Experiences & Amenities
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 is a very popular activity at Washington Oaks Gardens State Park.
Pick up a copy of our birding checklist at the ranger station.
Washington Oaks is a popular place for recreational fishing. Fishing can be enjoyed from the park's seawall on the Matanzas River, and surf fishing is allowed from the beach. A number of different species are routinely caught, including whiting and blue fish in the surf, and several species of trout, redfish, drum and flounder along the seawall.
Washington Oaks Gardens State Park provides trails for both hiking and biking. The Bella Vista trails are a 1.7-mile trail system that includes the Timucuan hiking trail, Jungle Road hike and bike trail, and the Old A1A hike and bike trail. This trail system explores a mature coastal maritime hammock and ventures into the edge of 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 DEP in cooperation with the Florida Trail Association. These trails are maintained by Florida Trail Association volunteers.
Enjoy a beautiful picnic facility beneath large majestic oaks. There is a covered pavilion along with other tables and grills that are located throughout the picnic area. The picnic area's close proximity to the park 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.
Weddings are popular in the park's beautiful gardens or along the unique coquina rock formations on the beach. Wedding receptions may be held at the pavilion.
Washington Oaks Gardens State Park is committed to providing a variety of accessible amenities to all of its visitors. Amenities include:
- Gift shop.
- Visitor center.
- Formal gardens.
- Fishing area.
Service animals are welcome in all areas of the park.
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.
- See our Pet Policy.