We wish you a safe and enjoyable visit but please remember that the Castillo de San Marcos was originally built for war, not recreation.
We strive to keep the site as accessible as possible to our visitors without destroying its unique historical fabric. However, certain basic precautions should be taken to ensure your safety as well as the safety of the monument itself.
We ask that during your visit that you do not sit, stand, or lean on any of the shell stone surfaces of the fort.
The coquina stone, of which the fort is built, may have survived hurricanes and bombardments but is fragile to human contact and may easily give way. Please keep in mind that the walls of the fortress are over 300 years old.
Please, do not climb or sit on any of the historic cannons or cannon carriages in the fort.
Watch for low walls and uneven walking surfaces. Use care on the stairs. It is highly recommended that you not wear loose fitting or high-heeled shoes.
Weather can greatly affect your visit, check out our weather page and the local forecasts here.
Beware of the sun; the climate is hot and humid. Even minimum exertion can trigger overheating. Use sunscreen and drink plenty of water before and during your visit. A wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses will help protect you against the sun while loose fitting, natural fiber clothing will help keep you cool.
Seek shelter during storms. Thunderstorms are common during the summer months and are accompanied by heavy lightning. Please leave the gun deck and remain in the lower level of the fort during threatening weather.
Did You Know?
The word coquina means "tiny shell" in Spanish. It was the name they gave to the small clam that was abundant on the northeast Florida beaches. It is the predominant shell in the rock also called coquina used to build the Fort. Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, Florida