Although the traditional nurseries are the park’s main attraction, Washington Oaks is also well-known for the exceptional coastline of coquina rock developments that line its Atlantic Ocean side. This property, located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Matanzas River, was once owned by a distant family member of President George Washington. The nurseries were established by Louise and Owen Young, who purchased the land in 1936 and built a retirement home for the colder months. They named it Washington Oaks and donated the vast majority of the land to the state in 1965. The nurseries use native and exciting species, ranging from azaleas and camellias to the flawless bird of heaven, which is protected inside a pleasant oak lounger. Guests can go fishing from the ocean or the seawall along the Matanzas River. Climbing and bicycling are made more accessible by a few short paths. Guests can learn about the recreation area’s regular and social assets in the guest area. State Road A1A is two miles south of Marineland.
About the Park
It’s fascinating to watch the waves cut the coquina ocean side into strange examples that emerge over time. A narrow passage to walk through. As good as the nurseries are on the right side of the obstruction island, you’ll always be drawn to the beachfront, which is probably the most irregular ocean side in Florida. You can’t swim here, just like geography. Then, cross the street to see what happened to one of Florida’s unique Spanish land awards. General Joseph Hernandez’s property, the Bella Vista Plantation, was taken over by Owen D. In 1936, Young was the executive of General Electric’s leading group. Youthful and his better half expanded the ancient citrus forests, adding formal nurseries between their riverside retreat, serving as the Visitor Center. They also planted gardens and added water features beneath the magnificent live oaks that shaded the first course of A1A, which now serves as the recreation area’s entrance street. After Young died in 1964, his wife left the property to the state to be turned into a state park. The complex of nurseries and notable structures was designated as the Washington Oaks Historic District in 2009.
Trails at Washington Oaks
At Washington Oaks State Park, there are a few distinct paths. The Mala Compra Trail connects the nurseries to the outing area at the recreation area’s northern end. It is just as accessible to bikes as it is to climbers. The trailhead for the Bella Vista Trail is located on the north edge of the nurseries. It’s a 1.8-mile circle that circles most upland and waterfront areas. It is, in a sense, for climbers. Cyclists can use Old A1A to get to the north and south ends of the recreation area. It is applied to vehicles travelling between the entry station and the cookout area. Furthermore, you can walk more than a mile of beachfront along Coquina Beach’s constantly changing rough shore.
Things to do in the park
The traditional nurseries are the heart of the recreation area, with dazzling displays of both local and exotic plant species. Visitors can walk through the greenhouses, climb or bike on the nature trails, fish, and go birding throughout the year. Choose a lovely spot for a cookout beneath massive ancient oaks or with a view of the fascinating coquina rock developments. The Young’s previous retreat now serves as a Visitor’s Center where you can learn about the recreation area’s regular and social assets. The park has hosted some events, including First Friday nursery and history walks, Second Saturday plant sales, and an Earth Day celebration. Affirmation costs $5 for a carload of eight people, $4 for vehicles with one person, and $2 for walkers and cyclists. The recreation area, located at 6400 N. Ocean shore Blvd. on State Road A1A, is open all year from 8 a.m. to sundown.
Camping Near the Park
Setting up camp in an RV is a relaxing and cost-effective way to visit all of Florida’s state parks, including Washington Oaks Gardens. The recreation area is a 10-minute drive from Flagler by the Sea Campgrounds. The beachfront camping areas are located along the A1A Scenic and Historic Coastal Byway, close to Flager Beach, one of Florida’s most adored hidden gems. They have ocean-front RV parks that are moved away from the ocean. After a day in the recreation area, you can relax on the beach or enjoy water sports such as paddle boarding or kayaking. Boat slips can be rented from their harbour on the Matanzas River, part of the Intracoastal Waterway. This family-owned and operated camping area offers full hook-ups, 30/50-amp administration, an excursion region, a fishing dock, a Wi-Fi link, a bathhouse with showers, a pantry, and an on-site bar. Restricted pets are warmly welcomed. If you want to stay in a state park, Faver-Dykes State Park is 19 miles away and a quick drive away, as well as an incredible place to visit. Check out our blog on the recreation area to find out why we love it so much!
Exploring the Area
Locals refer to this remarkable ocean side near the recreation area as “The Rocks,” You should investigate it after the weather and tides have been turbulent. The mile of strange topographical stone developments is visible. The waves frequently carve out small tide pools in the chapped coquina shakes, then topped off with starfish and other fascinating ocean life. This is all dependent on the new weather, so make sure to bring your camera and capture this incredible sight. It’s a no-swim beach, but it’s a fantastic spot for peaceful reflection. You can visit the Bella Vista Plantation. It is one of Florida’s first Spanish land awards. Just down the road and the whole family will enjoy Marineland Dolphin Adventure, a place to interact with bottlenose dolphins. They provide education and motivation through a variety of projects. The attraction, located at 9600 N Ocean Shore Blvd in neighbouring Marineland, FL, includes many ocean animals ranging from sea turtles to octopuses.
Other places for nature lovers to explore in the area include the River to Sea Preserve and the Princess Place Preserve. The River to Sea safeguard highlights 90 acres of land with walking trails and community access to Flagler Beach. Visit the beachside promenade for stunning views of the Atlantic, and take advantage of the kayak and kayak launch for entry to the Matanzas River and the Intracoastal Waterway. The Princess Place Preserve encompasses 1500 acres of beachfront Florida splendour. You can enjoy climbing trails, salt bog fishing, and horseback riding at an equestrian camp. Leave the RV setting up camp for an evening and experience rough camping under the stars.