landscape designTampa tree newstree factsTampa Bay’s 10 most beautiful botanical gardens

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The Tampa Bay region is famous for its vast array of exotic foliage, including indigenous plants, fruit-bearing trees, and flowering giants with massive canopies. However, if you’re looking for some new scenery, the Tampa Bay area is also home to several botanical gardens that feature plants of all kinds from all over the world. These lush collections found in these magnificent facilities are guaranteed to delight both the visual and olfactory senses.

Here are ten of the highest-rated botanical gardens in the Tampa Bay area according to Trip Advisor. 

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Trip Advisor Rating: 4.5

“Marie Selby Botanical Gardens provides 45 acres of bayfront sanctuaries connecting people with air plants of the world, native nature, and our regional history. Established by forward-thinking women of their time, Selby Gardens is composed of the 15-acre Downtown Sarasota campus and the 30-acre Historic Spanish Point campus in the Osprey area of Sarasota County, Florida. The Downtown Campus on Sarasota Bay is the only botanical garden in the world dedicated to the display and study of epiphytic orchids, bromeliads, gesneriads, and ferns, and other tropical plants.” 

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Peace River Botanicals & Sculpture Gardens

Trip Advisor Rating: 4.5

“Abutting the Peace River, this 30-acre waterfront oasis encompasses the diversity of five ecosystems including marshlands, wetlands, mangroves, uplands, a tidal basin, and an island amphitheater. Flowering trees and plants bloom throughout the year, and more than 15,000 sq. ft. of boardwalks and docks provide optimum viewing of the Garden’s massive sculptures.”

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Hollis Garden

Trip Advisor Rating: 4.5

“Hollis Garden is a botanical display garden set in a neo-classical architectural environment complete with patterned flower beds, public art, and ornamental fountains. Hollis Garden is a formal garden, a 1.2-acre site located within historic Lake Mirror Park. Here you will find over 10,000 flowers, ornamental shrubs, and native trees.”

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Nature Coast Botanical Gardens & Nursery

Trip Advisor Rating: 4.5

“If you love gardening, or just want to get away from your daily stresses, you will want to visit our Gardens. Located just off Spring Hill Drive near the US 19 entrance. 3.5 acres have been transformed into an oasis of beauty and serenity. During daylight hours, you can visit the gardens, enjoy the beauty of nature and find tranquility in the middle of a suburban area. Guided tours of the Nature Coast Botanical Gardens are available for groups of 5 or more on request.”

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Florida Botanical Gardens

Trip Advisor Rating: 4.5

“There is plenty for you to enjoy at The Florida Botanical Gardens, a 100-acre park owned and operated by Pinellas County. Day-to-day management and operations fall to the Pinellas CountyParks and Conservation Resources department. Education, fundraising, and events in the Garden are done through the FLBG Foundation. Our gardens are divided into several separate demonstration gardens, including a few formal gardens.”

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Sunken Gardens

Trip Advisor Rating: 4.5

“St. Pete’s oldest living museum is a botanical paradise in the midst of the bustling city. The 100-year-old Sunken Gardens is home to some of the oldest tropical plants in the region. Meandering paths guide visitors through a living collection of more than 50,000 tropical plants and flowers with lush demonstration gardens, cascading waterfalls, and a flock of flamingos.”

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Palma Sola Botanical Park

Trip Advisor Rating: 4.5

“The Mission of the Park is to be an interactive learning environment that fosters an appreciation of nature and landscaping, preserves our natural resources, and promotes environmental education. The Park promotes and is a venue for educational programs, volunteer involvement, and public and private events. Walk the lush tranquil gardens, enjoy the abundant wildlife in and around the three lakes. Visit the screened pavilion or relax on our swing, or in either of the gazebos. The Manatee Rare Fruit Council maintains a display of rare and tropical fruit at the Park.” 

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ZooTampa at Lowry Park

Trip Advisor Rating: 4.5

“ZooTampa at Lowry Park is home to more than 1300 animals and famous for having one of the most beautiful, tropical zoological settings in the world. The Zoo brings together animals and visitors to create unforgettable, natural connections. Guests get closer to wildlife than ever before by touching a giant tortoise, feeding a giraffe, getting nose-to-horn with an Indian rhino, hand-to-fin with slippery stingrays, and more! 

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Harry P. Leu Gardens

Trip Advisor Rating: 4.5

“Explore 50-acres of beautiful gardens and historic homes minutes from downtown Orlando. Discover over 40 different collections including a tropical rain forest, Florida’s largest formal rose garden, butterfly garden, and much more! Leu Gardens is always blooming.”

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Bok Tower Gardens

Trip Advisor Rating: 4.5

“Explore the landscaped gardens of Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. and one of Florida’s natural habitats on the Pine Ridge Trail. You can also discover the history of Edward W. Bok and the building of his 205 foot Singing Tower and tour the historic Pinewood Estate mansion to catch a glimpse of the luxurious lifestyle of the 1930s. Enjoy the all-new Children’s Garden, Edible Garden and Outdoor Kitchen, and Wild Garden. Visitor Center includes exhibits on the life of Edward Bok and the Carillon. Enjoy a healthy meal at the Blue Palmetto Cafe and take home a memento from the Tower shop.”

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