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Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve

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Address: 505 Guana River Rd, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082
Phone Number:
+1 904-823-4500
09:00 - 16:00
Open now
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Sun - Sat 09:00 - 16:00
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours

The Reserve was established in 1999 as a part of the National Oceanic and...

The Reserve was established in 1999 as a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) System and is one of three NERRs in Florida. The Reserve staff manage the Guana Dam parking area, three beach lots (north, middle, and south), a trail system, the EEC, and a field office in Marineland, Florida. The Reserve’s 73,256 acres also includes Guana River Wildlife Management Area, Deep Creek State Forest, Stokes Landing Conservation Area, Fort Matanzas National Monument, Washington Oaks Gardens State Park, Faver-Dykes State Park, Moses Creek Conservation Area, Pellicer Creek Conservation Area, Princess Place Preserve, and the River to Sea Preserve, all of which are managed by separate agencies.

The Reserve is an important economic, ecological, and educational resource for local communities. The estuary provides valuable ecological services such as a nursery, storm protection, flood protection, oyster habitat, and water quality. Its health is fundamental to the survival of endangered ocean species such as the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) and sea

turtles. These resources provide economic opportunities in the form of fishing, recreational businesses, and jobs. As a NERR, the Reserve conducts scientific research, stewardship activities, and educational programs. Some of the unique aspects of this Reserve are its rich cultural history, location by the first city in America, pristine and quiet beaches, and diverse habitats.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 134 reviews
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  • 95
  • 35
    Very good
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0

We owe it to ourselves to reconnect with nature and embrace the earth. The reserve was quite and peaceful. It was a welcome departure from loud city noise.

Reviewed 9 January 2017
Linda S
Bethesda, Maryland
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134 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 133: English reviews
Bethesda, Maryland
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 January 2017

We owe it to ourselves to reconnect with nature and embrace the earth. The reserve was quite and peaceful. It was a welcome departure from loud city noise.

1 Thank Linda S
Level Contributor
73 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2017

On a trip here in April, we visited the park for some place to hike and really get into the Florida nature. With the water, woods, sand, and dirt, it was worth the hike. There are plenty of places to fish, plenty of spots to see wildlife, and it is a very well-kept area. I would love to come back... More 

1 Thank FourLugHero
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 December 2016

I love going to the beach here! There are hardly any people, and it is always amazing. Parking is totally reasonable only $3. There are nice stairways to get to the beach! love love love coming here! :)

1 Thank awesometrigirl202
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 November 2016

We held my daughter's wedding and reception at the Education Center, and every part of the event was perfect from initial contact through the end of the party. The venue is rented through "Friends of GTM," and allows food and beverage to be catered by an offsite company. We rented the whole facility and had help from Sun & Sea... More 

1 Thank Char C
GTMResearchReserve, Public Relations Manager at Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve, responded to this review

We're so glad that you enjoyed your time at the reserve. We're happy to have been a part of your daughter's special day! More 

Level Contributor
389 reviews
174 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 173 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 November 2016

The GTM Nerr is the US's 25th reserve that offers over 73,000 acres of tidal wetlands, lagoons, uplands and coastal ocean. This is a place of conservation, recreation, education and research. One can spend a day at the research center viewing exhibits, hiking the many trails, wildlife viewing, bicycling, fishing, birding and even volunteering for special projects like butterfly monitoring.... More 

Thank habaneros
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, United States
1 review
Reviewed 15 November 2016

The park is a great little get away for a 2-6 mile walk around the reserve. We have seen diamondback rattlesnake and wild pigs.

Thank Joan R
Level Contributor
41 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 November 2016 via mobile

It's our first time to this area. We typically love hiking, nature centered activities so this seemed like the place for us. There are several trails for walking or biking, fishing, opportunities for kayaking or other boating, and a wonderful education center. This was a great activity for a rainy overcast afternoon. The trails are flat, from .5 - 3... More 

Thank Donald M
Jacksonville, Florida
Level Contributor
81 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 September 2016

We love this beach! No houses, condos, hotels around at all. Just beach, ocean, and sand dunes for miles. A great place when you want quiet solitude.

Thank MarynMikeS
Cartersville, Georgia
Level Contributor
70 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 September 2016

The area is very pretty and worth the trip just for that. The beaches along the area are not crowded and we found a great deal of sea shells. While others found a shark tooth, we never did.

Thank Susan H
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 September 2016 via mobile

My wife and I hike the Guana/Talomato on a regular basis during the cooler months. There are too many mosquitoes and other creatures during the Summer months. Still some really good fishing in the river though. Love having such pristine places to hike and enjoy the wildlife close by.

Thank KaryU

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