Fort Matanzas National Monument

Fort Matanzas National Monument

Fort Matanzas National Monument
4.5
9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
About
This fort is on Rattlesnake Island and can be reached via ferry.
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  • Darin H
    Waterford, Michigan233 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Excellent guide and tour
    This fort is a great compliment to the one in st Augustine. You take a boat ride to the actual fort but that only takes 4 minutes. Our ranger - Caroline - was very knowledgeable and gave a great talk answering any question given to her. Very good and worth the drive.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 24, 2023
  • Allen S
    St. Augustine, Florida4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Favorite date spot
    Love going here for a date. The tour is animated, the boat ride is romantic, and the cost is free. A personal favorite part is the birds swooping down into the river and the wild turkey that wanders around. I also like remembering that St. Aug has a French history, too. Check out the canon shots on Saturdays.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 3, 2023
  • Valerie G
    North Port, Florida272 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing Experience! Perfect for Families!
    This is a perfect activity for families visitng St.Augustine. The boat ride over to the fort is very short, just about 5 to 10 minutes. My kids absolutely loved checking out the fort, the boat ride and the canons! Our park ranger Caroline was very informative and friendly as well as the boat captain. You get to spend the perfect amount of time on Rattlesnake Island before returning to the shore. About 20 to 30 minutes. A must do for those interested in history or for large families. Make sure to get here early to grab a free pass over to the fort.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written September 25, 2023
  • Matt w
    262 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing short stopover historical visit
    A late decision to stop here and so glad we did. Time your visit to arrive 20mins before the free ferry across to the Fort. We had brought our own picnic lunch. The Rangers were very informative (Caroline took us across and shared all her knowledge). My son did the Journey Ranger activity to earn his badges… so much fun! Full of history and well worth the donation entry
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written November 1, 2023
  • Lisa J
    Plant City, Florida937 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fort Matanzas NM
    It had been many years sense we had been to the fort and we were in the area. Its free to go over and see it and It was a short boat ride over to the fort. You do have to climb stairs to get into the fort, and then if you want to get to the top you have to climb a ladder through a small hole. So I did not get to do that because the hole is really tight. There is a ranger that gets off the boat and tells you about the fort and the people that worked and lived there and the challenges they faced. Very interesting place.
    Visited December 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written December 26, 2023
  • KRose
    Tallahassee, Florida182 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Free is good - coquina and burgundy flag
    Knowledgeable and professional rangers who could answer any questions i asked. Volunteers work hard and are to be commended. Free admission and ferry to Fort but recommend getting there at opening time to ensure a ticket for the day. The parking is the only issue and waited in line for a spot. Convenient bathrooms were clean. There were kids excited to get their Jr ranger badges. Takes about 2 hours; It was a nice time cant wait to bring my grandsons to learn more of the history of Florida. ☀️
    Visited December 2023
    Traveled on business
    Written January 25, 2024
  • Chekist
    Arlington, Virginia36 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fun Boatride To Spanish Fort
    This Spanish colonial fort dates back to 1569 and is owned by the National Park Service. There is no entrance fee. A free short boat ride (less than 10 minutes) takes you to the island with the fort. A ranger guide accompanies all groups. You cannot go to the fort by yourself. Worth seeing nearby (about 15 miles) is another Spanish fort, Castillo de San Marcos, also owned by the NPS.
    Visited February 2024
    Traveled with friends
    Written February 8, 2024
  • S M
    19 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A hidden gem
    This was a really nice surprise! To start with it is free. They boat you as a small group to the fort and the rangers did a great job explaining the history. Everyone is then boated back together to the rangers station. We ended hike around the area including walking across the street to hike around crescent beach.
    Visited March 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written March 16, 2024
  • SkipJAtlanta
    205 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Striking monument worthy of a visit.
    Hey, this is free! And reminds you why our National Park System is so amazing. You get a ferry ride, narrated history lesson and visit to a historical site that is amazing for no cost. Keep in mind that they begin handing out free ferry tickets for the entire day early in morning and once they are gone, they are gone. So I'd suggest if you are staying close by to come early and get tickets. Plus parking can be problematic as lot is small. Keep in mind many visitors park across highway near beach and walk back to the monument.
    Visited March 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written June 15, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles2,177 reviews
Excellent
1,415
Very good
596
Average
130
Poor
19
Terrible
17

