One of the great joys of living in Florida is that you get access to dip into the ocean, have lunch beside beautiful lakes, explore castles, and taste an exorbitant amount of diversity in the context of gardens and art.
Not limited to that, the beautiful fishing piers, U-pick’s own oranges from the orange groves, and the small charming Christmas towns are worth exploring in Florida. But this time I’m taking you around the botanical gardens in Florida that encourage fun outdoor activities with your family all throughout the day.
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If you want to reconnect with nature and plants then these places are sure to bring happiness and a wide smile to your face! You’re extremely fortunate to live in Florida! Have you explored zoos in Florida with your kids, yet? So, let me take you around Florida.
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Best Botanical Gardens in Florida
Florida’s climate is blessed to bloom flowers and tropical plants that are native to Florida. I’ll take you around the flower garden in Florida that guarantees peace, serenity, and positive energy.
Let’s check out some gorgeous botanical gardens in Florida.
Botanical Gardens in Sarasota
1. Marie Selby Botanical Garden
- Admission Fee: $8 (members), $16 (adults, non-members)
- Address: 1534 Mound St, Sarasota, FL 34236, USA
- Opening Time: Every day – 10 am – 5 pm
For visitors, Sarasota has a beautiful 45-acre of the bay front sanctuary of green space named Marie Selby Botanical Garden. It sits on two locations – Selby Garden at Downtown Sarasota Campus (15 acres) and Historic Spanish Point at Osprey (30 acres). Combined, it is lush green and pretty botanical gardens in Florida.
Once you step into Downtown Sarasota Bay Campus you’ll see it is an under glass botanical garden featuring more than 20,000 colorful and exotic plants. The campus also features a fern garden, a mangrove walkway, a butterfly garden, an epiphyte garden, a bromeliad garden, and species of more than 6,000 orchids.
Selby Gardens in Sarasota, Florida is mostly dedicated to education, historical preservation, botany, and the environment. If you’re bringing your child, then step into the tropical jungle where you will see a 16’ waterfall, swinging bridge, adventurous trails, and also an amphitheater.
- To experience Florida’s kind garden, take the Jungle Walk tour. Check out their series of the rotating exhibition here
- To enter The Children’s Rainforest Garden, a child needs a parental supervision
- The annual orchid show happens in February and March
- From Selby Garden get a customized orchid piece of jewelry
- Historic Spanish Point offers tram and walking tour
2. Sarasota Garden Club
- Admission: Free
- Address: 1131 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota, FL 34236, USA
- Opening Time: Monday to Friday – 9 am – 1 pm
Break free from the urban frenzy by coming to Sarasota Garden Club, one of the most wonderful botanical gardens to visit in Florida. The picturesque garden sits on 12-acre land between Alderman Streets, South Osprey Avenues, and Boulevard Wood. You’ll also see a fountain, do not forget to click a picture with it!
I would like to tell you that Sarasota Garden Club is nothing majestic but a peaceful place. The bamboo groves, bird sanctuary, shoji fencing, a Japanese garden-style theme, sculpture at the edge of the pond, and blue roofing tiles are all so refreshing to see. This garden is a serene retreat for family people.
Tip: If you’re in search of a “Falling waters garden”, come to Sarasota Garden Club
Botanical Gardens in Orlando, Florida
3. Harry P. Leu Gardens
- Admission: $15/ adult
- Address: 1920 N Forest Ave, Orlando, FL 32803, USA
- Opening: Every day – 9 am – 5 pm
For the first time when I entered Harry P. Leu Gardens, I felt like I was walking into a tropical jungle where I can only see zillion tree shades. For a moment, the sight took away my breath! The garden sits on 50 acres of land dotted with a collection of plants, and a lush oasis. The bricks, stones, and walkways have so many patterns.
I never saw something like that! Later, I got to know that this is one of the biggest botanical gardens in Florida, just north of downtown Orlando. No irrigation is done; you’ll find Florida’s native exotic fauna growing naturally. This pretty garden in Florida overlooks Lake Rowen and the historic Leu house.
Harry P. Leu Gardens is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Leu family handed over this land to the City in 1961 and since then they are taking care. You’ll find temperate as well as tropical plants. The roses, Camellias, bromeliads, hibiscus, sugar palms, and azaleas create such a beautiful tropical rainforest environment!
