Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest structure in St. Augustine, Florida. This fort began construction in 1672 and the core of the fort was completed in 1695. Castillo de San Marcos has served under six flags and is a national monument that should not be missed if you are in the St. Augustine area.
We decided to stop by St. Augustine on the last day of our Florida trip purely for this fort to give the kids a chance to explore before sitting in the car fro 7 hours and for Drew and I to take in some history. We parked at the fort around 8 am and had time for some awesome coffee and taking a few pictures before it was open and we could enter.
Walking across the drawbridge into the fort there is a little information desk as soon as you cross. For children wanting to get their badge they can pick up the booklet at this desk. For the badge they actually have to fill out all the pages which contain questions about the fort and history, so I definitely recommend it for children if you want them to remember anything about the history of the fort.
Walking counterclockwise is the way to see the fort as the displays are set up in a timeline format. Once you are done with the lower, inner courtyard its time to take a stroll along the walls. Word of caution here…there are no railings, windows or gates across the low ledges so keep a close eye on little ones. The view from the top of the wall is fantastic so don’t miss it!
We, as a family, had a lot of fun at Castillo de San Marcos. I enjoyed the rich and colorful history behind the fort and my children enjoyed earning their national park badges.
Now for the important information about Castillo de San Marcos:
- First Admission is at 8:45 am and closes at 5:15 pm
- 16 and above $10 admission, 15 and below free but must have adult with them
- Parking directly in front is metered and is $1.50 and hour
- Pets are not allowed inside the fort however they are allowed on the surrounding grounds
- Learn more about the fort here.