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Learn about St. Augustine’s fascinating Spanish history and enjoy a stroll through picturesque woods at this iconic monument.

Visit the Fort Matanzas National Monument to explore the fort that protected Spanish forces from invasion when they ruled over Florida. Learn about the battles and sieges that took place here and stroll around the nature reserve. Discover the unique wildlife that lives on the salt marshes or enjoy a lazy afternoon overlooking the river.

Fort Matanzas was built by the Spanish in 1740 to control Matanzas Inlet, also known as the backdoor to St. Augustine. The word ‘matanzas’ is Spanish for slaughters and many battles took place here before the Spanish secured the land. Now, it is a popular day trip from St. Augustine, offering visitors historical insight and a wealth of natural beauty.

Take the ferry across the Matanzas River and watch as the squat, square shape of the fort grows before you. The ship’s captain will give you a short talk on the historical significance of the building. Once ashore, take a walk around the grounds of the fort and imagine it in the days when the Spanish fought off enemy invaders from this very site.

Learn more about the history of the fort at the visitor center, where models and exhibits detail the building’s past. Attend one of the cannon firing days on the first Saturday of every month. Watch guards fire the ancient cannons that once protected the Spanish soldiers from attack. Musket firing demonstrations take place on all other Saturdays.

Explore the forest surrounding the fort on the short boardwalk nature trail. You can view the plants and animals that make up the diverse ecosystem, such as the Anastasia Island beach mouse, which is unique to Fort Matanzas. Fish off the shore or enjoy a picnic amongst the oak trees, which are over 150 years old.

Tours of the fort and use of the ferry is free. To guarantee your spot, make sure you pick up a boarding pass in the visitor center before the tour begins. Please note that the ferry and fort are not wheelchair accessible.

Top Hotels Close to Fort Matanzas National Monument

Most Beautiful Area of the Beach!!
Most Beautiful Area of the Beach!!
Saint Augustine, FL
Stay at this beach condo in St. Augustine. Enjoy a beach locale, WiFi, and onsite parking. Popular attractions Fort Matanzas National Monument and Matanzas Inlet ...
4.8/5 Exceptional! (19 reviews)
Beach location
"Large beautiful clean property"

Reviewed on Aug 17, 2022

St. Augustine Resort Condo: Walk to Crescent Beach
St. Augustine Resort Condo: Walk to Crescent Beach
St. Augustine, FL
Stay at this condo in St. Augustine. Enjoy free WiFi, a fitness center, and an in-room DVD player. Popular attractions Fort Matanzas National Monument and Matanzas ...
4.4/5 Excellent! (11 reviews)
Better than in pics We loved the pool and beach accessibility and hope we can come back.
"Great stay Hope we can go back."

Reviewed on May 8, 2022

Summer Wind, 4 Bedrooms, Private Pool, Next to Beach, Sleeps 8
Summer Wind, 4 Bedrooms, Private Pool, Next to Beach, Sleeps 8
4 out of 5
21 Jimmy Mark Place, St. Augustine, FL, 32080
Stay at this 4-star golf vacation home in St. Augustine. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and an outdoor pool. Popular attractions Fort Matanzas National Monument ...
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near Fort Matanzas National Monument

Most Beautiful Area of the Beach!!
Most Beautiful Area of the Beach!!
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St. Augustine Resort Condo: Walk to Crescent Beach
St. Augustine Resort Condo: Walk to Crescent Beach
St. Augustine, FL
Summer Wind, 4 Bedrooms, Private Pool, Next to Beach, Sleeps 8
Summer Wind, 4 Bedrooms, Private Pool, Next to Beach, Sleeps 8
4 out of 5
21 Jimmy Mark Place, St. Augustine, FL, 32080
Summerhouse 251
Summerhouse 251
3.5 out of 5
8550 A1a S, St. Augustine, FL, 32080
Hawksbill Suite, a large one bedroom efficiency at The Silver Sands
Hawksbill Suite, a large one bedroom efficiency at The Silver Sands
St. Augustine, FL
Ridley Suite, an efficiency at The Silver Sands
Ridley Suite, an efficiency at The Silver Sands
St. Augustine, FL
Pelican Inlet C117, Ground Floor Condo, Boat Parking, Pool, Tennis Court
Pelican Inlet C117, Ground Floor Condo, Boat Parking, Pool, Tennis Court
St. Augustine, FL
Four Winds
Four Winds
3.5 out of 5
8130 A1a South, St. Augustine, FL, 32080
Newly decorated ground-floor suite steps from beach and pool w/views, WiFi
Newly decorated ground-floor suite steps from beach and pool w/views, WiFi
St. Augustine, FL
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.