Washington Oaks Gardens State Park

6400 N. Oceanshore Blvd., Palm Coast, Florida, US, 32173 | Directions

Although the formal gardens are the centerpiece of this park, Washington Oaks is also famous for the unique shoreline of coquina rock formations that line its Atlantic beach. Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Matanzas River, this property was once owned by a distant relative of President George Washington. The gardens were established by Louise and Owen Young who purchased the land in 1936 and built a winter retirement home. They named it Washington Oaks and, in 1965, donated most of the property to the State. The gardens make remarkable use of native and exotic species, from azaleas and camellias to the exquisite bird of paradise, sheltered within a picturesque oak hammock. Visitors can picnic and fish from either the beach or the seawall along the Matanzas River. A number of short trails provide opportunities for hiking and bicycling. Visitors can learn about the park's natural and cultural resources in the visitor center. Located two miles south of Marineland on State Road A1A.

Fishing from the seawall as well surf fishing is allowed at Washington Oaks. Washington Oaks Gardens State Park is a popular place for recreational fishing. Fishing can be enjoyed from the parks seawall in the Matanzas River and from the beach, if surf fishing is your pleasure. A number of different species are routinely caught including whiting and blue fish in the surf and redfish, drum and flounder and several species of trout along the seawall. Non residents are required to posses a Florida Saltwater fishing license. Florida residents are not required to posses a license when fishing from shore.

For further enjoyment we have a children's playground located in the picnic area close to the banks of the Matanzas River, commonly referred to as the intracoastal waterway. The playground is equipped with such amenities as a slide and swing set. It is located in a coastal hammock, so is sure to provide ample shade.

Washington Oaks Gardens State Park provides a beautiful picnic facility beneath large majestic oaks. There is a covered pavilion with other tables and grills located throughout the picnic area . The picnic areas close proximity to the parks hiking trail and the Matanzas River, makes it a popular meeting place for an after lunch hike. The pavilion is available for reservations by calling the Park office at 386-446-6783. Restroom facilities and a children's play area is also available in the picnic area.

Washington Oaks Gardens State Park provides trails for both hiking and biking. The Bella Vista trails, include the Timucuan hiking trail, Jungle Road hike and bike trail and the Old A-1-A hike and bike trail. This 1.7 mile trail system explores a mature coastal maritime hammock and ventures into the edge of a dense canopied coastal scrub. The Mala Compra hiking loop is a one half (1/2 mile) loop that explores the ecotone between the coastal maritime hammock and the estuarine tidal marsh along the Matanzas River. The hiking trails at Washington Oaks Gardens State Park were developed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in cooperation with the Florida Trail Association.

All pets must be on a 6-foot leash and well behaved at all times. Pets may not be left unattended. You may walk your pet in the picnic area, along the bike trails, and hiking trails but not in the Gardens or on the Beach.

Washington Oaks Gardens State Park is located two miles south of Marineland, off A1A.