Fort Matanzas

Just outside (south) of St. Augustine, down A1A, past the large Fort Castillio de San Marcos, is another, much smaller fort called Matanzas. You have to take a free ferry ride over to it, but it’s a short, slow trip. Some days, there have been known to be dolphins in the river marsh, but on the day we went, there was a pelican catching his lunch. The tiny Spanish fort was built in 1742 to protect the Matanzas River Inlet and to keep people from gaining entry to the southern part of St. Augustine. When you see it from a quarter mile away at the ferry dock, it looks like a regular sized fort (nothing in the way of size of the Castillio, but “fort” sized). When you arrive at the fort though, it’s so small. If you’re “plenty” in the hips department, do not attempt to climb the ladder to the top of the fort. Send a skinnier person to snap so pictures for you. There aren’t any cannons at the top of the fort, it’s just a look out position. The view from the top across the river and marsh area is nice though. The cannons are along the bottom of the little one room fort. All in all, it’s not a big site, and you have 20 minutes to take all the photos you’d like before getting back on the ferry. This may not sound like a lot of time, but it’s ample opportunity considering the size of the fort. It’s a great little tid bit of history and it’s free. I’d go just for the ferry ride. It’s worth it for nature lovers and history buffs alike.

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