Located two miles south of Marineland on State Road A1A, the formal and meditative gardens to the west are the centerpiece of this park, but 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.
For further information, www.floridastateparks.org/washingtonoaks/
49 miles: heading south on the byway.
Marineland's community seeks to expand its permanent population while emphasizing its strengths in research, education and tourism. Surrounded by 10,000 acres of picturesque public land, the town offers a leading world-renowned laboratory of ecological research and interactive adventures with dolphins for almost all ages, all in the middle of an amazing estuarine system that cleans the water and shelters young fish and other marine life.
Points Of Interest
- Ponte Vedra Beach
- Bird Island Park
- Mickler’s Landing
- Guana Tolomato Matanzas
- Guana Tolomato Matanzas Environmental Ed Center
- Nease Beachfront Park
- Vilano Beach
- Colonial St. Augustine
- St. Augustine
- The Flagler Factor
- America’s Tourism Capital 1890-1930
- Anastasia Island
- Fort Matanzas – National Monument
- Marineland and UF Whitney Lab
- Washington Oaks Gardens State Park
- Malacompra Plantation Archaeological Site
- Betty Steflik Memorial Reserve
- Flagler Beach Pier
- Gamble Rogers Memorial State Park