Florida has many beautiful well-known gardens, from the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens in Coral Gables to Sunken Gardens in St. Petersburg. These are definitely worth visiting, but there’s just something special about a secret garden. We wanted to highlight a few beautiful Florida gardens that not many people know exist. Here are a few of our favorites, and we hope you will share yours, too.
1. Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, Gainesville
Kanapaha Botanical Gardens is a hidden gem in Gainesville, Florida. The grounds are most colorful from June to September, and dogs on leashes are permitted (except during festivals).
2. The Kampong, Miami
This garden in Coconut Grove was once the winter home of the famous horticulturist, Dr. David Fairchild. He traveled all over the world collecting exotic plants and brought many of them to his home garden. The land was later purchased and well preserved by botanist Catherine Hauberg Sweeney, who eventually donated it to the not-for-profit conservation organization that takes care of the garden now.
3. Hollis Garden, Lakeland
Fountains, a grand staircase, a butterfly trail, and thousands of flowers fill this hidden gem in Central Florida.
4. Florida Tech's Botanical Garden, Melbourne
This 15-acre garden is hiding on the campus of Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne. Tons of palm trees, native plants and lovely natural water features cover this charming public garden.
5. Key West Garden Club, West Martello Tower, Key West
Not only is it full of exotic plants, including colorful orchids and massive banyans, the garden is growing over the ruins of a Civil War-era fortification, giving it an enchanted feel.
6. Eden Garden State Park, Santa Rosa Beach
This park in Santa Rosa Beach features 163 acres shaded by oak, pine, and cypress trees, plus an 1897 mansion open for tours and a dock for fishing.
7. Ravine Gardens State Park, Palatka
This park and historic place in Palatka is another garden best visited in spring for its plentiful azaleas. Visitors love the hills (rare in Florida) and the suspension bridge.
8. Cedar Lakes Woods And Gardens, Williston
These gardens were first opened in 2015, but the creator has spent 20 years turning an abandoned lime rock quarry into the charming gardens you can see there today. The pathways wind over the man-made lakes and lead visitors past hundreds of species of plants in this scenic park.
Have you visited any of these hidden gems? What’s your favorite little-known spot in Florida?