Visit the Castillo de San Marcos on Your St. Augustine Vacation

When you’re on vacation, it’s always beneficial to learn a little bit about the history of the area where you’ll be staying. Not only is it interesting to get some backstory behind your surroundings, but it can give you a greater appreciation for the town. You might even be able to visit some fascinating historical sites that bring the past to life! The Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine is the perfect example. And to make it even better, it’s just minutes away from some of our most popular St. Augustine rentals!

History of the Fort

The Castillo de San Marcos near our St. Augustine condo rentals

The Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States and is unique in that it embodies over 300 years of history and culture. In 1672, construction began to build a fortress to protect and defend Spain’s claims in the New World. Many wooden forts had preceded the Castillo, but this one was made out of coquina and when it came under attack by the British in 1702, it was the sole structure to survive.

The fort did end up under English rule for a 20-year period during which is was used as a military prison during the Revolutionary War. At the end of the Revolutionary War, Florida was returned to Spain in 1784 until it became a United States Territory in 1821. In 1924, the fort was recognized as a National Monument and is now a lasting landmark of 17th-century St. Augustine.

The Castillo de San Marcos at night near our St. Augustine rentals

Things to Do

The experience at The Castillo de San Marcos is designed to be a self-directed one, and since everyone has different interests, schedules and abilities, there is a menu of opportunities to allow visitors to experience the park in a variety of ways. To start, you can download the Castillo’s park app to embark on a self-guided tour around the fortress. Your kids can get involved in the Junior Ranger program and earn a unique badge, and if you have any questions while you’re at the attraction, the park rangers will be more than happy to tell you anything you need to know. 

Other Attractions Nearby

The Castillo de San Marcos at night

After exploring the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, there’s plenty more to do in the area! There are quite a few more St. Augustine historic sites nearby, including the Fort Matanzas National Monument, the Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve, and the Canaveral National Seashore. A trip to any of these areas will surely bring a greater appreciation and understanding of the backstory of this area. 

Additionally, you can explore several nearby parks if you want to continue soaking up the Florida sunshine. Within the St. Augustine area, be sure to take the time to visit areas like Fort Mose Historic State Park, Anastasia Island State Park, and Faver-Dykes State Park. These parks are full of fun activities and will keep your family entertained all day!

Hours & Pricing

The Castillo de San Marcos is located at 1 South Castillo Drive. They are open Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. The entrance fees cost $15 per adult ages 16 and older. Kids 15 and younger get in for free!

After a long day of exploring the Castillo de San Marcos and embarking on some exciting St. Augustine tours, you’ll probably be ready for some well-deserved rest! Head to one of our St. Augustine Beach condo rentals for a comfortable and affordable place to stay while you’re in town. Contact us today to learn more!