Whether you’re an avid nature lover or just looking to escape for a day, you’re sure to fall in love with Florida’s many gardens.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden has been a beautiful oasis of palms, flowering vines, and tons of other tropical plants in Miami since 1938. Visit during one of their amazing festivals for a special treat.
2. Bok Tower Gardens
Bok Tower Gardens is located in Lake Wales in Central Florida. It's named for the 205-foot "singing" bell tower, but the surrounding 250-acre garden is just as impressive. It features thousands of plants surround a swan-filled reflection pool.
3. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
These educational gardens have been in Sarasota for 40 years. Don't miss their collection of over 5,000 orchids.
4. Harry P. Leu Gardens
Take a detour from all the theme parks and surround yourself with the natural beauty of this 50-acre garden in Orlando. The butterfly garden and the impressive rose garden will delight visitors of all ages.
5. Sunken Gardens
St. Petersburg's Sunken Gardens were planted in a drained lake over 100 years ago. It features waterfalls and paths surrounded by more than 50,000 tropical plants and flowers.
6. Kanapaha Botanical Gardens
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).
7. Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park
Azaleas and camellias are the highlight of this park and historic district in Tallahassee. This means the best time to visit is January through April, though the park offers biking, hiking, boating, fishing, and much more all year round.
8. Naples Botanical Garden
Naples Botanical Garden are lovely and expansive, with several themed areas, so there's something for every kind of nature lover.
9. Ravine Gardens State Park
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.
10. Washington Oaks Gardens State Park
This park near Palm Coast is a local favorite. It features gorgeous formal gardens with huge live oaks and a picturesque shoreline dotted with coquina formations.
11. Mounts Botanical Garden
Mounts Botanical Garden is the oldest and largest public garden in Palm Beach County. It features many different gardens, including a butterfly garden, rainbow garden, garden of extremes, and several more.
12. Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens
Not only are these gardens the perfect model of zen-like tranquility, Morikami has incredible exhibits and festivals year-round.
13. The Florida Botanical Gardens
This "urban oasis" in Pinellas County is open weekdays 7am until sunset, and admission is free. Bring your family, friends, and even Fido for a picnic and a stroll.
14. Eden Gardens State Park
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.
15. McKee Botanical Garden
This historic garden in Vero Beach began life as McKee Jungle Gardens in 1932, was forced to close in 1976, and finally reopened under it's current name in 2001. It features thousands of native and tropical plants, an impressive collection of waterlilies, and some of the historic structures, like the Hall of Giants seen here, still remain.
Please share your experiences of these beautiful and historic gardens and let us know if we missed any of your favorites.