Imagine stepping into a landscape full of vegetation that’s green and lush, where the waters are still, the air is warm, and wildlife thrives… where you’re more likely to spot a rhinoceros, cheetah, or antelope than another person. Imagine finding yourself on more than 13,000 acres of hardwood hammocks, pine forest and tidal wetlands landscapes, and in that setting enjoying an in-depth tour that bring you face-to-face with the animals and people of White Oak’s conservation programs. You’ll learn more about the pre-Civil War Era history of White Oak, including the Gilman Family acquisition and Mikhail Baryshnikov’s Dance Studio. You’ll tour Gillman Hall – often the center of overnight guest activities with drinks, bowling and billiards. A hand carved bar from the famous Chicago Stockyard Inn welcomes guests much as it did in the late 1800s. You can stay in the bar area and play vintage video games or move down the hallway under an arch piece from the famous Helen Hayes’ theatre, to the bowling alley, which is equipped with a Wurlitzer Jukebox. This complex also houses the main conference room and a fitness center designed by LA PALESTRA founder and President Pat Manocchia. Gilman Hall culminates at the Great Hall: White Oak’s formal dining room. All the guest areas are adorned with marvelous art, artifacts and amazing fossils, with something unique waiting around every corner.
Things to know before your visit: White Oak is a functioning conservation facility devoted to the care and preservation of imperiled species. Thus, cannot guarantee access or interactions with any specific species during our tour. Northeast Florida may experience abrupt changes in weather, especially during the summer months. All experiences occur outside across our nearly 13,000 acres of upland forests and wetlands, although you will be on board an open-air tour van or trolley. Appropriate comfortable outdoor and/or casual clothing, insect repellent, sunscreen, sunglasses, and a refillable water bottle are recommended for all experiences. Photo opportunities abound, so be sure and bring your camera. If inclement or severe weather is expected or dangerous road conditions are anticipated, White Oak may cancel our tour. All efforts will be made by PDCA to announce cancellations 24 hours before our event.