Manager's Message

Manager's Message Washington Oaks Gardens State Park

Renee Paolini, Park Manager

Washington Oaks Gardens State Park is like no other, a place where an unexpected combination of unique features unites to create this beautiful property. The park is located on a barrier island and contains remarkable natural spaces with the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Matanzas River to the west. 

The west side of the park offers beautiful views of the Matanzas River and nature preserves beyond, while the coquina rock formations on the Atlantic side create a fun place to explore and take photos. My favorite place in the park, however, is the maritime hammock in the center of the park, home to our 20-acre botanical garden lined with 200-year-old oak trees covered in Spanish moss. 

It is here that the staff and I are able to use our creativity to contribute to the gardens placed in our care by Louise Young, who donated the property in 1964. Maintaining and expanding upon the gardens, reflection ponds and cultural resources of our park is what has kept me here for almost 25 years! 

I invite you to bring your family and friends for a hike into natural Florida, share a picnic at one of our shaded pavilions, or simply enjoy a walk through the gardens. Stop at the beach for the photo opportunity of a lifetime.   

Come enjoy the beauty of Washington Oaks Gardens State Park. We hope to see you soon!