Fort Matanzas National Monument
Coastal Florida was a major field of conflict as European nations fought for control in the New World. As part of this struggle, Fort Matanzas guarded St. Augustine's southern river approach. The colonial wars are over, but the monument is still protecting--not just the historic fort, but also the wild barrier island and the plants and animals who survive there amidst a sea of modern development. With ferry rides and fort tours, history talks and nature walks, Matanzas has it all. Explore the fort and watch reenactments or watch the Atlantic Ocean splashing on the beach.
Fort Matanzas National Monument is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day of the year except December 25. The free ferry to the fort leaves the visitor center dock every hour beginning at 9:30 a.m. and ending at 4:30 p.m., weather permitting.
Seasonality / Weather
Summers can be very hot with high humidity and frequent afternoon thundershowers. Sun protection, including sunscreen, a hat, and UV protective sunglasses is highly recommended. Be sure to drink plenty of water. You may want insect repellent if walking the nature trail. Winters are generally cool to mild with occasional cold spells, especially with the wind off the water. The most temperate periods are the fall and spring seasons when temperatures regularly hover around 70 to 80 F.
During thunderstorms, because of the danger of lightning, the fort will be closed to visitors, and ferry service will be suspended until the storm has moved out of the area. June through November is hurricane season so be sure to check for tropical storms before visiting.
Fort Matanzas National Monument is located about 15 miles south of the historic district of St. Augustine, Florida. St. Augustine is located on Florida's Northeastern Atlantic coast about midway between Jacksonville and Daytona Beach.
From I-95: Take exit 305 (Route 206). Follow Route 206 east about 6 miles to Highway A1A. Turn right and follow A1A south for 4 miles to the park entrance on the right side of the road.
From St. Augustine: Follow Highway A1A south for approximately 15 miles to the park entrance on the right side of the road.
From Daytona Beach via A1A: Follow Highway A1A about 40 miles north. The park entrance is on the left about 1/2 mile north of the Matanzas Inlet bridge.
Bus: Greyhound runs bus service to St. Augustine.
There is no public transportation to the park; however, the Sunshine Bus stops at the corner of SR 206 and A1A, 4 miles north of the park. A bike path/sidewalk extends all the way from St. Augustine Beach to Fort Matanzas.