Escape to 30A Episode 9: Tour of Eden Gardens State Park
This week on Escape to 30A, we explore another South Walton hidden gem. Located just off North County Highway 395 in Santa Rosa Beach, Eden Gardens State Park is the perfect family day trip spot. You’ll take a step back in time and enjoy some of the beautiful foliage native to the 30A area.
Eden Gardens State Park is made up of 163 acres of historic beauty. The main attraction being the magnificent Wesley House mansion. It was originally built in 1897 and renovated in 1963. This elegant 2 story Victorian style house with a wrap around porch gives one the feelings of stepping back in time and seeing the grounds for how they used to be. Visitors can opt-in to a guided tour of the Wesley House, 10-3:00 p.m. everyday excluding Tuesday and Wednesday.
Once you’ve explored the Wesley homestead, take a stroll down the property and gaze out into Tucker Bayou. It’s a natural Choctawhatchee Bay harbor that was used during the Civil War. Keep your eyes open for marine and wildlife. The ornamental Gardens At Eden are another favorite attraction among park goers. Visitors take in these spectacular blooming flowers mainly in the winter and spring months.
Eden Gardens State Park is a very popular 30A area wedding venue, especially for those who appreciate history. Couples often exchange their vows under the massive, moss-draped branches of what is called “The wedding tree”. This oak tree is over 600 years old and makes for the perfect wedding ceremonial backdrop. There’s plenty of grass space around it for guests to watch two become one.
When the ceremony is over, the party often shifts over to the reception area of Eden Garden’s State Park. The Pavilion is fully screened-in and has plenty of space for up to 100 people making it a great option for 30A wedding celebrations. Those who rent the Pavilion for their wedding reception also have access to Women’s / Men’s restrooms and a large food preparation room.
Eden Gardens is the perfect place for a good old fashion picnic. Bring a blanket and dine on the grass under a Virginia live oak, or use one of the picnic tables that are scattered throughout the Gardens At Eden. The park offers four picnic pavilions for larger groups.
Finally, Eden Gardens State Park has approximately 1 mile of hiking / nature trails that allow access to the natural areas west of the ornamental gardens. The trailhead starts at the north end of the pavilion picnic area and loops around the property. Make sure to check out Eden Gardens State Park during your next 30A area visit!
Related article: 5 South Walton Area State Parks You Need to Explore
Previous “Escape To 30A” episodes are below…
Episode 1: Rosemary Beach Deep Dive
Episode 2: Grayton Beach Deep Dive
Episode 3: Gulf Place/Dune Allen Deep Dive
Episode 4: Tour of Inlet Beach
Episode 5: Tour of Seaside, Florida
Episode 6: Escape to Seagrove Beach
Episode 7: Blue Mountain Beach Tour
Episode 8: Get to Know 30A Distilling Co