The renovated and restored Gilded Age-era winter home of architect Franklin Smith features a sizable collection of antiques, including custom-made bone china, Oriental rugs, and exquisite Egyptian artifacts. The latter is highlighted by the Sacred Cat Rug, a 2,400-year-old tapestry made from the hairs of ancient cats that roamed the Nile. Rumor has it there's a curse waiting for anyone who walks on it. Luckily, you won't be at risk, as the rug is hanging safely on a wall. A 45 to 60 minute guided tour provides an in-depth look at the historical significance of Villa Zorayda, which is a scale copy of a Moorish castle and has, over the years, been everything from a home and a nightclub to a casino and a speakeasy. The docent-led tours are great, but the self-guided audio tour is ideal for those who want to go it alone, with recordings explaining everything in detail. December holiday season is particularly majestic here, as the home is lit up with over 100 candles.
St. Augustine› Attraction
83 King St.
Our Rating Neighborhood Historic District Hours Mon–Sat 10am–5pm, Sun 11am–4pm Phone 904/829-9887 Prices Self-guided audio tour admission $10 adults, $8 students 13 and up, $4 children 7–12; docent-led tours $15 adults, $7 children 7–12 Web site Villa Zorayda
Map83 King St. St. Augustine
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.