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Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve

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Address: 505 Guana River Road, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082
Phone Number:
+1 904-823-4500
Today
09:00 - 16:00
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 09:00 - 16:00
Description:

The Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM...

The Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM Research Reserve) is dedicated to the conservation of natural biodiversity and cultural resources through research and monitoring to guide science-based stewardship and education strategies.

The GTM Research Reserve was formed through a collaboration of Florida's Department of Environmental Protection and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It covers 74,000 acres of coastal lands in northeast Florida from Ponte Vedra Beach to Palm Coast. The GTM Research Reserve is part of a national system of research reserves that focus on research, education and stewardship.

The GTM Research Reserve has a 21,000 square foot Environmental Education Center which includes interpretive exhibits, aquariums, classrooms, teaching and working laboratories, an auditorium and an outdoor amphitheater overlooking the Guana River Aquatic Preserve. Education staff offer programming for all ages on the importance of estuarine ecosystems. A Coastal Training Program offers training for professionals on issues of concern in our local community including watershed, invasive plants and much more.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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For a very private beach, the minimal parking fee is worth it!

With four energetic youngsters who will go in four different directions, my wife and I decided that the public beaches near Jacksonville Beach were too crowded to keep track of... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 16 June 2016
appecruzer
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Applecruzer
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125 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 124: English reviews
Applecruzer
Level Contributor
60 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 June 2016

With four energetic youngsters who will go in four different directions, my wife and I decided that the public beaches near Jacksonville Beach were too crowded to keep track of them safely. We headed down A1A aiming for the third parking spot with beach access that are part of the Reserve. Unfortunately, that one was closed for the day, so... More 

Helpful?
Thank appecruzer
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
1,307 reviews
708 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 217 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 May 2016

Mostly we come to Ponte Vedra to the beach and for great restaurants. This reserve with miles of trails, beaches, birds a river, and lots more is a great place to get out into the nature. Costs $3 to park. Museum is free. Well worth a detour if you have the time.

Helpful?
Thank Chinapjs
vero
Level Contributor
54 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 May 2016

It has an okay education center but it looked like a dozen other centers. The best thing was the telescope set up to watch the Bald eagle's nest. I had hoped for a walking path for my mom (whose in her 80s), but if there was one, we didnt find it.

Helpful?
Thank FloridaGaijin
Panama City Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 May 2016

This GTM Reserve experience was mixed for me. I think that it was somewhat interesting but mainly, it was not the most fun experience. I think that places like the St. Augustine Eco-Tour is a much better experience than doing this. However, these people do try to help the environment which is always good.

Helpful?
Thank Specificz
Mechanicsburg, PA
Level Contributor
81 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 May 2016

Too short a visit this time but will definitely go back. I would recommend stopping by the visitor center and viewing the video before venturing out to explore. Lots of diversity from the beach to river estuaries. Beautiful place.

Helpful?
Thank luvmyvacays
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
41 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 April 2016

This is one of the best places in the area to hike, fish and kayak. A must if you love the outdoors. Great birding as well. Bring a camera and binoculars.

Helpful?
Thank Brewgtr
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 April 2016

There are 3 main areas to visit: forest, beach and museum. Flat, easy trails of different lengths provide great views of wildlife. Walk to the river, or around a pond. To enter, you pay (usually you need singles to put in the machine, $3) and cross the dam and park. You can fish on either side of the dam. There... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank AmyRW
Peachtree City, Georgia
Level Contributor
97 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 April 2016

We love to go to this area for shelling and just enough the sounds of the ocean away from crowds regardless of season.

Helpful?
Thank TwoTravelers245
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Level Contributor
16 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 March 2016

My wife and I stayed in Ponte Vedra and, except for enjoying dining and golfing experiences, had some trouble finding what else to do (we had explored St. Augustine last year). Hiking on the trails of this reserve was a great find. There must be at least 10 miles of trails that you can walk or cycle. The vegetation is... More 

Helpful?
Thank ngp50
Florida
Level Contributor
133 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 March 2016

The $3 fee it takes to park is well worth it. This is one of my favorite places in the world. It has both the beach and the river with so much more in between. It's a nice break of quiet, old Florida in between Ponte Vedra and St. Augustine. It always amazes me to think that the landscape that... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank wheretoadventure

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