I was amazed to see the floss silk trees and orange-hued foliage. The garden has 15 themed sections – Floral Clock, Tropical Steamed Garden, Butterfly Garden, and more. The woody steamed grass, and fruit trees like jaboticaba, plums, mangoes, and more are so well taken care of. Once you’re here do check out the Herb Garden!
- Come to this garden in Winters
- There are QR codes against each flower, once you scan with your smartphone you’ll know all the details
- Concerts or movies are played sometimes, keep an eye out for such events
4. Discovery Gardens, Tavares
- Admission: $5
- Address: 1951 Woodlea Rd, Tavares, FL 32778, USA
- Opening: Monday – Friday – 9 am – 4 pm
Invite your friends to get on a day trip from Orlando to Tavares to see the Discovery Garden, a beautiful botanical garden in Central Florida. The designed landscape will surely uplift your spirits and vision toward gardening. If you have a big front yard, you can steal ideas on how to decorate the plants on the ground.
Or, if you stay in a small apartment, you can steal ideas to decorate your cozy balconies with plants. Discovery Garden is a nearly 2+ acre site sheltering native plants, ponds, and various aquatic ecosystems. The garden is mostly designed to educate children about plants.
- Come on Tuesday and Thursday mornings to see the Master Gardener Volunteers taking care of the soil
- It is run by the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Botanical Garden in Tampa, Florida
5. University of South Florida Botanical Garden
- Admission: $25/ adult
- Address: 12210 USF Pine Drive, Tampa, FL 33612, USA
- Opening: 9 am – 4 pm
When you think of Tampa, what does come to your mind? Cuban cigar? Let me take you to a real place through undeveloped woods along the shore of Lake Behnke. University of South Florida Botanical Gardens is home to more than 3,000 plants attracting visitors to relax and inhale more oxygen.
This peaceful setting and lush green garden with colorful flowers make a wonderful place for the family to spend the afternoon here. In addition to this, parents love to attend their children at beekeeping workshops. USF botanical garden is a 16-acre beautiful botanical garden in Tampa.
- Plant festivals and other events attract visitors from all over the world as it is home to unusual and rare plants
- Plants are used for ongoing research in medical botany
Vero Beach Botanical Garden, Florida
6. McKee Botanical Garden
- Admission: $15
- Address: 350US-1, Vero Beach, FL 32962, USA
- Opening: 10 am – 5 pm
If you dream to replace “city life hustle and bustle” with a word like “serene” and “tranquil”, or “lush green”, McKee botanical garden is the place in Vero Beach. This spectacular beauty and home to exotic tropical flowers is the best botanical garden in South Florida. Initially, it was opened by Arthur Mckee and Waldo Sexton in 1922.
Now, it is home to 80 varied types of waterlilies, night-blooming and day-blooming flowers, free-range plants, potted plants and so many more. It is an 18-acre jungle landscape supporting some exotic Florida fauna. Recently, McKee garden opened a Children’s Garden where you should bring your kid.
Additionally, it has been registered by the Garden Conservancy as a preservation project of national significance. Once you’re here you should explore The Hall of Giants, The Stone Bridge, The waterfalls, the Stickwork structure, and the Cypress tree trunk. In a word, the McKee garden is a beautiful place to taste wild beauty!
Port St Lucie Botanical Garden, Florida
7. Port St. Luice Botanical Garden
- Admission: Free
- Address: 2410 SE Westmoreland Blvd, Port St. Lucie, FL 34952, USA
- Opening: Wednesday – Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm, On Sunday from 12 pm to 4 pm
Do you wonder about walking through a stunning neat botanical garden in Florida? Welcome to a gorgeous oasis of greenery, Port St. Luice botanical garden which sits on 20 acres of land on the west side of Westmoreland Boulevard and the banks of the North Fork of St. Luice River.
Like other gardens in Florida, it offers botanical beauty with 17 Garden Rooms like The Hibiscus Garden, The Cactus, The Bamboo Garden, Succulent Garden, and more. The gardens are surrounded by a wetland, mangroves on the banks, and the river. The site boasts a fountain, a gift shop, and a special place for weddings.
