Castillo de San Marcos
The Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States. It is located on the shore of Matanzas Bay in St. Augustine, Florida. Construction notably began in 1672, 107 years after the city’s founding by Spanish Admiral and conquistador Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, when Florida was still part of the Spanish Empire. The fort’s construction was ordered as a result of the destructive raid of the English privateer Robert Searles in 1668. Work proceeded, and the first coquina stones were laid in 1672. The construction of the current fortress was then completed in 1695, though it would undergo many alterations and renovations over the centuries.
Today, the fort is the highlight of any St. Augustine vacation tour. You can catch re-enactments with cannon firings daily. There are always demonstrations and hands on exhibits. Even just standing outside the Castillo can be amazing – dolphins are frequent visitors to the edge of the park, plus stunning views of the Bridge of Lions, and Vilano Beach across the bay. There is parking available here at the Castillo, plus the city parking garage is nearby. All trolleys and tours will also stop here during their routes.
Inside the Castillo, some areas may be inaccessible. There is one room you must crawl to get into, though it’s not an important part of the tour. Wheelchairs will be extremely limited, and it’s advised to call ahead and ask any questions before attempting the tour.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Where is the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument?
The Castillo de San Marcos is in beautiful downtown St. Augustine, Florida.
What are the park’s hours?
The interior of the Castillo is open from 8:45 am to 5:15 pm with the last entrance ticket sold at 5:00 pm.
Is there an entrance fee to the park?
Adults (16 years and older) are $10.00 Children are always free.
What is there to do at the park?
The park offers a variety of exhibits, living history demonstrations, ranger programs and also recreational opportunities.
Is there food and lodging near the Castillo?
Restaurants and hotels are located within easy walking distance of the Park. There will be no food or drinks except water allowed or available inside the park.
Can I hold my wedding or other special event in the park?
Weddings and other special events do require a special use permit and must follow specific guidelines. Special events can only be held on the exterior grounds of the Park.
1 South Castillo Drive
Saint Augustine, FL 32084