There are several things to consider in planning your visit. Some of them include:
Boarding Pass - There are no fees to enter the park or to take the ferry to the fort. The 36-passenger ferry operates with a Boarding Pass system. The passes are issued from the Fort Matanzas Visitor Center (not the St. Augustine city Visitor Center) on a first come, first served basis. Family members of all ages must have a pass to board the ferry.
Crowds - The fort is busiest on weekends, holidays and during the spring school visitation months. For a more relaxed visit plan on being here early in the day or on a week day.
Clothing - A wide-brimmed hat, dark glasses and sun block will help protect you against solar radiation while loose fitting, natural fiber clothing will help keep you cool. A jacket is recommended during the winter. Because of the stairs and a ladder, it is recommended that you not wear loose fitting or high-heeled shoes.
Pets - Pets on a 6-foot leash are welcome in the park including on the beach and on the trails. Pets, except for service animals, are not allowed in the visitor center, on the boat, or at the fort. Please clean up after your pet. Do not leave your pet in your vehicle as temperatures can rise quickly.
Parking - While there is usually ample parking for visitors, the parking lot often fills up on weekends, and RV parking is limited.
Accessibility/Special Needs - The Visitor Center, restrooms, dock, nature trail are wheelchair accessible. The ferry boat to the fort and the fort itself are not accessible. There are two steps onto and off of the boat and a stairway of fifteen steps up into the fort.
Handicapped parking is available in the parking area. Service animals are allowed in the Visitor Center, on the boat, and at the fort. Information in Braille is available upon request as is a captioned version of the orientation film.
Last updated: May 3, 2019