You probably didn’t know that over 4 Million people visit the Emerald Coast every year.
4 Million! (Phew)
And of course, Destin, Florida is located in the Emerald Coast. Many of us know that the main reason that people visit Destin, and the Emerald Coast, is for the highly sought-after EMERALD waters…. And the powdery soft, white beach sand. Which are indeed amazing! (I should know, I live here).
But, if you’re like my husband and I…. when we go on vacation, we look for the obvious, AND the not so obvious things to do in the area. We look for the parks, zoos, vineyards, and the gardens, and we like to drive through random neighborhoods and look at houses.… (It’s not weird).
SO! If you’re looking for something to do AFTER you go to our coveted beaches…(you know… later in the afternoon when you’re all sunburnt)…. Then I am here to tell you about one of our hidden gems, Eden Gardens State Park.
Eden Gardens takes up 163 acres of land in Santa Rosa Beach, Fl. There’s camping, hiking trails, a view of the Choctawhatchee Bay, a reflection pond, picnic and gathering areas, and also a 600-year-old Wedding Tree. (Hmm, I wonder how many people have gotten married under that tree). There’s also a 5,500 square-foot, 1890’s “mansion”.
Now, I’ll be honest… in my opinion Eden Gardens is more of a “grove” than a garden. I’ve been to other gardens. It’s not so much filled with various landscaped flowers and plants…. Instead, it’s filled with huge Florida Oak trees that are hundreds of years old! They are literally massive. My favorite thing is all of the moss growing on the trunks and hanging from the branches. For more information and photos, go here.
It’s crazy to me that you can take 20-25 minutes to drive outside of the hustle and bustle of Destin…. and be smack in the middle of huge, open, grassy fields, with ancient trees towering over you.
It definitely feels like a blast from the past. And if I were visiting Destin, I would want to know about it. So, you’re welcome. *wink*
Take an afternoon out of your vacation to Destin and unwind in a different way, at Eden Gardens State Park. Take the family, the dog, and a picnic! (A.K.A. Chic-Fil-A). I think you’ll be glad that you did.
Until next time, God bless and happy travels!
-Travel Life Vacations. It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.