Botanical Gardens
Share the natural world with your child at these botanical gardens and arboretums. These are wonderful places to go to go birding, work on your nature journals, or simply spend a lovely afternoon outdoors.
Botanical Gardens & Arboretums in Florida
Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park
These beautiful ornamental gardens were first planted in 1923 by Alfred B. and Louise Maclay after they purchased the property for their winter home. A masterpiece of floral architecture, the gardens feature a picturesque brick walkway, a secret garden, a reflection pool, a walled garden, and hundreds of azaleas and camellias. Lake Hall provides opportunities for swimming, fishing, canoeing and kayaking. Only boats without motors or with electric motors are allowed. Pavilions and grills along the lake shore provide the perfect setting for a picnic. For walking enthusiasts, two short nature trails meander through the woods overlooking the lake. Hikers, bicyclists, and equestrians can enjoy five miles of multi-use trails winding through the woods surrounding Lake Overstreet, located on park property adjoining the gardens.
Ormond Memorial Art Museum & Gardens
The Ormond Memorial Art Museum & Gardens features an art museum, war memorial, and botanic gardens.
Washington Oaks Gardens State Park
Although the formal gardens are the centerpiece of this park, Washington Oaks is also famous for the unique shoreline of coquina rock formations that line its Atlantic beach. Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Matanzas River, this property was once owned by a distant relative of President George Washington. The gardens were established by Louise and Owen Young who purchased the land in 1936 and built a winter retirement home. They named it Washington Oaks and, in 1965, donated most of the property to the State. The gardens make remarkable use of native and exotic species, from azaleas and camellias to the exquisite bird of paradise, sheltered within a picturesque oak hammock. Visitors can picnic and fish from either the beach or the seawall along the Matanzas River. A number of short trails provide opportunities for hiking and bicycling. Visitors can learn about the park's natural and cultural resources in the visitor center.
Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens
The mission of the Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens is to promote the legacy of internationally known sculptor, Albin Polasek, N.A. and to encourage study, appreciation and the furtherance of representational art.
McKee Botanical Garden
McKee Botanical Garden, Inc. is a private, not-for-profit cultural organization located at the southern gateway to Vero Beach, Florida, with the mission of "nurturing and enhancing a historic garden in a unique subtropical setting for the education, enjoyment and enrichment of all." McKee Botanical Garden is known for its 18-acre subtropical jungle hammock, filled with plants appropriate for horticultural growing zone 9B. This dense and diverse collection also features several restored architectural treasures.
Florida Institute of Technology Botanical Gardens
Thirty acres of lush subtropical growth and natural streams comprise the Florida Tech Botanical Gardens. The main site of the university's extensive palm collection, the Gardens are derived from a palm/hardwood hammock that Florida Tech has preserved since moving to this location. Several paved and earthen paths wind through the Gardens, allowing visitors easy access to most areas within the Gardens. Numerous Seminole-style chikis around the Gardens provide places to rest and contemplate the exotic plant species, and offer protection from summer sunshowers.
Kanapaha Botanical Gardens
Kanapaha Botanical Gardens is a 62 acre facility developed and operated by the North Florida Botanical Society, a non-profit educational organization. It is comprised of 14 major collections visually accessible from a 1-1/2 mile paved walkway. These include the state's largest public display of bamboos and the largest herb garden in the Southeast. Some of Kanapaha's gardens are organized taxonomically; others demonstrate principles of ecology or natural selection. Kanapaha's signature plants include a premier stand of Chinese royal bamboo (Wong Chuk), and--during the warm months--giant Victoria water lilies and Asian snake arums. The months offering the most color are June through September.
Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens
With more than 6,000 objects in its permanent collection, The Cummer is the largest fine arts museum in Northeast Florida. The museum is home to a highly regarded collection of European masters and American impressionists, a world-renowned collection of 18th century Meissen porcelain, and more than two-and-one half acres of historic gardens along the St. Johns River. Art Connections, the museum's nationally recognized education center, provides hands-on art experiences for visitors of all ages. The Cummer's unique blend of art, gardens, and education inspires imagination and excitement making the museum the premier cultural institution in the Southeast region.
Tree Hill Nature Center
Located in the center of Jacksonville, Florida, Tree Hill is the perfect place to connect with nature for individuals and families, school field trips, home schoolers, scout troops, business groups and so much more. Stop by with your friends and family to explore our 50-acres and three ecosystems. Plan a family reunion or evening reception in the beautiful Joseph A. Strasser Amphitheater. Enjoy fresh air, plentiful trails and an on-site butterfly house.Tree Hill is open to the public Monday - Saturday 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Heathcote Botanical Gardens
Heathcote Botanical Gardens consists of an assortment of specialty gardens including a Japanese Garden, Reflection Garden, Herb Garden, Rainforest Display, Native Plants Garden and a Palm & Cycad Walk. These areas convey an atmosphere of individual garden rooms. Through this type of garden design, you will sense the intimacy of this unique botanical garden. Gracing the areas in between these specialty gardens are borders of flowering shrubs, bulbs, trees, vines and other assorted herbaceous plants. Niches found throughout the garden provide varied microclimates, which allows the use of a wide variety of plants ranging from those found in Mediterranean climates to the Tropics.
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