Historic Fort Matanzas is an amazing National Monument located 15 miles south of St. Augustine. This remnant of Florida’s past was first built in 1742 to defend the city against British attack. The fort itself is accessible only by ferry both of which are free of admission. This is a great escape for a day out and away from the city. Learn about Fort Matanzas’ turbulent past that has given way to a pristine maritime ecosystem of forests and sand dunes. This is a great place to look for wildlife, go birdwatching, and get in some much-needed nature time while on vacation!
Come relax at our St. Augustine Bed and Breakfast after a day of exploration. We are located in the historic downtown of the city within walking distance to local attractions and great restaurants. Let our Inn be your personal getaway in the heart of this dynamic place. Casa de Suenos provides a relaxing atmosphere to help you unwind after a day of seeing the sights. If you want the perfect place to escape to near historic St. Augustine, book your stay today!
A Visit to Fort Matanzas
Going to see Fort Matanzas is well worth the drive out of the city to see this historical and ecological wonder. Listed as a National Monument, this protected area is not to be missed on a trip to this part of Florida. There are many ways to enjoy your time at this one of a kind place.
Fort Matanzas may have had a turbulent past but today it is a land with gentle, ancient oaks and a maritime forest that provides a sense of calm and peace. Here are 5 fun things to do at Fort Matanzas on your next trip to St. Augustine.
- Check out the main visitor center** where rangers are on hand to ask any and all questions you may have about the history and environment of the area. Afterward, go for a stroll on the Nature Trail. Access is from the parking lot of the Visitor Center. From here you’ll walk along a boardwalk trail that leads you through the oldest and highest part of this barrier island. Along the trail is a diversity of plant life very unique to this area. This trail features a river to view and information boards throughout to help identify what is happening in the ecosystem here.
- The Marsh Trail is north of the visitor center and is an unpaved, sandy trail. You’ll walk under a mile through this very important wetland that acts as a filtration system for the rest of the forest and ocean. This area provides crucial habitat for animals and because of this is an excellent place to view wildlife and sea birds.
- Try some saltwater fishing while you are here! There is an abundance of saltwater fish here and recreational fishing is allowed both at the river and at the ocean. Make sure you get your saltwater fishing license first.
- Take the ferry** over and explore the fort. There are great interpretive rangers here so try to catch a program to learn all about the history of this unique place. The fort has 3 levels and is made of coquina, a soft stone that was used by many early builders of the St. Augustine area. This stone is made of crushed seashells that have been compressed over time by sand and water. Fort Matanzas was built as a watchtower to spot enemy ships coming in. Today it’s a place full of history, education, and nature.
- While you are in the Fort Matanzas area you may also have time to check out other surrounding beautiful spots. There are gorgeous beaches in the area as well as Washington Oaks Gardens State Park just a few minutes away. On this stunning property, there is hiking, biking, birdwatching, and is an excellent place to have a picnic. The formal gardens hold native and non-native species. The park is well known for its incredible shoreline where you can take a stroll and search for the rocks of the coquina stone coming up out of the water.
The Ultimate Lodging Near Fort Matanzas
Let our St. Augustine Inn be your oasis after a day of exploring the Fort Matanzas area just outside of town. Located within walking distance to the historic downtown, Casa de Suenos is your perfect Florida Getaway. Relax in your guest room by sinking into your king or queen size bed fitted with fine luxurious fine linens. We’ll provide you with plush robes to slip into, then savor the complimentary decanter of cream sherry to top off the evening.
You’ll enjoy a full gourmet buffet breakfast that always includes 2 hot homemade entrees. Enjoy your meal either in the dining room or out in the fresh air of the garden patio. Saturdays, Sundays, and post-holidays, a special extended brunch is served for ultimate relaxation where you can kick back with a complimentary mimosa and make your own bloody marys. If you want the perfect place to escape to in historic St. Augustine where all your cares will melt away amongst the romantic ambiance of the oldest city in the nation, book your stay with us today!
** This attraction is partially closed to the public, but we look forward to its full reopening soon!**