Matanzas Inlet Sandbar

Crescent Beach, FL

The Matanzas Inlet area is one of the few, great, sandbar areas in northeast Florida.

LOCATION

Matanzas Inlet is located about ten miles south of St. Augustine in Crescent Beach.  It’s a popular inlet for fishing but also boasts some beautiful, interior beaches and islands that are great for anchoring the boat.   

THESE ARE PERFECT WATER FLOATS FOR MATANZAS

BEACH

The area for anchoring can be divided into three areas inside the inlet; the first is along the shoreline on Rattlesnake Island, the second is along the shoreline on Matanzas Inlet Park and the third is on the sandbar that jets out into the waterway.  There’s one section along Rattlesnake that is lined with oysters at low tide so avoid that area.  See the map in this post for details.  In addition, during low tide the shoreline along Rattlesnake Island drops off quickly to the point where it’s around eight feet deep roughly four feet off the waterline.  It’s fine at high tide but be aware if you have little ones.  The other sections seem more gradual.  If you have kids I would recommend the inside shoreline along Matanzas Beach.

TEN TIPS TO MAKE YOUR BOATING BETTER

BE AWARE OF THE TIDE

It has been a while since I boated in this area and one thing I forgot about was the dramatic tide swing.  The difference between high and low tide was easily 5 ft.  As a result, you have to pay close attention to your boat while anchored.  While I was out I saw three different boats high and dry and almost got my Hewes stuck too!  The tide rises and falls fast.

HISTORY

A unique backdrop to this boating location is the historic fort (Fort Matanzas) that still exists today.  The fort was built in 1742 and used by the Spanish to guard Matanzas Inlet from those wanting to attack St. Augustine from the south.  Today, it’s a National Park and is a great place to visit.  Click HERE for more info about Matanzas National Park.

ANOTHER AMAZING PLACE ONLY AN HOUR AWAY

HOW TO ACCESS

I used the ramp at Devil’s Elbow Fishing Resort because it’s the closest ramp.  There are other ramps but the main one is the Vilano Boat Ramp located off the Intracoastal in Vilano Beach.  I believe Vilano is free however, I never found out because it was so crowded the day I went back, I couldn’t find parking.  The best bet if trailering your boat is to use the Devil’s Elbow ramp.  The cost for that is $6.  Be warned though, the major tide swings can make it a struggle to take out the boat at low tide.  4wd is highly recommended.  

I utilize the service and benefits of Boat U.S.  They are a great organization that every boater should consider. You should too.  Click HERE to learn more. 

BEACH & BOAT INFO

LAT/LONG:
29.71’11”N 81.23’42”W

SETTING:
Natural/Scrub/Oyster Beds/Sand Dunes

SAND:
White, Hard

PARKING:
Anchor Along the Inside of the Pass

BOAT RAMP:

Devil’s Elbow Fishing Resort

Vilano Boat Ramp

SHOWERS:
No

BATHROOMS:
No

ANCHORING

Use Bow and Stern Anchor & Pay Attention to BIG Tide Changes

WATER CLARITY:
Clean but Dark

RESTAURANTS NEARBY:
Beaches at Vilano

Cap’s

NEARBY MARINAS/BOAT DOCKAGE

Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor 

NEARBY HOTELS:

Many in Downtown St. Augustine

Courtyard by Marriott – St. Aug. Beach

Embassy Suites – St. Aug. Beach

Devil’s Elbow Fishing Resort

 

Click on the 360 Video below for an immersive look at this location

If using a mobile device use the YouTube app for the optimal experience

 

 

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