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.
The ferry is out of service right now. We've been before though and the tour is interesting and full of historic details. You can get great photos as well. Visit the beach and the inlet while you're there. Exploring the inlet at low tide is awesome I'd you like to look for marine life.
While the ferry to the actual fort is out of service indefinitely due to the hurricane in 2017, there is still a lot to do and see during a visit. Make sure you take advantage of the rangers and their wealth of knowledge. Watch the video in the visitors center and read all the signage. There are beautiful oak trees to picnic under and climb, as well as a nature trail to walk. If the ferry was in operation, I would give it 5 stars, but it isn't like it is anyone's fault except maybe the lack of funds provided to the Department of the Interior for park preservation and maintenance. It would be unfair to give a lot rating to Fort Matanzas for something like that, in my opinion.
Great little journey back in time. Very efficiently run operation with two ferries that have you over the inlets waters in 10 minutes. The ferries that make the trip every hour. The small fortified outpost has been beautifully preserved and the tour was just right for my taste. You arrive and are given a brief history then allowed to crawl all over the structure and it can all be accomplished in under 2 hours! Great manageable excursion for families and best of all at least at the time I am reviewing it will cost you nothing out of pocket!
Great historical trip for the family. On a Saturday or a weekday day during the school year (due to field trips) get there early to secure ferry tickets to the fort (you can't drive there), which run every hour. Have a picnic or walk the nature trails while you wait for your ferry ride. The park rangers give a 5 minute history tour while on the ferry and a 15 minute history tour while at the fort. Then you have about 20-25 minutes to take photos, enjoy the view and checkout the fort. A little added bonus are the water life and birds. You might see a dolphin, manatee or even a bald eagle or two.
Ferry out due to Huricane Irma with no estimate of when it will be back. Very friendly staff who are knowledgable. Nice nature walk and exhibit but the main item being the island and fort is not reachable. Will be back when it is fixed up as it looks very interesting.