My Favorite National Park – Kingsley Plantation

by Carrie with Children with 17 comments

So, if you stopped by earlier today, you know that it is National Parks Week!  I’m not even ashamed to tell you that I have a favorite National Park…and it’s right here in my hometown. Jacksonville, Florida is home to the largest urban park system in the country, with 46,000 acres of it belonging to the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve.  Within the preserve, you’ll find Fort Caroline National Memorial, the Ribault Club …and my favorite place – the Kingsley Plantation.

Kingsley Plantation


Located on Fort George Island, the Kingsley Plantation is the oldest standing plantation house in Florida.  The home itself has been undergoing renovations for the past few years, in hopes of preserving the structure.  However, you can explore the grounds at Kingsley Plantation which include the barn, the kitchen house, the interpretive garden and the tabby houses that were once slave quarters in the eighteenth century.

It’s amazing to me that these homes are still intact and that in some spots you can see carvings that were made in the walls.  The rich history that lives on these grounds is fascinating. If you ever visit Kingsley Plantation, take time to visit with the park rangers. Besides being so friendly, they are a wealth of knowledge.  My favorite ranger, Roger is a huge bird watcher – he can recognize a bird just from listening to it sing!  Amazing!

The waterfront view at Kingsley Plantation

I don’t get to visit Kingsley Plantation as much as I’d like to, but it’s certainly one of my favorite places in Northeast Florida.  The history, the landscape and the peaceful setting make it perfect for families.  One day, I’ll tell you about my encounter with a legless lizard (yes, they are real!) at the Kingsley Plantation.

Do you have a favorite National Park?  What makes it special to you?


  • Nicole Hill

    Kingsley Plantation is beautiful. We were told to go there for extra credit in one of my college classes… the breeze that blows in off the water there is just wonderful. The story of the house is amazing also. If I am not incorrect I think the woman who actually ended up owning the land was one of the slaves of the man who originally owned it. They were in love and she took the estate to court to get the property? I cannot remember exactly but it is a beautiful place. Worth the ride.


    • Carrie with Children

      You are exactly right, Nicole! Extra credit for you! 🙂 Anna Kingsley was a slave there, ended up marrying Zephaniah Kingsley (who owned the land) and eventually took control of the property! I love it out there – so peaceful!

  • Inessa

    Great blog. Looks like a lovely place to visit. I am now following. Please stop by my blog Diaper Style Memoirs and follow back 😉


    • Carrie with Children

      Hi Inessa! Thanks for stopping by – I appreciate it! I’m running over to check out your site now!

  • Amy

    Plus, the place is totally haunted. Bonus!

    • Carrie with Children

      It’s gotta be haunted with that much history! Next time I’m there, I’ll ask the park rangers…I bet they have some good stories!

      • Amy

        It’s listed in the National Registry of Historic Places. Something about a red pair of eyes staring at folks. I’ll look it up, I have the book.

  • Terri

    I am a new follower via GFC and Facebook. I found you through Follow Me, Chickadee! I hope you can stop by and check out my new blog and follow back.

    • Carrie with Children

      Hi Terri – Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate it! Running over to your site now!

  • Melissa

    That house is gorgeous! I love it!

    My would have said my favorite National Park is the Jefferson Expansion Memorial (Where the Arch is) but after looking it up, I found Grant’s Farm is! (I blogged about it yesterday! I had no clue!)

    • Carrie with Children

      It’s such a great place, Melissa!

      Too funny that Grant’s Farm is a National Park and you didn’t even know it! LOL One day when I come visit, I want to go see the arch and Grant’s Farm!

  • Shanna

    I have lived here for 10 years and I have never been there. It looks beautiful! I will definitely have to check it out soon!

    • Carrie with Children

      Shanna – It’s a bit of a drive to get there, but so incredibly worth it! It’s also the perfect place for a picnic! 🙂 Let me know if you need directions or anything!

  • Tara@ThatsaWrap

    How do I not know about this place??? Thank you so much it looks like I will have to plan a trip to Jacksonville soon! I am a sucker for anything historic when it has to do with houses/plantations. Thanks a bunch for introducing me to it!

  • Laurie

    I viisted this plantation last year! So pretty. Stopping by and folllowing from Sunday’s hop!

    • Carrie with Children

      Hi Laurie! Thanks for stopping by my site! Kingsley Plantation is such a great place! It’s so calming and peaceful there – I love it!