If you think a Florida vacation is nothing but beaches, swimming and boating, take the time to visit Eden Gardens State Park for an interesting and educating cultural experience. Take the scenic Highway 30A up the coast, turn right on to highway 395 in Seagrove Beach, and enjoy driving through the beautiful state forest before reaching your destination. The drive from the Rosemary Beach® community is about fifteen minutes.
The Historic Wesley House at Eden Gardens
The highlight of the 163-acre Eden Gardens State Park is the Historic Wesley House, where you can learn about the family who built it, one of the first to settle in the Point Washington area. Built in 1897, the home is a beautiful two-story mansion with dramatic white columns and a classic wrap-around porch. The majestic home, surrounded with mossy live oaks, will take you to a bygone era of southern prosperity. You’ll also learn about the home’s benefactress, Ms. Lois Maxon, who purchased it and renovated it extensively before donating the property to the Florida Park Service in 1968.
Take a Tour
On the guided tour you can see the quality build of this lovingly preserved home, which still features its original pine siding, flooring, and 95% of its original glass windows. Inside the home, you can view Ms. Maxon’s vast collection of furniture, including relics and antiques from as early as 1790. Tours start at 10 am and continue at the top of every hour until 3 pm, Thursday through Monday. The house is closed to the public on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Tours last 30 to 45 minutes, admission is only $4 for adults and $2 for children, and you’ll be accompanied by an experienced, knowledgeable guide.
Enjoy the Outdoors at Eden Gardens State Park
Another highlight of the park is the beautifully manicured ornamental gardens. Including a heritage rose garden, butterfly garden, and secret garden with paths winding through the grounds, the early spring months are an enviable time to visit Eden Gardens State Park Florida and see it in bloom. Originally designed and planned for Ms. Maxon, the gardens and grounds feature showstopping azaleas and over 250 camellias. Wander through the grounds and you might even find yourself at a quiet reflection pond, filled with koi fish and water lilies. If you want to go fishing or paddling on the Intracoastal Waterway or the Choctawhatchee Bay, the park has a boat launch on Tucker Bayou, which connects to both bodies of water. Other activities include hiking, picnicking, and a screened pavilion with kitchen and bathroom that is available to rent for meetings or reunions.
Don’t miss this beautiful piece of Florida history! Plan your visit to Eden Gardens State Park Florida today, and don’t forget to book your lovely Rosemary Beach community vacation rental property with us! If yuo0’re planning on a Summer trip to Rosemary Beach, book one of our best Summer vacation rentals today.
If you are looking for an amazing day trip out of the Rosemary Beach® community, take a short drive west along scenic Highway 30A! In about 20 miles you’ll reach Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, a 1,640-acre park showcasing a variety of Florida ecosystems and habitats. You can enjoy the park’s namesake sand dunes, which appear like ships’ sails, rising out of the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico. These soft quartz dunes have created a rare ecosystem of freshwater dune lakes, where you can observe the unique wildlife that thrives here. A walk through Topsail State park will also take you into pine forests, through sandy scrubland and wetlands, and along miles of pristine beaches.
EXPERIENCES TO REMEMBER AT TOPSAIL STATE PARK
Topsail State park Florida truly has an experience for everyone, and a day spent here will be long remembered by the whole family! The park offers rentals for bikes and you can enjoy a scenic ride along the paved path to Campbell Lake. If you want to get in the water, you can rent kayaks or paddleboards, or just hang out on the white sandy beaches and take a dip in the emerald waters. The options for hiking are plentiful as well. You can take the Turpentine Trail and see the remnants of the local turpentining industry from the late 1800s or go down the Gopher Tortoise Trail and try to catch a glimpse of the endangered burrowing reptiles. The Deer Track Trail offers the unique opportunity to see a rare coastal dune lake as well as carnivorous plants! Finally, on the Morris Lake Trail you can see remnants of the WWII JB-2 rocket development.
ACCESS AND EVENTS
The trails are all easy to find if you start right at the day-pass parking lot at 7525 W County Hwy 30A in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. You can pick up a trail map at the ranger station, and water, sunscreen, and bug spray are recommended to bring along! If you’re interested in a picnic here, they have plenty of picnic tables set up as well as a couple small pavilions at Campbell Lake. You can also enjoy a picnic on the beach, but no glass, alcohol or pets are allowed there. Leashed pets are welcome along all 15 miles of walking and hiking trails. If you’re interested in engaging with the locals, make sure to check the schedule for events like Campfire Stories, Sunday Funday Ranger Programs, or Breakfast with a Ranger and have some fun learning about the plants, animals and history of the park.