We're about due for a road trip, and luckily we Sunshine Staters are blessed with some of the most gorgeous scenery to take us away from the city. This Florida road trip destination has some of the dreamiest views, and you may just want to add it to your bucket list.

Washington Oaks Gardens State Park lives tucked away on the east coast by the Matanzas River — only a 1.5-hour road trip from Orlando. The edges of this park boast coastal views and one of the largest displays of exposed sedimentary strata rock that create a unique and stunning beachy ocean paradise, similar to the views at Blowing Rocks Nature Preserve.

Not everyone wants to get wet or go to the beach though, and this state park has so much more to it than that. Those who wander will wind through the park's trails beneath canopies of sweeping oak, magnolia, and hickory trees that stretch across their 20-acre gardens. Almost everywhere you go offers beautiful Insta-worthy backdrops.

The grounds feature a couple of really notable spots where locals like to get engagement, maternity, & graduation photos done; strut the walkway to the waterside gazebo & fountain, stand beneath the towering oak tree, or even wander to the rose garden with an engraved brick walkway.

You can even purchase a brick to leave your mark. Each brick is $100, and would make a super romantic way to enscribe your love into the park's history. You can even reserve this park for one of the most breathtaking wedding locations.

This dreamy nature escape is only $5 per person for admission, making it a super affordable date idea. You can visit the park from 8 a.m. to sunset daily. We're grabbing our boo and getting our Spotify playlists ready!

As you take your road trip to Washington Oaks State Park, you'll be passing by New Smyrna, where one of the only original Bob Ross workshops lives — you can even take painting classes there. You can actually visit Bob's happy little gravestone at a cemetery on the opposite side of Orlando too. Maybe we'll add a couple of spots to the road trip after all.

An overview of Washington Oaks State Park can be seen below. If you're looking for more road trip ideas, check out these 8 fun day trips near Orlando & these 8 free things to do near Orlando when you're on a budget.

Washington Oaks Gardens State Park

Price: $5 per vehicle

Address: 6400 N Ocean Shore Blvd, Palm Coast, FL 32137

Hours: 8 a.m. to Sunset, daily

Why You Need To Go: A beautiful and serene place to get away from the city and enjoy nature. Wanter the winding trails beneath the canopies of the trees, or dip your toes in the water beachside.


We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.


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