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St Augustine Fort side view

As one of the focal points of this ancient city, the St Augustine Fort military installation will leave you feeling like you just went back in time! Located right on the river, this posting gives beautiful views of the water as well as the local town. I suppose that is why this particular location was selected for the fort. This two story massive installation is very rich in history and won’t completely destroy your budget!

Ran and maintained by the National Park System, the St Augustine fort admission is reasonable at $7.00 per person andchildren under 16 are free but must be accompanied by an adult. They also participate in the annual pass program, so if you have one, you won’t need to pay a dime! I won’t completely kill the mystery of visiting this historic sight by going over all the details, but I wanted to point out your family need not be history buffs to enjoy this spot. A few considerations when visiting though is that it is not handicapped accessible. the fort was made way before the Americans With Disabilities Act was created, or even Americans for that matter, so keep this in mind as you plan your trip to the St Augustine fort. We went with a stroller which wasn’t that big of a deal, but we would have had a much different experience had one of our group been wheelchair bound. Surprisingly enough, most of the lower level is flat and easily accessible with wheels but the second story gun deck requires you going up stairs. We decided to just leave the stroller near the steps and head on up to the top deck of the St Augustine fort.
Another safety concern at the St Augustine fort is the low walls on the second story. Remember this location wasn’t built with children in mind so you will need to keep a sharp eye out for your little ones as they explore. There are plenty of volunteers to help remind you to stay safe and keep off the walls, but if your kids have a bad habit of running off, this is not the location to let them row free. Even the stairs are open, so just be mindful.
Having been there before I was surprised to find that as an adult, I thought the Castillo de San Marcos St Augustine fort was an awesomeCannons Being fired from the St Augustine fort.experience! We went on a weekend, so it was a bit crowded, but there was an awesome bonus I had never experienced before: Cannon Fire! That’s right, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 10:30, 11:30, 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30 a group of volunteers actually get to shoot off a cannon! The dress is period appropriate attire and they go through the entire firing drill! These times are subject to change based on availability of volunteers, but if you call their number below, they offer a daily updated scheduled via telephone.
Another great activity at the St. Augustine fort is their Junior Ranger program. If you as at the main entrance, they will give you a packet of information specifically for kids that is loaded with all sorts of fun stuff to do and see around the fort! We saw quite a few kids that were on a scavenger hunt trying to find unique items and features around the fort. Once completed you present the completed packet to a ranger for an honorary badge! The Ranger service also offers guided tours of the fort if that’s more your speed.
Getting to the St. Augustine fort can be an adventure in and of itself! While there is a small parking located right outside, it always seems to be packed. It is metered parking so be sure to bring some change. My suggestion is to instead use the municipal parking garage and walk a bit to the river front. This also gave us a chance to checkout a really cool kids park as well as see the visitor’s center. Parking is only $10 for the entire day and is covered so you won’t roast when you return from your excursion.
You know I always pack a lunch on our frugal adventures, but this location took some skill to actually have lunch. Seating outside of the fort is a bit limited, with no picnic tables or grills. You could certainly bring a blanket and have a true picnic on the lawn, but don’t expect to actually eat or drink inside the fort. Only water is allowed inside. I didn’t have any hassle walking in the two soft sided coolers, but they were also attached to a stroller. I don’t know if the rangers would let you bring in a cooler by itself to the St Augustine fort.
Located directly West of the parking garage Is a nice children’s park where we actually setup our lunch. Again there were no grills, and only a few picnic tables, so space is a bit limited. We weren’t the only families enjoying a frugal day out! This seems to be a popular spot to stop for lunch. Many of the families were very considerate, and when they were done eating, relocated to benches so other families could enjoy a quick meal.

St Augustine Fort Castillo Specifics:

Hours of Operation
8:45 to 5:15 Open all year except December 25th.
$7.00 For Adults (16+) Children Free
Phone #: (904) 829-6506
Address of S Augustine Fort Castillo de San Marcos
1 S Castillo Dr, St Augustine, FL 32084

Address Of Parking Garage
10 S Castillo Dr, St Augustine, FL 32084

Other Info: