Matanzas Inlet SandbarCrescent Beach, FL
The Matanzas Inlet area is one of the few, great, sandbar areas in northeast Florida.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
BEACH & BOAT INFO
Natural/Scrub/Oyster Beds/Sand Dunes
Anchor Along the Inside of the Pass
Use Bow and Stern Anchor & Pay Attention to BIG Tide Changes
Clean but Dark
Beaches at Vilano
NEARBY MARINAS/BOAT DOCKAGE
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