviews
"takes about an hour"
in 7 reviews
"interesting collection"
in 5 reviews
"interesting items"
in 5 reviews
"self guided"
in 9 reviews
"gilded age"
in 5 reviews
"on display"
in 8 reviews
"entrance fee"
in 5 reviews
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13 - 17 of 355 reviews

Reviewed 24 January 2018

This museum is amazing. It was originally built as a residence and is just stunning. The furnishings and fittings have been maintained, along with displays of original photos and memorabilia. Hubby and I spent nearly 2 hours just wandering around admiring the architecture and everything inside. Definitely a "must-do" when in St Augustine!

Thank amsfromaus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marcia B, Manager at Villa Zorayda Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 28 January 2018

Hello amsfromaus, we are so happy to hear about your recent trip to the Villa Zorayda Museum. Thank you for your review and for mentioning that we are a "must do" attraction in St. Augustine!

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Reviewed 22 January 2018

Beautiful home!! I loved all the period furnishings. Learning the history of the house and it’s owners was particularly interesting. I also loved that there was plenty of parking during the day. It was only $10 on a weekday. If you have visited St. Augustine you know the parking alone is worth it. The proximity to Flagler College,Lightener Museum and St.Georges St. makes it a place to set out on your exploration of the city. A good parking spot and walking shoes will make for a wonderful day!!!!

Thank Detra P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marcia B, Manager at Villa Zorayda Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 24 January 2018

Hello Detra! We are happy to hear that you enjoyed the Museum and hearing about its lively past. We are located in the heart of downtown St. Augustine. Parking is free while you are touring the museum, and you can pay the parking fee if you wish to remain parked in our lot. Thank you for visiting the Villa Zorayda Museum!

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Reviewed 14 January 2018

Young children might find this boring but for adults it is fantastic. Admission price includes free parking.

1  Thank Ronald N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marcia B, Manager at Villa Zorayda Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 15 January 2018

Hello Ronald! We are so happy to hear that you enjoyed your tour! We hope that all people of all ages find the beauty and history of the Villa Zorayda Museum intriguing and fascinating!

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Reviewed 9 January 2018

We've walked by this place before, but finally decided to stop in, and I'm glad we did, it was a very interesting visit. I certainly don't know much about the moors nor moorish architecture, but we found the self-guided audio tour here to be very interesting. There are many artifacts that are unique. Some of the furnishings are amazing hand-carved items. It really is a cool place and well worth a visit. And it's a value, as well.

Thank SanfordFoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marcia B, Manager at Villa Zorayda Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 10 January 2018

Hello SandfordFoodie, we are so happy the you visited us at the Villa Zorayda Museum and that you enjoyed your tour! We have a 98% original collection of both of the building's owners- exquisite and stunning pieces!

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