Originally designated as a United States National Monument on October 15, 1924, the Fort Matanzas National Monument consists of a 1740 Spanish fort called Fort Matanzas as well as 100 acres of salt marsh along the Matanzas River. This national monument is operated by the National Park Service in conjunction with the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument in St. Augustine.
Visit Fort Matanzas in St Augustine
Fort Matanzas National Monument in St Augustine was built to defend the city against British attack. Located 15 miles from St. Augustine, it has remained a presence in the St. Augustine community for over 250 years. As a stoic remnant of Florida’s Spanish heritage, the fort is now open daily to the public from 9 am until 5:30 pm. The admission to the fort is free to all visitors, as is the ferry ride to the fort, which runs every hour beginning at 9:30 every morning.
Demonstrations and Reenactments
While visiting St Augustine’s Florida Fort Matanzas, guests can experience demonstrations and reenactments depicting early fortification times. There is almost always a re-enactor onsite each day during the summer months who replays the history of the fort to interested visitors. Musket demonstrations are also given on the hour from 12:30 until 3:30 pm, so time your visit accordingly.
Nature Trails Nearby St Augustine Florida’s Fort Matanzas
Not only is the fort itself well worth the visit, the nearby nature trails are some of the most beautiful in all of St. Augustine. A lovely half-mile boardwalk trail leads through the maritime forests at Matanzas where visitors can then continue their walk toward the shore to collect shells, enjoy some fishing, take a nap, have a picnic, relax and read or just take in the view.
Find Fort Matanzas National Monument at: 8635 A1A South in St. Augustine just south of SR 206.
Photo By Saginaw66 – Self taken, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20976607