The interesting part of the Port St. Luice botanical garden is it is operated by a non-profit organization called Friends. They conduct events throughout the year featuring local artworks and educational programs. Additionally, the celebration of the Botanical Halloween event, an Arbor Day Celebration, and monthly meetings are full of fun!
- There are benches throughout the park, so you can sit and rest
- The Orchid Room, and Butterfly garden host many children’s programs and live entertainment programs
- There are many events where you can learn about gardening. The interesting one is cooking with the food from the garden
Botanical Gardens Jacksonville, Florida
8. Cummer Museum of Art & Garden
- Admission: Free
- Address: 829 Riverside Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32204, USA
- Opening: 11 am – 9 pm
Cummer Museum of Art & Garden is a historic garden sitting on the shores of the St. Johns River. It aims in engaging and inspiring through education and gardening programs. Formally it was a residential compound of the Michigan Lumber Baron Brothers and their wives. After the death of Ninah Cummer, the house was turned into a museum.
For 100 years now, it is home to live oaks, native vegetation, and a large scale of naturalistic plantings. The English-style garden with a long wisteria-covered pergola, a fountain, and an extensive design, pool, is the best place to visit if you’re coming to this botanical garden in Florida with children.
Tip: Mixed Herbaceous under the shade of the Cummer Oak, a semi-circular exhedra evocative of Villa Gamberaia, and two reflecting pools is Italian garden style, so visit here to see how it looks
9. Jacksonville Arboretum & Garden
- Admission: Free
- Address: 1445 Millcoe Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32225, USA
- Opening: 8 am – 5 pm
You’ll be extremely fortunate to find Jacksonville Arboretum & Garden, an impressive array of gardens and green space full of woodland trails, and a beautiful lake to sit and relax. Also, this is one of the pet-friendly botanical gardens in Florida that welcomes you and your pet to see the native and exotic plants.
It sits 10 minutes away from the Downtown area of Arlington, hence a great spot to visit in the afternoon and enjoy time exploring. The Arboretum is around 130 acres with 7 different trails to explore, so, decide which trail you want to explore before coming here.
Taking a photo with the loblolly bay tree is a must if you’re coming here. I would recommend coming to Lake Loop Trail and sitting beside the water enjoying the air around you.
- It is suggested to donate $3 per person to enter
- There are wooden bridges
- Be careful if you’re going to the tea garden as there is a plant called Synsepalum dulcificum.
Botanical Garden in Miami, Florida
10. Vizcaya Museum & Garden
- Admission: $25/ adult
- Address: 3251 S Miami Ave, Miami, FL 33129, USA
- Opening: Wednesday through Monday from 9. 30 am – 4.30 pm
The greatest of photographs cannot capture the beauty of the Vizcaya Garden. The mesmerizing geometric patterns, the organized walks, and the aesthetic European classic architecture while the sun falls on it are unique. You can feel the Mediterranean vibe influenced by Tuscan Italian Renaissance models with signature Miami flair.
Initially, Vizcaya Museum & Garden is popularly known as Villa Vizcaya, a villa of James Deering, a businessman. Presently, it is a sprawling formal garden designed by Diego Suarez. Also, his design of The Casino pavilion offers a dramatic view of the garden. You’ll find rare kind orchids. I bet you’ll love this Italian-French garden concept!
- Click a picture of a maze garden
- Must visit the Secret Garden and the Theatre garden
Botanical garden in Gainesville, Florida
11. Kanapaha Botanical Garden
- Admission: $10
- Address: Summer House, 4700 SW 58th Dr, Gainesville, FL 32608, USA
- Opening: Open only on Monday, Tuesday, and Sunday from 9 am – 5 pm
Kanapaha Botanical Garden in Gainesville is one of the well-known botanical gardens in Northern Florida sitting over 62 acres. It comprises 24 major collections of gardens. Here you’ll find some signature plants like Asian snake arums, Victoria water lilies, and bamboo gardens (Wong Chuk).
I love exploring the hummingbird herb, rock gardens, butterfly garden, the arboretum, a vinery, labyrinth, and hardwood forest. Also, Kanapaha Botanical Garden is one of the largest herb gardens in the Southeast United States. Also, this area has a lot of benches and gazebos to sit and enjoy the liberal green space.
