The Matanzas Inlet is a channel in Florida between barrier islands connecting the Atlantic Ocean and the south end of the Matanzas River.
I had driven past it dozens of times, and it always looked like a beautiful little cove tucked away off of Florida’s famous A1A highway. So the other day I decided to stop and check it out, and what an amazing place I discovered. It’s at the southernmost point of Saint Augustine, on Anastasia Island, and a place you need to absolutely put on your list.
The Matanzas Inlet is an equal parts combination of pirate cove, nature preserve, jet ski and boating paradise, and tropical island fantasy. Even the water down here displays the bright blues and teals of tropical ocean water. This video that I found on YouTube really shows you how beautiful the water is:
Here is the whole area including some really amazing drone footage:
But believe me when I tell you that photographs and videos in no way do this fantastic place justice. You simply have to go there and experience it for yourself. When the tide is low to moderate, you can walk out nearly the entire way except for the part where the boats go. But even that is not crazy deep. The current moves swiftly to keep things interesting, but it doesn’t over power you like the ocean can at times.
The National Park Service maintains the area in near flawless condition, and you can bring to kids to explore Fort Matanzas, designated a National Monument. If you’re in the mood for a bite to eat, right across the inlet is the Matanzas Innlet Restaurant which I sampled yesterday:
Matanzas Innlet Restaurant located on A1A in St. Augustine, serves everything from fresh seafood to tacos and quesadillas. This family-run business was purchased in 1990 and has been busy ever since. The wide variety on their menu accommodates any taste, and the beautiful location in historic St. Augustine attracts visitors all year round.
They are open 7 days a week and are happy to serve you. Their frozen drinks and fried calamari are among some of the specialties at Matanzas Innlet Restaurant. Situated right on the Inlet with no traffic or boat docks, this peaceful restaurant offers a quiet dinner with a breathtaking view. Outside dining is offered and the scenic sunset over the water is one that can’t be missed.
On a personal note: I tried the pan seared crab cakes and found them to be absolutely delicious! In looking at the rest of the menu, I was pleasantly surprised to see a sophisticated offering of upscale American cuisine. I will absolutely be back to try more. When I was there people were raving about the wings (making mental note). My server, Courtney, was just about the friendliest person I have even met, and a top-notch food server.
A favorite spot of the locals, Matanzas Innlet also has live music on their deck every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night. If you’re looking for great seafood and a priceless view, then come visit Matanzas Innlet Restaurant.
Matanzas Innlet Restaurant is located on A1A south of 206.
So as you can see, the Matanzas Inlet Beach area has enough to keep you happy, well fed and busy all day long. This is become on of your most favorite places to visit.