The gardens offer visitors a peaceful stroll through winding reflection ponds which are sheltered by a picturesque oak hammock. Washington Oaks is also famous for the unique shoreline of coquina rock formations that line its Atlantic beach. This ancient rock formation creates the perfect spot for beachcombing, tidal pool exploring, and photography. Visitors can picnic and fish from either the beach or the seawall along the Matanzas River bordering our west boundary.
We offer a number of short trails providing opportunities for hiking and bicycling, as well as a visitor center open for learning about the park's natural and cultural resources. Washington Oaks hosts several annual events including an Earth Day Celebration, Holiday in the Gardens and Saltwater fishing clinics. First Friday Garden and History walks along with Second Saturday Plant Sales offer the community consistent monthly programming to enjoy. Hiking, birding, fishing, strolling or spending a day at the beach; Washington Oaks offers something for everyone!
Bicycle trails avaialble.
Helmets are highly recommended for all cyclists and Florida law requires helmets for cyclists age 16 and under.
This park is on the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail. Birding can be enjoyed in a variety of habitats including the beach, Matanzas River, and throughout the formal gardens. Each year during the migratory seasons birding becomes a very popular activity at Washington Oaks Gardens State Park. Pick up a copy of our Birding Checklist at the Ranger Station.
Fishing from the seawall and 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 park's seawall on the Matanzas River. Surf fishing is allowed from the beach. A number of different species are routinely caught, including whiting and blue fish in the surf; several species of trout, redfish, drum and flounder along the seawall.
All fishing within the park must conform to regulations concerning size, number, method of capture and season. A fishing license may be required. More information is available at the Florida Wildlife Commission’s Fishing in Florida.
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 half-mile loop that explores the ecozone 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. These trails are maintained by Florida Trail Association volunteers.
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 area's 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)447-1553. Restroom facilities and a children's play area are also available in the picnic area. Consumption of alcohol beverages is prohibited.
Wildlife viewing is possible at this park. This park is on the Great Florida Birding Trail. Birding can be enjoyed in a variety of habitats including the beach, Matanzas River, and throughout the formal gardens.
Washington Oaks Gardens State Park is committed to providing a variety of accessible amenities to all of its visitors. Those amenities include:
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 .75-mile stretch of beach is a photographer's paradise.
The formal gardens are the centerpiece of Washington Oaks Gardens. A portion of the hammock contains a formal garden where many species of exotic plants from around the world are displayed along footpaths and around reflecting ponds. The gardens are well known for their azaleas, camellias and roses.
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. Service animals are allowed in all areas of the park.
Our pavilion is equipped with 10 picnic tables and three charcoal grills, and is fully accessible.
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 swings. It is located in a coastal hammock, so it is sure to provide ample shade.
Every time you recycle you are helping protect our environment. Washington Oaks Gardens State Park now offers aluminum, plastic, and glass recycling for park visitors. Please use one of the designated bins throughout the park.
ADA restroom facilities are available at the Visitor Center, Entrance to Gardens, and Picnic Area. An ADA porta let is available at the beach.
Come to our Visitor Center for Information about the park.