St. Johns County boasts a very diverse ecosystem with a variety of habitats including ocean and maritime forests. That’s why we encourage our guests at the Victorian House Inn to get out and explore Florida’s natural beauty beyond the city of St. Augustine.
If you’d like to add a relaxing afternoon spent in our area’s untouched wilderness to your itinerary, you certainly won’t want to skip a visit to the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve. This quiet and peaceful reserve is teeming with natural scenery, wildlife, and plenty of activities for visitors!
Read on to learn more about this outdoor wonderland or request your free copy of our St. Augustine Vacation Guide to find even more fun ways to spend your getaway in America’s oldest city!
What You Need to Know About Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve
The Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve is one of 29 National Estuarine Research Reserves in the nation and serves to protect our region’s grand diversity of plants and wildlife.
The non-profit organization is completely supported by the local community and volunteers who strive to preserve this thriving coastal ecosystem. The reserve itself covers 74,000-acres of St. Johns County right outside of St. Augustine, FL and provides a wide variety of fascinating activities and attractions for guests including a large Visitor’s Center, an outdoor amphitheater overlooking the aquatic preserve, working laboratories, and much more.
Things to Do at the GTM Research Preserve
More than 200,000 visitors from all over the globe are welcomed to the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve annually. Whether you’re here to spend quality time with your loved ones or embark on a new adventure, boredom is never an option!
Here are just a few activities that you’ll want to try during your visit to the reserve!
Each twist and turn within the reserve brings something new to see and experience. If exploration is what you’re after, you’ll find plenty of well-maintained trails that traverse through the coastal forests, marshes, and along the river.
As you wander through the reserve, feel free to rest your feet and enjoy outdoor activities such as fishing, wildlife viewing, birding, or simply unwinding on the uncrowded beaches.
The 21,000-square foot Visitor’s Center is filled with fascinating exhibits that you won’t want to skip! Stop by to see the working laboratories, aquariums featuring local marine life, and understand why the organization works so hard to protect the land.
The Guana Tolomato Reserve is dedicated to educating their visitors about the importance of nature’s preservation and preparing future leaders with a firm understanding of our nation’s oceans and coasts.
There are both formal and informal educational programs to choose from. If you’re just visiting for the afternoon, you’ll most likely enjoy one of the reserve’s pre-organized scavenger hunts! There are scavenger hunts available for both families and adults, each allowing you to explore the preserve at your own pace and educate yourselves about the items on your list with the opportunity to see them up close.
For a more in-depth experience, the Coastal Training Program is a great way to learn the most up-to-date scientific information about various topics and meet other passionate nature lovers.
Admission to the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve
The beaches and trails of the reserve are open seven days a week and only cost $3 per vehicle for up to eight people. For pedestrians and bicyclists, admission is only $1!
If you’d like to see the Visitor’s Center, be sure to come by Tuesday-Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm.
Local residents may want to invest in a GTM Research Reserve Annual Pass for only $50 plus tax.
Interested in a romantic GTM Research Reserve Wedding? You’ll find several lovely event spaces to host your special day, as well!
Book the Ultimate Florida Getaway With Us at the Victorian House
Located right in the heart of St. Augustine’s historic district, the Victorian House Bed and Breakfast offers a romantic and elegant setting for your next Florida escape.
After a full day of exciting St. Augustine adventures, come back to your lovely guest room or suite for an evening of well-deserved relaxation. Each room features a private bathroom, beautiful decor, comfortable beds, and a complimentary hot breakfast served each morning.
We also provide a variety of irresistible vacation packages and specials that will only enhance your experience in St. Augustine, FL! It’s a great way to easily add more to your vacation and take advantage of our area’s top activities.
Check our availability and book your next Florida getaway today!