Florida

Exploring Nature

Featured Gardens & Nature Centers

Florida Botanical Gardens

Explore the children's trail, butterfly garden, and other exhibits. The natural areas are a great chance to see local wildlife, including turtles, fish, egrets, alligators, and more. 12520 Ulmerton Rd., Largo, FL 33774. Pinellas County. Tel: 727-582-2100. Cost: Free.... More Info

Other Listings

Alfred B. Maclay Gardens

3540 Thomasville Rd., Tallahassee, FL 32309. 850-487-4556. These gardens feature scenic natural views and floral architecture, with a brick walkway, secret garden, and reflection pool. Trails are open to the public, along with space for picnics and fishing. Free.

Arboretum of the University of Central Florida

4312 Scorpius St., Orlando, FL 32816. 407-823-3583. Visit the Arboretum at UCF to see all kinds of different ecosystems, including Pine Flatwoods, Cypress Dome, and Oak Hammock. Group trips at the arboretum can be scheduled for any duration of time. Fee.

Bok Tower Gardens

1151 Tower Blvd. Lake Wales, FL 33853. 863-676-1408. Visit the historical gardens of Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. with tours inside the Pine Ridge Trail, Singing Tower, and Pinewood Estate. Fee.

Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens

3755 NW Highway 17-92 at I-4, Sanford, FL 32747. 407-323-4450. Covers 116 acres, 21 of which are used for zoo exhibits. Over 300 animals, representing 135 species, make up the Zoo's diverse animal collection, and it continues to grow. Fee.

Deerfield Beach Arboretum

2841 W. Hillsboro Blvd., Deerfield Beach, FL 33442. 954-480-4494. Contains 200+ kinds of exotic trees from five continents. Keep an eye out for turtles, ducks, and many other kinds of wildlife. Be sure to visit the Butterfly Garden! Free/Fee.

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

10901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables, FL 33156. 305-667-1651. Immerse K-5 students in the exciting world of science as they use their senses to explore tropical plants and habitats. Science and technology come alive in the Garden as 6-12 students embark on an interdisciplinary, learning adventure! Fee.

John C. Gifford Arboretum

Memorial Dr., Coral Gables, FL 33146. 305-284-1302. This arboretum on the University of Miami campus has hundreds of trees and other plants, with interpretive signage and exhibit areas for unique families of trees, natives, mulberry plants, and more. Free.

Kampong

4013 Douglas Rd., Miami, FL 33133. 305-442-7169. The Kampong is home to various tropical plants and trees. Visitors can see heritage plants from Southeast Asia and the Americas, and exotic fruit such as the candle fruit and egg fruit. Guided tours include a visit to the on-site museum. Fee/Free.

Kanapaha Botanical Gardens

4700 S.W. 58th Drive, Gainesville, FL 32608. 352-372-4981. See the water gardens, featuring 4 waterfalls, wildlife, and giant Water Platters, the world’s largest species of water lily! Visit the fern cobble, bamboo garden, herb garden, hummingbird garden, and others. Fee/Free.

Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden

5210 College Rd., Key West, FL 33040. 305-296-1504. An important stopping point for migratory birds, and home to many native plants and animals. Short films and 8 self-guided tours are available from the nature center. Fee.

McKee Botanical Garden

350 US Highway 1, Vero Beach, FL 32962. 772-794-0601. See streams, ponds, trails, and native horticulture spread out over 80 tropical acres. McKee has over 10,000 plants, one of the area’s largest collections of water lilies, and educational programming. Fee.

Miami Beach Botanical Garden

2000 Convention Center Dr., Miami Beach, FL 33139. 305-673-7256 ext. 204. Visitors can see a rich assortment of orchids, palms, bromeliads, and edible plants, as well as see and smell the many beautiful flowering trees, which bloom at different times throughout the year. Free/Fee.

Montgomery Botanical Center

11901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables, FL 33156. 305-667-3800. The MBC’s gardens are grown from palms and cycads around the world and used in botanic research. Visitors can see thousands of species, and visit the nursery. Educational tours, planting workshops, and more available by appointment. Fee.

Nature Coast Botanical Gardens

1489 Parker Ave., Spring Hill, FL 34606. 352-683-9933. Spend a relaxing afternoon at the many themed gardens in Nature Coast, such as the rose garden, waterfall, tropical rainforest, oriental tea garden, and butterfly garden. Visit the plant nursery, and purchase a plant to take home. Free.

Sunken Gardens

1825 4th St. North, St. Petersburg, FL 33704. 727-551-3102. These gardens are over 100 years old and lush with tropical plants, flowers, and cascading waterfalls. Reserve a guided tour for an in-depth look at the garden’s history, botany, and demonstration gardens. Fee.

University of South Florida Botanical Gardens

12210 USF Pine Drive, Tampa, FL 33620. 813-974-2329. Stroll these tropical, temperate, and subtropical gardens to see orchids, mallows, ferns, fruit trees, palms, cycads, a butterfly garden, herb and scent garden, and even animals. Fee.