Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Odditorium, St Augustine, Florida

Robert L Ripley was born in 1890. He grew up to become a famous adventurer, cartoonist and reporter. He was also a collector of many interesting and unusual things which he found on his travels. He searched the world for exotic artifacts and unusual or unbelievable stories to feature in his cartoons.

When Ripley died in 1949 his collections were sold at auction The person who brought most the items was John Arthur who, in 1950 opened the very first permanent Ripley’s attraction, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Odditorium in St. Augustine, Florida.

We have visited other Ripley’s attractions around the world and so were quite excited to see the original Odditorium. As with a lot of St. Augustine the building itself (a historical castle) was very picturesque and the many exhibits were spread over three floors. We were free to explore these at our own speed.

We walked into the exhibition downhill along a flat corridor and fell over trying to walk out through a tunnel of lights at the end. Everything in between was unusual to say the least but also highly interesting. There was a good mix of things to look at, things to make you think and things to interact with.

We saw huge matchstick models and teeny paintings on grains of rice. Ancient torture instruments and intricate chinese ornaments. Shrunken heads and coffins in the shape of animals. 

We looked at pictures made from all manner of everyday objects and tried to open an impossible gate. We compared our height to the world’s tallest man and became the world’s fattest man. We marvelled at illusions and puzzled over pictures. 

Even when we had finished inside, the fun continued as outside in the car park we walked through an ancient log which had been turned into a house.

We had a lot of fun at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Odditorium and would definitely visit another one in the future!

Taking a child with an ASD to Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Odditorium in St. Augustine?

The Odditorium is spread over three floors with many rooms and sections so close supervision is advised.

We went on a rainy weekday afternoon, it wasn’t too busy.

There is a lot going on and a lot to look at.

If your child likes facts then this is a great place.

The St. Augustine Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Odditorium website is at:
Another great attraction in St. Augustine is the Pirate and Treasure Museum! (

18 Comments Add yours

  1. Jeuelle says:

    We live in central Florida and visit the Jacksonville/St. Augustine area often. We love the old world charm of St. Augustine and the family friendly nature of the city. I loved your post about the Odditorium and we certainly will visit next time we are in the area. Thanks for posting!

  2. Oh! There is a big Ripley’s museum in Piccadilly in my hometown, London! I’ve never been but it always looks so cool from outside. Perhaps something for me to do next weekend!

    1. Kids on Tour says:

      Ive been to the one in London. It is similar but has different exhibits. It is definitely worth visiting!

  3. Every time I visit St. Augustine I am pleased with myself and I enjoy the charm of the city. I never been to the Odditorium and we certainly will visit next time we are in the area. Thanks for sharing a wonderful post.

  4. OhCarol says:

    I’ve always watch the Ripley’s show when I was a kid and your post made me nostalgic! Thanks for the visual tour, hope to see more posts like this!

  5. Shannon says:

    Looks like a fun place to visit. My step son would love this, he is keen into interesting factoids.

  6. Ann says:

    I only watched Ripleys on tv! This is a virtual tour and an interesting place! Thanks

  7. I love to do tours like this one, there’s still a kid inside me that wants to experience that happiness while visiting odditoriums. Those Ancient torture instruments looks kinda creepy though, and the beer can “spy” camera looks awesome. I would love to visit here.

  8. bethanyymac says:

    Wow I’ve never heard of this place before! I’m planning a trip to Florida in a few years and I’m definitely checking this out!

  9. Valentina | ForeignRooftops says:

    Such a fun place to visit! I’m sure you had a great time visiting the Odditorium! Would love to go someday but I guess it would be much easier for me to go to the one in London! Let’s see!

  10. deethomson says:

    This looks like such a fun time! Such a great collection – I’ve been to the one in Niagara Falls and it’s always a blast!

  11. dawnwairimu says:

    this looks like it was a blast. i went to a Ripleys in San Antonio and it was fun too 🙂

  12. lucicoo says:

    Super cool. I’ve been tot he one in Tennessee and loved it. I will have to take a trip down to Florida soon.

  13. My Mom used to take us on the best trips when I was growing up. This reminds me of one of those trips. Looks like fun was had by all!

  14. Elizabeth O says:

    This is such a nice place to enjoy. it seems you are having a blast. I will have to take a visit there and experience the beautiful ambiance of this odditorium.

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