Constructed by the Spanish in the early 1740s to protect St. Augustine’s southern end, Fort Matanzas never saw any real military action. More than 260 years later, it’s a wonderfully preserved piece of Florida history that provides panoramic views of the Intracoastal Waterway and Matanzas Inlet.

The fort is only accessible by a short ferry boat ride from the National Park Service, which operates at regular intervals during daylight hours. There’s no charge to ride the ferry or visit the fort, but a boarding pass is required from the on-site visitors center.