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“Very Florida”

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Ranked #5 of 150 things to do in Sarasota
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Attraction details
Owner description: A sprawling botanical garden.
Reviewed 9 March 2012

This garden has a home and grounds that were originally built and planted by a family on a peaceful bayfront area very, very near downtown Sarasota which is within walking distance to many areas in the downtown area. It has a variety of native and other species of plants that are labeled on the walking tour one takes when strolling through it.
The most outstanding part of the Selby is the orchid room, in my opinion. Based on when you tour, you can be surrounded by blooming orchids, bromiliads, ferns and mosses which explode from above and all around you. For some, it can be life and home, and garden changing if you take this experience home and actually wish to recreate the feeling you have within this space.
I enjoy this area because it is casual yet elegant. You can spend your time here and often there are picnic lunches available to eat on the premises under the shady and tall trees while listening to the water and the sounds of the nature that surrounds this acreage which is natural and non-commercial. I do think visitors will like this area and will find things to do on Main Street Sarasota which are close by. We have many merchants who have unique fare and some higher end stores which are always within a variety off ethnic and other quality restaurants.

If you want something that is a chain or highly commercial, this is not the place to be!
Proximity to bathrooms along the trail may be a challenge for those who drink lots of water or have to go often. That's the only real challenge I find about this park.
I think you will love it and have been more than 5 times. Sometimes, you just need to go and look at the tall bamboo, the songs it sings and the sway of the palms and plantings the park offers. It takes you away in a natural environment that we can all make possible in our own yards. I also love the opportunity to buy some of the plants in the plant sales area! There are also many events that are held and you can get a great deal on plants and orchids at the events to try to build similar things in your own tropical area/in a greenhouse/in your own home if you live in a cold climate.

Thank BluedogAussie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (2,574)
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2,394 - 2,398 of 2,575 reviews

Reviewed 8 March 2012

I'm a plant lover so I was really looking forward to visiting this botanical garden. I usually do visit this type of attraction when I travel. This one is very well sited. Around the wedding pavilion are some benches overlooking Sarasota Bay and I sat for awhile watching pelicans dive into the water for fish. Very pleasant. And it's not crowded, so it was easy to get around. The Banyan and Fig Trees are magnificent. It was a little smaller than I expected... and I thought they'd have more orchids. I wish it were bigger but it's in the city and it's on donated land so that's what they got.

Thank Lynn M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 March 2012

I love the Sarasota area and have been there several times in the last few years. Each trip I wanted to go to the gardens but didn't make it there. My last trip I talked with a woman who raved about the gardens. WoW !!! It was so much more than I expected. The tropical plants, the banyan trees, all the orchids in bloom, were all just amazing. I will surely visit there every time I am in the area. I highly recommend it.

Thank phila2az
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 March 2012

The orchids are the best part.
The gift shop is also interesting and there's a small cafe on premises
I painted on site when I was there with a few other artists.

Thank Monhegan1974
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 6 March 2012

A great place to relax and enjoy lovely orchids, banyan trees, and a view of the bay. You can buy a tasty lunch at the cafe and eat it outside on the patio.

Thank bbr2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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