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This Restaurant In Florida Used To Be A Swimming Pool And You’ll Want To Visit

Have we told you how much we love St. Augustine? The nation’s oldest city is one of the coolest places to visit, not just in Florida, but in the whole country. The entire city is full of historic buildings and landmarks, from the Castillo de San Marcos to The Fountain of Youth. There are also several beautiful buildings from the Gilded Age, when many wealthy and influential figures would spend winters in Florida’s mild climate.

One of the best examples of this was oil and railroad tycoon Henry M. Flagler’s Hotel Alcazar, completed in 1888. It is now home to City Hall and the Lightner Museum, which holds all kinds of fascinating art and artifacts from Victorian times.

The hotel was quite an impressive resort, with its own ballroom, spa, sulfur baths, and a gymnasium. Hotel Alcazar also laid claim to what was at the time the world’s largest indoor swimming pool (measuring 120 feet by 50 feet), which occupied the lower level of the hotel. The hotel was closed in 1932 and later given to the city of St. Augustine as a museum housing Otto C. Lightner’s personal collection.

These days, the deep end of the swimming pool is occupied by diners instead of swimmers. The restaurant here is appropriately named the Cafe Alcazar. Not only is the atmosphere unbeatable, this upscale cafe is renowned for its perfectly prepared classic cuisine. The cafe is open for lunch daily, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on the first Friday of every month for dinner.

You don’t have to tour the Lightner Museum to dine in Cafe Alcazar, but we think this awesome museum and unique restaurant both deserve a spot on your Florida bucket list!

Victoria W
Victoria is a staff writer for OIYS.