Eden Gardens State Park is a beautiful site to visit off the beaten path. It is located between Destin and Panama City, Florida. In the middle of the property is a two-story mansion filled with antique furniture by Lois Maxon. The property was once the home of William Henry Wesley and his family 100 years ago. Back then the property was Wesley Lumber Company with a sawmill, planner mill, dry kiln, and a dock to ship lumber on Tucker Bayou.
After the death of William Henry Wesley’s wife, Katie Strickland Wesley, Lois Maxon purchased the mansion to showplace her antiques and heirlooms for her family. The purchase included 10.5 acres of property. She loved the house and grounds and furnished it and developed the incredible gardens on the property. After Mrs. Maxon passed away, the property was donated to the sate of Florida in 1968.
Eden Gardens State Park is an amazing place to go sightseeing. There are guided tours of the house on the hour Thursday through Monday, 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. There is a nominal charge for the tour. I have been several times and just love it. I would love to go again and have a picnic. Eden Gardens State Park has many other things to do:
- Garden Trail– This is a complementary tour. The trail guides are located in the Fig Leaf Shop in the Wesley house. The journey takes you through the rose garden, butterfly garden, and Tucker Bayou.
- Picnic areas
- Meetings and Retreats
- Picnic or event pavilion
There are also special events held during the year. Eden Gardens State Park is a very tranquil place to visit and is located between Destin and Panama City Beach, Florida at: 181 Eden Gardens Road,Santa Rosa Beach, Fl. 32459.
As a special bit of info. for our movie buff readers – the 1972 film “Frogs” was filmed here. “Frogs”, was a horror film directed by George McCowan, and tells the story of an upper-class U.S. Southern family victimized by several different animal species. Nature, the movie suggests, may be justified in exacting revenge on this family because of its patriarch’s abuse of the local ecology.