If you're looking for a taste of history while strolling the beach, check out the Fort Matanzas National Monument. This monument sits on and stands guard on the barrier islands situated along the north Atlantic Florida coastline, a. It’s origin dates back to the 1700's and is a significant part of St. Augustine's past as it protected the entrance to the city and Matanzas river during the European colonial wars. Today, it's a dog walker’s paradise, offering your pooch access to a beach, diverse in wildlife, while you explore the historical monument.
Dogs are permitted to join their owners while they visit, as long as you keep them on a leash at all times that's no longer than six feet in length. Your pup is not allowed to enter the fort, the boat or the visitor center, but they can enjoy the beach and trails. Remember to bring both clean drinkable water and waste bags for your pooch.
The beach at Fort Matanzas houses a diverse ecosystem, making it the perfect place for you and your pup to observe the wildlife flourishing. Here, you'll see various dunes where you may spot the Anastasia Island beach mouse burrowing, or the Atlantic snow crab scurrying. You may even see baby sea turtles making their way to the ocean if you take your stroll between the months of May to August. A perk of this beach is motorized vehicles are not permitted on the sand, so you can enjoy a safe and peaceful walk. One thing to note is dogs must stay off and out of the dunes. After checking out the beach area, you and your pup can explore a trail that's just over a half mile long.
If you're planning on coming to Fort Matanzas, be sure to check the weather ahead of time. During the summertime, the island experiences hot and humid temperatures, so don't forget your sunscreen and sunglasses! The winter months are cool and can become quite windy. Lightning causes the fort to be shut down temporarily. It's important to note that hurricane season falls between the months of June to November, increasing the chances of tropical storms.
If you're a history buff and looking for a hidden treasure to explore with your pup, be sure to swing by Fort Matanzas National Monument, for an unforgettable beach experience!