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Family & Pets

Best Botanical Gardens In Tampa Bay

June 20, 2014 8:00 AM

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Year-round sunshine and balmy weather combine to make the Tampa Bay area one of the best for growing lush, colorful and fragrant botanical gardens. Whether you are looking for a peaceful setting to enjoy nature or affordable family fun, the best botanical gardens in Tampa Bay are just a short drive away.
Florida Botanical Gardens
12520 Ulmerton Road
Largo, FL 33774
(727)-582-2100

www.flbg.org

For natural beauty and variety, the Florida Botanical Gardens are among the best places in the Tampa Bay area to visit. This 160-acre site has butterfly gardens, tropical and formal gardens, as well as seasonal floral exhibits. There is also a winery, a special children’s trail and bird habitats. Conservation and public education is also part of this masterful blend of nature in Pinellas County.

University of South Florida Botanical Gardens
4202 E. Fowler Ave. NES107
Tampa, FL 33620
(813) 974-2329
www.gardens.usf.edu

A visit to the USF Botanical Gardens is a family-friendly experience for children and adults of all ages. In addition to plant and flower festivals, there are fun and informative events like beekeeping workshops. It is also one of the most affordable places to spend some time enjoying the colors and fragrances of flowing plants in full bloom. Admission is free for children under age six. Adults are just $5.

Mead Botanical Garden
1500 S. Denning Drive
Winter Park, FL 32789
(407) 599-2800
www.meadgarden.com

Joining people with plants and the science that sustains our environment is only part of the botanical experience at Mead Garden. In addition to hosting one of the most diverse floral exhibits in the central Florida area, this facility offers horticulture workshops, garden clubs and picnic pavilions for special events.

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Sunken Gardens
1825 4th St. N.
St. Petersburg, FL 33704
(727) 551-3102
www.sunkengardens.com

Sunken Gardens challenges visitors to “discover the beauty” at this flowering paradise. More than 50,000 exotic plants flourish among enchanting waterfalls at this historic site, which is considered the oldest living museum in the area. Guided tours and special events and yoga classes among the gardens make visiting this botanical garden a truly unique experience.

Kanapaha Botanical Gardens
4700 S.W. 58th Drive
Gainesville, FL 32608
(352) 372-4981
www.kanapaha.com

Enjoy the wonders of nature with an Asian flair at this 62-acre botanical garden. Plants like Chinese bamboo, Victoria water lilies and Asian snake arums are part of a unique collection of plant environments at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens. Asian-theme lanterns and sparkling lights line the paths that take visitors through dozens of exotic flowering exhibits. There are also events with live entertainment, as well as guided tours.

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Maryann Tobin is an award-winning writer based in Tampa, Florida. She has appeared on the History Channel’s ‘DECODED’ series, and her investigative reporting on animal welfare issues led to a WTSP 10 News Investigators report. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.
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