Fort Matanzas: The “Other” Fort
Before I go any further with this blog, I need to confess something: I’m in love with St. Augustine. Pablo lived there for the first year and a half of our relationship. We really got to know the city well during that time.
When most people think of St. Augustine, they think of “the fort” – Castillo de San Marcos. I love that fort. I have many happy childhood memories picnicking on its lawn and then rolling down the grass hills. (It’s also a favorite spot for ghost tours, which I highly recommend if you’re in the area!)
And now I’m about to blow your mind: there’s another fort in St. Augustine – Fort Matanzas.
Pablo and I checked Ft. Matanzas out last fall. There’s an adorable picnic area covered by trees, which is the first thing you see when you arrive. There’s also a nice little hiking trail. We were on a time crunch and didn’t get to enjoy these things, but we’ll definitely include them in our plans on our next visit.
You take a ferry to reach the fort, which is located on an island. Once you arrive, you’re greeted by someone in period clothing who will explain the fort’s history. (It’s pretty bloody and disgusting, not gonna lie.)
If you want the full experience, climb up to the upper level. I think the hole to get up there is maybe 2 feet wide, give or take. It’s really small. (If you won’t fit, please don’t climb it – we had the pleasure of seeing a large man’s shirt get stuck in the hole. You can’t unsee that.)
I really liked Ft. Matanzas. It’s different from “the fort” in downtown St. Augustine and provides a refreshingly new perspective on the area’s history as the beach/swamp near the fort is more typical of what things used to be like.
A few tips if you go: bring a water bottle with you over to the fort and go to the bathroom before you get on the ferry to go to the fort.