Fort Matanzas National Monument | BEACHES

Matanzas River Beach with Fort Matanzas in the distance

Matanzas River Beach with Fort Matanzas in the distance (far left)

Fort Matanzas National Monument has two swimming beaches on Anastasia Island, one on the Atlantic Ocean and one on the Matanzas River. Parking for both beaches is just north of the Matanzas Inlet bridge. The river beach parking lot is on the southbound side of A1A, and the ocean beach is on the northbound side. The parking lots are very small, and there is no parking along the road, so visitation is kept low. The river beach parking lot has two dozen spaces, and the ocean lot has three dozens spaces. Both beaches are equally popular.

The beaches are open from 5 AM to 10 PM each day. No alcohol or glass containers are allowed, and pets must be kept on a leash.

MATANZAS RIVER BEACH

The beach on the Matanzas River is accessed via a 75-yard boardwalk. Ramps are at both ends, so those in wheelchairs can get to the beach.

Boardwalk to the Matanzas River Beach at Fort Matanzas National Monument

Boardwalk to the Matanzas River Beach at Fort Matanzas National Monument

The actual beach is not that wide, but it does have soft, white sand. This is a great place for families with toddlers, for the children can play in the water without being knocked down by large waves as they could at the Atlantic Ocean beach.

Matanzas River Beach at Fort Matanzas National Monument

Matanzas River Beach at Fort Matanzas National Monument

The Matanzas River is affected by tides, so during low tide it is possible to walk far out into the river.

Low tide on the Matanzas River

Low tide on the Matanzas River

ATLANTIC OCEAN BEACH

The Atlantic Ocean Beach at Fort Matanzas National Monument is also accessed via a wheelchair-accessible boardwalk, though this one is almost 300 yards long.

Boardwalk to the Atlantic Ocean beach at Fort Matanzas National Monument

Boardwalk to the Atlantic Ocean beach at Fort Matanzas National Monument

According to some locals I spoke with, the Fort Matanzas beach is as good as anywhere else in St. Augustine, and the crowds are much thinner due to the limited parking. The closer you get to St. Augustine, the more crowded the beaches.

Atlantic Ocean beach at Fort Matanzas National Monument

Atlantic Ocean beach at Fort Matanzas National Monument

Atlantic Ocean beach at Fort Matanzas National Monument

Atlantic Ocean beach at Fort Matanzas National Monument

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Last updated on April 17, 2022
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