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Paradise Found!

Jillann Gildea
Jillann Gildea

The more I explore in Flagler County the more I fall in love.

It was another beautiful sunny day and I was ready for a new adventure.

I decided to head North from downtown Flagler Beach.

I took a journey up scenic A1A which features unobstructed views to the ocean.

I love adventuring in this part of the state, there are so many jewels to be found.

Twisting through the tree lined Hammock roadway, which narrowed a bit through the Hammock Beach area, and then just a few miles up I saw the sign for Washington Oaks State Park. 

washington oaks

This park sits between the Intracoastal Waterway (also known as the Matanzas River), and the Atlantic Ocean.

I pulled into the park and there was a sign on the window saying “using the honor system for park entry fees today”.  I smiled, paid and proceeded into the park.    The park fees run from $2.00 to $5.00 for a car load and include the tours on the days they are offered.  

The park had dense canopied coastal scrubs and a pathway lined with tall oaks, wrought iron gates and coquina rock formations.    

There was a little office to stop in that featured a gift shop where the staff couldn't have been more helpful. I might say, some of the goods being sold were reasonably priced, I grabbed a few bracelets for gifts.   I was told on certain days you can take the free guided tours and saltwater fishing workshops included in your park admission.

I headed toward the Intracoastal Waterway up the dirt road which had markers telling me about the hiking and bicycle trails.

Then to my surprise, a little house where a distant relative of President George Washington had resided until his death. 

Along the waterway I saw hermit crabs lugging around their shells.    I saw people fishing and an area for picnicking with charcoal grills.  There was a playground shaded by Hammock trees and interpretive exhibits.  

I happened upon the beautiful rose garden and a picturesque little pond surrounded by stag horns and foliage.  A delightful slice of paradise.  

The location of this park is so convenient because just across the road there is parking for a day at the beach.    I was so glad I had taken the time to pull over and make this stop, I drove over to the beachside, took the ramp over the dunes to the beautiful jetty lined sands of the Atlantic Ocean.   It was a breathtaking view from the shore and a day to remember!