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Fort Matanzas National Monument
Vacation Travel Guide

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. 

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

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St. Augustine, FL
Located in Crescent Beach, this beach condo building is within 1 mi (2 km) of Fort Matanzas National Monument and Matanzas Inlet. St. Augustine Beach and Marineland ...
5/5Exceptional! (6 reviews)
Relaxing
"Very beautiful place and would definitely consider staying again."

Reviewed on Sep 10, 2020

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St. Augustine, FL
Located in Crescent Beach, this beach condo building is within 1 mi (2 km) of Fort Matanzas National Monument and Matanzas Inlet. St. Augustine Beach and Marineland ...
4.8/5Exceptional! (4 reviews)
another great week at crescent beach
"Owners graciously rescheduled us from earlier in the summer, which was very much appreciated. We arrived late on a Sunday, but we received instructions for check-in/getting keys ahead of time, and it was no problem. We've stayed in this unit multiple times, and as always it was very clean upon arrival ..."

Reviewed on Aug 19, 2020

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St. Augustine, FL
Located in Crescent Beach, this beach condo building is within 1 mi (2 km) of Fort Matanzas National Monument and Matanzas Inlet. St. Augustine Beach and Marineland ...
4.7/5Exceptional! (10 reviews)
We love SummerHouse!
"SummerHouse is a great vacation spot with activities for all ages: swimming pools, tennis courts, pickle ball and racquet ball, and playgrounds. The beach access is easy, and Crescent Beach is a clean and beautiful spot. It’s a lovely beach walk from SummerHouse, under the bridge, and around the ..."

Reviewed on Apr 14, 2021

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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

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St. Augustine, FL
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St. Augustine, FL
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St. Augustine, FL
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St. Augustine, FL
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Oceanview 2 Bedroom Townhouse Summerhouse Unit 432
Oceanview 2 Bedroom Townhouse Summerhouse Unit 432
St. Augustine, FL
Oceanview 2 Bedroom Townhouse Summerhouse Unit 432
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St. Augustine, FL
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Oceanview 2 Bedroom Flat Summerhouse Unit 431
Oceanview 2 Bedroom Flat Summerhouse Unit 431
St. Augustine, FL
Oceanview 2 Bedroom Flat Summerhouse Unit 431
Oceanview 2 Bedroom Flat. Summerhouse Unit 428
Oceanview 2 Bedroom Flat. Summerhouse Unit 428
St. Augustine, FL
Oceanview 2 Bedroom Flat. Summerhouse Unit 428
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.