Castillo de San Marco


Fascinating History

The Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest masonry fortress in the United States. This structure is a perfect example of the "bastion system" of fortification. The bastion system came from Italy in the fifteenth century. It is a star-shaped design that developed over time from the adaptation of technology. The change in new technologies used during warfare brought by black powder weapons created new types of defensive structures, and The Castillo de San Marcos is a perfect example of one.

 The Castillo de San Marcos is open to the public every day with some holiday exceptions. The First admission starts at 9:00 am with the last admission at 5:00 pm, The Castillo is closed from midnight until 5:30 am. The best time of the year to visit is from the middle of September through late November, that is our slowest time of the year. We enjoy the many people that come through high summer reaching an average of 3500 people a day.

 Castillo is considered a "walk-in" park, while at the entrance the fee applies to each individual. For a 7 consecutive day pass for adults 16 and older the fee is $15 while children 15 and under are admitted free of charge.

Castillo is a great place for school field trips because it has history behind it and it is fun and children friendly. The Junior Ranger program encourages kids to participate while here at the Monument. There are booklets that are available for kids ages 6-12, that is a fun way to interact. You can read exhibits, view the movie, or take a self-guided tour. Ranger-talk or demonstrations are given frequently to help answer questions that arise. We hope you can enjoy your time here in St. Augustine and join us to visit some American history.

What Guests are Saying About the Schooner Freedom


Great to see the complete historic canon ball shooting ceremony in Spanish with the men dressed up historically. Good to know all the details about the historic clothes function and some leg posture manners by an also historic man, one who served in the army must be close to comparing with the facts of ancient time.

Is a beautiful place to spend time know about the history of the structure the people are very polite and the service provides is wonderful beautiful places to see.


Nice and filled with interesting history and nice when you're inside. If visiting in the summer, bring water. Beautiful place, I recommend to visit the area!

Lots of fun

We had a great time learning and exploring. We appreciated the volunteers answering questions and putting on a cannon fire demonstration. It was a lot of fun!

Amazing Crew! 

It was a day full of history. Worked out nicely for us. I had 4 kids with me and my dad. My dad is a Vietnam veteran. The Rangers were so helpful. They gave my dad a card which allowed him to get himself in and 4 adults in free. Since only my 16 year old would be considered an adult, we were all 6 able to visit for free.
Great Family Experience!

Loved visiting! What an amazing, beautiful sight this fortress is! Amazing that it was never taken over by force due to great planning! I hope to share this experience with my family