Jayboy4
DeLand, FL180 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
This is a small park, with really just the fort as its attraction. And that’s well done. You have to snag a boarding pass for the ferry, which travels on the half hour, most hours, and queue up to take the 5 minute ride over. You receive park ranger briefings before, and once on the island. They are short and chock full of great history. The watchtower is swarmed by all the folks that were on the ferry with you (maybe 30 folks) for about 40 minutes, then you hop back on the ferry and you’re done. The fort has mostly been there for nearly 300 years, only restored as needed to be safe. It’s really impressive. The whole attraction, from boarding pass pickup, wait to load ferry, ride over, watchtower inspection, ferry back, can be as little as an hour and a quarter if timed correctly.
Written June 29, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ChickenParm41
USA764 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2021
A MUST DO! It's totally FREE.

Loved visiting here. So much history.

***Get there early. You have to take a ferry out to the Fort from the visitor center and they only give out 12 tickets for each hour long trip. It fills up fast.

First ferry is 9:30 am, we were there at 8:45 and we were first. That's right!

3 Guides took us out and explained the Fort and wildlife. Ride out is 15 Minutes, Stay is 20 Minutes and Ride back is 15 Minutes.

It was fun, totally recommended. Perfect compliment to the Castillo in St. A.
Written September 29, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tenna K
Monticello, Illinois, United States15 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
Really enjoyed the costumed tour guides who were on site to tell stories in character of their lives during the period the fort was in use. The canon went off every 15 minutes. Lots of history, very interesting.
Written January 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MommaChaz
12 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020
The history lover (which I am) would enjoy this most. Although there's a lot of construction going on and construction materials scattered about that kind of distracts from the experience. People in period costumes giving demonstrations are over shadowed by the construction materials laying about and ard hats walking around with pvc piping in hand.
Written March 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sleonard990
Kawkawlin, Michigan26 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
Walked around the exterior and grounds of the fort. It is a large area so plan for at least 30 minutes for walking around the base of the fort which is right on the water to watch boats passing in the harbour. Being there was a national park fee we did not enter since non of the 4 of us had national park passes.
Written June 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

7wonderstraveler
Hugo, MN1,264 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2022 • Couples
This is a site that must be visited and it plays a very important part to the city of St. Augustine. This tour is about an hour and it is from Wed-Sun. We arrived around 8:15 on Wednesday so we could get on the 9:00 boat out to the Fort. The boat ride is 7 minutes across the calm Matanzas River and the Ranger has so much knowledge about the area. We learned about snails, oysters and worms that are in this area. The Fort is amazing to see and I recommend seeing this Fort before Castillo de San Marcos.
Written March 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LTD53
Lawrence, KS98 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023
Visiting this fort is a bit tricky if you've never been. It is only accessible by boat (the ferry leaves every hour and a half or so and you have to have a pass to ride. That said, you can only get the free pass the day of the tour, which means that you show up at the national monument office at 8:45am, wait in line until the park rangers bring the passes for the day, and get a pass for whichever ferry ride you choose (from the ones remaining of course). The ferry holds 30-40 individuals so that is how big the group is that is visiting at any given time. Considering all that, the fort is worth a visit. It is a short tour and you are limited on time but, as I said above, it is a very small fort. A highly recommended tour for history buffs and families with children.
Written March 19, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Diane S
Florida Panhandle, FL107 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2020
The fort is worth looking for parking, which seemed to be about nonexistent when we went. Once you enter, you'll find lots to look at and history unfolds. They often do demonstrations, although those may be curtailed some due to covid. And if you dare, you can walk around the outside late at night to see if you can hear the hauntings and voices from days gone by.
Written November 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DiverM
Jupiter, FL587 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022 • Family
We have missed the ferry tickets a couple of times before so we arrived early this time. The food park opens at 9:00 but cars line up at the gate earlier. We arrived at 8:30 got tickets on the first ferry at 9:30.

The free boat ride is about 5 minutes and then you get 30 minutes in the small fort. We enjoyed it. There is no fee for the park or ferry but the ferry can be difficult to get tickets for unless you arrive early.

We enjoyed the small fort and tour.
Written July 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BillE549
West Palm Beach, FL25 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
The old fort is probably the "other" must-see in St. Augustine, after the Fountain of Youth. Expect crowds. As a National Monument, it's not free, but the price is very reasonable, and if you have one of the senior passes, it's free for you and three of your closest friends. Excellent displays and activities by costumed volunteers and and NPS employees. Also, a great view of the city and harbor.
Written February 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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