- The Annual Spring Garden Festival features premier horticultural events, educational programs, and more
- The Camellia Show in January is a nice program to take part in
- In September, the garden looks colorful
- If you want to experience live music and events, participate in the Moonlight Walk event. You can bring your dog too.
Botanical Garden in Key West, Florida
12. Key West Garden Club
- Admission: Free
- Address: 1100 Atlantic BLVD, Key West, FL 33040, USA
- Opening: Every day – 9.30 am -5 pm
Key West Garden Club is one of the pretty tropical gardens sitting on the West Martello Tower attracting visitors from all over the world. The garden keeps a good balance between history and nature resulting in an award-winning historic site. It was so much in use during Spanish American War and the Civil War era.
Key West Garden Club is divided into a series of zones like waterfall garden, prehistoric garden, orchid area, cactus garden, perfume garden, butterfly garden, waterfall garden, and more. You should click a picture with orchids, it looks so beautiful. Also, the vaulted ceilings and brick walls look like you’re in Victorian-era colleges.
You can also check out the Key West tropical forest & botanical garden in Key West too.
Botanical Gardens Daytona Beach, Florida
13. Dunlawton Sugar Mill Garden
- Admission: Free
- Address: 950 Old Sugar Mill Rd, Port Orange, FL 32129, USA
- Opening: Every day, 8 am – 5 pm
Dunlawton Sugar Mill garden is a hidden gem of Daytona Beach and one of the most wonderful botanical gardens in Florida. The property was donated by Saxton Lloyd and since 1988 it is maintained by the Botanical Gardens of Volusia Inc. This garden sits in a residential corner of Port Orange, which once held a huge sugar cane plantation.
The garden has a wholesome family environment and the moment you get in you’ll find the plants blooming with a dinosaur looking at you. Additionally, towering palms, other semi-tropical trees, and the ruins of a sugar cane mill offer a great experience altogether. It is such a beautiful sight to behold. It occupies 12 acres of land.
Botanical gardens Naples, Florida
14. Naples Botanical Garden
- Admission: $25/ adult
- Address: 4820 Bayshore Dr, Naples
- Opening: 9 am – 5 pm
A 170-acre botanical garden work to preserve the local ecosystem by creating a lush garden with a wide collection of a tropical plant. Naples Botanical Garden is the biggest Florida botanical garden where you’ll find plants from Asia, the Caribbean, Brazil, and Florida. The garden is home to 250 species of native plants.
I recommend clicking a photo with a vanilla orchid trellis. Also, the garden features over 60,000 sq. feet pond where you’ll see different varied species of water lilies, papyrus, and lotus. The oasis of flowering plants is another secret discovery. The wooden pavilions are so beautiful to look at.
You can take an intimate walkway through the building. You’ll also get a glimpse of sawgrass wetlands and Everglade palms. After a full day of fun at Naples Botanical Garden, you can have dinner at Fogg Café located in the Visitor Center.
Tip: Check out architect Bob Truskowski’s work – Kapnick Caribbean Garden
With so much to explore, these botanical gardens in Florida will give the true experience of a tropical paradise otherwise you would miss out in the United States.
The best part is you’ll come across some endangered species that you never wondered to know. I hope these lists will help you to explore the best botanical gardens in Florida.
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FAQ: Botanical Gardens in Florida
1. What is the largest botanical garden in Florida?
A. The Botanical Garden in Largo sits on 182 acres featuring a wide variety of species of flora, fauna, and natural resources. The garden can be explored only through paved paths. The Jazz Garden, Tropical Fruit Garden, and Vinery are worth exploring.
2. Where is the most famous botanical garden?
A. One of the famous Botanical gardens in Florida is McKee Botanical Garden in Vero Beach. The tranquillity of the garden is so different from others. The Hall of Giant, The Bamboo Pavilion, and the Spanish Kitchen are very unique.
3. What is the most beautiful Botanical Garden?
The most beautiful Botanical Garden in Florida is Harry P. Leu Botanical Garden in Orlando. The aromatic flowers, Fairy Doors, ornate fountains, Rose Garden, and the environment are so admiring. It sits on 50 acres of land and great place to bring your lunch and eat at the patio of the welcome center.