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“Kingsley Plantation”

Fort George Island Cultural State Park
Ranked #39 of 171 things to do in Jacksonville
Attraction details
Level 5 Contributor
83 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Kingsley Plantation”
Reviewed 30 December 2013

We didn't have a lot of time to explore all that the island offers, but this was a great little stop. I don't know many historic sites like this that you not only get to visit for free but also get to visit self-guided. There is a visitor's center where you can get an audio tour, but you can also just walk around and explore for yourself. You will see several slave cabins in various states of ruin and reconstruction, the old kitchen, old barn, indigo processing, and the grounds. They will also like looking at the gopher tortoise holes. You can only see the house from the outside except when open on special occasions, but that's okay. You can take in a lot of history from the signage and displays. The site is family friendly, and I think children would be interested in learning about plantation life. There are some nice hiking trails on the island, but we didn't have time. We had planned to go back another day and check out the Ribault Club and trails, but the weather didn't cooperate. I would definitely visit again. You can do the plantation in less than one hour, but take a few hours or more for the whole island.

Visited December 2013
2 Thank Magma5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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37 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Dover, New Hampshire
Level 6 Contributor
1,004 reviews
452 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3,163 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 October 2013

I visited this state park in conjunction with my tour of the eight main units of the Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve, a 46,000-acre area that represents 6,000 years of human history in the area and is operated under a three-way partnership with the U.S. National Park Service, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and the City of Jacksonville Department of Parks & Recreation.

I visited the Ribault Club and Fort George Island Visitor Center in the state park and nearby sites of St. George Episcopal Church (1882) and Kingsley Plantation which is a unit of the Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve.

It is a beautiful area with plenty opportunities for walking and hiking.

When I return to the Jacksonville area, I will return here perhaps for a kayaking or a Segway tour.

Visited January 2013
2 Thank Maurene_K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jacksonville, Florida
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Great piece of paradise in Jacksonville, FL”
Reviewed 3 September 2013

Halfway between Amelia Island and downtown Jacksonville sits Ft. George Island, one of the best kept "secrets" in Florida. Located off of Heckscher Drive, you turn north onto the mile long causeway to get to "the loop", a 4.4 mile road that circles the island. If you turn right at the fork to begin the loop, the first attraction about a 1/4 mile is St. George Episcopal Church. The church is open most weekdays. It is a beautiful "Carpenter Gothic" church built in the 1870's, I think. Be sure to look at the stained glass window left front. It is the only stained glass window I know of, with an image of a boy surfing! It was done to honor the life of a young member of the parish who died of cancer when the window needed replacing. There is a flock of peacocks around the church. There are a few completely white "albino" peacocks among them you might see. Continuing on the loop, on the left is an old Cape Cod style house known as Nelmar on the left. Further down on the right is the Ribault Club, once a country club built in the Great Gatsby days of the roaring '20s. The country club failed in the Depression, but has been restored by the park service, and now houses a nice museum inside on the left that has exhibits pertaining to early settlers, native American Indians, and nature. It's free, but they take donations. It is NOT open Monday and Tuesday. You can also pick up a "virtual ranger tour" on CD here, and it will guide your trip around the loop, with brown signs marking each stop. You can also drive behind the club to the waterway for a beautiful view. There are also picnic tables there under a pavilion for a great place to lunch. Across from the Ribault Club is a 3.3 mile nature trail that is where the old golf cart path was. Great hike. One may walk or bike this trail, or the loop itself, but be careful on the road as it is very winding. Continuing, the paved road becomes unpaved, but very drive-able with any car. You will come to the old Kingsley Plantation which was an early cotton plantation, rich in history. It functioned during Spanish rule and was run by a Spanish man and his wife, a Black woman from Haiti, I believe. There are many exhibits here also--old slave quarters, millhouse, kitchen house, ranger store. I think the Park Rangers do a daily program at 1pm. Free also. You can also walk to the waterway behind the Plantation house, and there is a short trail to a Park Service dock. Back on the loop the trip back is very desolate, with little sign of civilization for about 2 miles. When you see the first house on the left, you may see the flock on peacocks, as this house feeds them. You will be behind the little church on the other side of the loop. Then you have completed the loop and turn back on the causeway. I hope this helps. Please don't litter--better yet, take out more than you bring in!

Visited August 2013
11 Thank ameliarad2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jacksonville, Florida
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“A hidden Gem in Jax”
Reviewed 2 September 2012

A beautiful, amazing drive where one goes back in time! This trip will take you way back to the Timucan Indians to the Roaring 20's. First drive to the Ribault Club where you can tour the Club for free and be sure to scan your SmartPhone for an audio tour of the whole Island! Start your audio tour at the Ribault Club- while driving along the beautiful canopy roads, one will see the stops numbered to correspond to your audio tour. The Audio tour will take one around the whole island where you can learn about the Tabby Houses, The Kingsley Planation, The Ribault Club and the beautiful salt marshes of the Island! You can also tour The Kingsley Planation for Free! The road starts out as cement but will eventually be a narrow, dirt road which has plenty of pull offs to view the stops. There is also an Ecomotions tour that is a segway guided tour of the island. BRING MOSQUITO SPRAY!!! PLENTY OF THEM!!

Visited September 2012
6 Thank vicky s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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