Castillo de San Marcos, St. Augustine

The history of Florida begins at Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States. Constructed by the Spanish in 1672, over a century after the city's founding by the Spanish conquistadores, the fort came under British control in 1763. Twenty years later, the fort went back to Spanish hands. It was a U.S. army base between 1821 and 1924, when the U.S. government declared it a national monument. The fort became part of a national park after nearly 250 years of military service. The deactivated fort now attracts tourists with its storied history and well-preserved military architecture. Explore the history of this structure by walking among its stone walls, or join a guided walk with one of the park's rangers.  Using our custom trip planner, St. Augustine attractions like Castillo de San Marcos can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
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Castillo de San Marcos Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
8,129 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • I visit this place yearly and always enjoy it. The firing of the canons are a treat and the view is great.  more »
  • take your time and enjoy the history of the fort. Great location for the water views. not much parking due to the popularity of the Fort  more »
  • Really worth visiting and listening to guides. Wish there was more replicas of the time to provide additional information in each room.  more »
Google
  • This place was pretty cool. It had a lot of rooms that you can go into and each room had information on what the room was used for and some important facts about people that lived and passed through the castle. They have scheduled cannon firings which the kids enjoyed. There isn't too much to really explore here so you won't spend too much time at the castle. There is definitely a lot of other things to do close by which is nice. If your a senior you get in free and they give you a membership card that allows you and 3 guests to get into any national park for free.
  • My favorite attraction in our beautiful town. The self-guided tours allow for unlimited exploration. They have free admission on veterans day so mark your calendar! It's a great educational experience. Don't go when it's too hot because there is no A/C (only in the gift shop)
  • I'm a history buff from the Shenandoah Valley (full of history and sites to see) and the Castillo sits at or very near the top of my list of favorite historical sites to visit. The site is very well preserved and there was an abundance of park staff stationed throughout in order to answer any questions you might have. Almost all of the site was accessible (they do close the gun deck in event of thunder/lightning, so keep that in mind) with lots of informational signs (that managed to not get in the way of what you were looking at). My wife and kids (ages 13 and 14) all seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves as well, which was great. The views from the gun deck are spectacular (all the way around). If you plan on stopping and seeing everything and taking in the informational video that they present I would plan on spending about two hours there. We did it in about an hour without the "movie." Also worth noting that kids 16 and under get in for free and the tickets that I bought for my wife and me were $10 (each) and allowed us to get in for 7 days (in case we wanted to come back for the cannon firing exhibit or any of the myriad other special events they have throughout the week). Highly, HIGHLY recommend visiting!
  • Extremely knowledgeable and friendly staff who are willing to spend extra time to chat with you about history and tell stories. The fort itself is a marvel on its own. Entering the building is like taking a step back in time... Try to catch the cannon demonstration! You feel the shock wave from it firing in your chest! It's definitely a must try full-immersion experience! Have been back several times!
  • Good tourist attraction to check out. It's a small fort, should only take an hour to cover. Very cool historical relevance. Parking can be a challenge, but it's affordable. Pay for the maximum 4 hours and walk down the street for a meal or check out the spots close to the fort when done. It's worth the $10, if only barely.

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