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Fort Matanzas National Monument, Saint Augustine

(4.7/5 based on 1,600+ reviews on the web)
To touch the humid walls more than two and a half centuries old of Fort Matanzas National Monument, hop on a small ferry and cross the river to this Spanish outpost fort. It's in the midst of a salt marsh and rich with wildlife. See the exact room where soldiers were sleeping, eating, and getting dressed before their duties. Up on the rooftop, you can check out the cannons that were used to guard the area. Pick up free tickets at the visitor center on the mainland. The area is suitable for picnicking. Use our Saint Augustine holiday planner to add Fort Matanzas National Monument and other attractions to your Saint Augustine vacation plans.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Like all national monuments there is something to learn. This is a small monument but we enjoyed the stop. The ferry to the actual fort is still not running due to hurricane damage.  more »
  • Not much here since the ferry is not running. Visitor Center is very small. Can take a walk on the beach.  more »
  • This fort located in the center of a small picturesque town in Florida (below Jacksonville) is one of the last vestiges of wars between Spanish, English and french to hold the region. Well preserved and restored, this fort perfectly present history.
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  • LOVE it so much!! We see dolphins and manatee on the boat ride over and the tour is always so great! Plus they have a nature trail which is beautiful! You can feel this history.
  • This park does a great job of combining history and nature for a great experience. Admission to the park and the boat tour are free and you are given a time slot for your tour and there are plenty of things to do while you wait. Good trails and a scenic beach. a great place to spend the day! Great views from the top of the fort of the surrounding area. Park rangers are friendly and knowledgeable as well. Well worth it!
  • Fort Matanzas is well worth a visit. Located 14 miles south of St. Augustine, the fort is an 18th century Spanish military structure used for defending against enemy vessels. Today, the National Park Service transports visitors from the parking area to the fort via a free ferry ride. The 10-minute ride across the Matanzas River features scenic views and a relaxing river breeze. After reaching the dock, it’s a brief walk to the fort’s entrance, where a park ranger shares a lesson on Spanish colonial history. An outer stairway leads to the first level that contains canons overlooking the surrounding waterway. Venture to the upper observation deck by climbing a vertical ladder through a tight opening. From the top deck you can see Rattlesnake Island, the Matanzas Inlet, and leisure boaters. The entire trip to Fort Matanzas can be done in about two hours. There is no charge to visit this Florida gem … and you’ll enjoy a pleasant boat ride, moderate exercise, and a Florida history lesson.
  • I enjoyed this visit. First, it's a free state park. Second, the staff enjoys their jobs and are quite knowledgeable. The ferry ride was quick and you have the opportunity to see manatees in the waterways. I enjoy history of our nation and this was amazing!
  • This was one of my favorite things we did when visiting St. Augustine. It is less crowded and touristy than the Fort in St Augustine and feels like a real step into history. The tour is with a National Parks guide and is very interesting and informative. The inside is completely furnished and decorated to make you feel like you're really in the past. A wonderful experience, truly recommended.