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Ways to Experience Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
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Traveller rating
2,494
598
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Reviewed 28 August 2016 via mobile

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens has long been on my list of places to see in Florida. We are members (annual pass holders) at Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, FL which allowed us free admission to the Gardens for our family.

Although the property is quite small, it packs a lot in. We arrived around noon, and before we knew it we'd spent about 4 hours exploring.

While you'll spend most of your time taking in the beautiful horticultural displays, you'll also find great information along the pathways. The Rainforest garden adds a nice bit of fun, and it feels geared to everyone in the family -- not just kids. Among the busy streets of Sarasota it is nice to have some quiet and repose right along the Bay.

A visit to the Cafe is highly recommended. They have a nice spread, but be aware the prices are a bit on the high side. The muffaletta sandwich was quite scrumptious.

Date of experience: August 2016
Thank Martin C
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 28 August 2016

The first time I went to Selby Gardens was about 20 years ago when I was visiting relatives in Sarasota. I was a kid and didn't appreciate it as much as I did now. My husband and I planned our visit so we could walk around the gardens and then go have a big lunch at Yoder's.

Selby Gardens is located right on the intercoastal near downtown. It is easy to get to and there is plenty of parking. It is such a beautiful location!
If you love orchids (which I do) you will be in heaven in their conservatory or the indoor portion of the gardens. There were also lots of pitcher plants and other unique plants you don't see everyday. Outside you can stroll through a rain forest area, along the water and in a native plant garden, a mangrove path and more.

There are a lot of interesting trees here as well as a kids area and a little cafe. We also went into the house on the property where they have exhibits. At this time, a batik artist's fabric paintings were on display.

We spent about two hours walking around, which a great way to spend the morning before heading over to have a big lunch.

I would recommend this attraction to nature lover's of all ages.

Date of experience: August 2016
Thank TampaEskymo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 27 August 2016

From the outside, when driving past on South Tamiami Trail or South Palm Avenue, you can't visualize how big Marie Selby Botanical Gardens really are. Come see for yourself. It's worth the $19 adult fee. The 15-acre property, which borders Sarasota Bay and includes nine acres of display gardens, is the only botanical garden in the world dedicated to the display and study of epiphytes, especially orchids and bromeliads, and their canopy ecosystems, with a focus on botany, horticulture and environmental education. It is located on the grounds of the former home of Marie and William Selby of the Texaco Oil Company. The gardens feature more than 20,000 living plants, including 5,500 orchids, 3,500 bromeliads and 1,600 other plants. The gardens also include banyans, bamboo, live oaks, palms, mangroves, succulents, wildflowers, cycads, bromeliads, a butterfly garden, a fragrance garden, an edible garden and a koi pond. So much research is going on that Selby botanists have discovered ore described more than 2,000 plant species previously unknown to science. Besides the gardens, other sites to visit are the greenhouses, which contain over 10,500 accessions in more than 600 genera representing 92 plant families, including 4,900 orchids; the Spirit Collection, which contains 28,000 vials of flowers in preservative fluids, making it the second largest collection of its kind in the world; and the Orchid Identification Center, which was established in 1975 to study and curate wild-collected and conservatory grown orchids. Don't forget to bring your camera. There are so many beautiful flowers and plants and trees to take pictures of. There is a cafe and a gift shop and a plant shop to take breaks.

Date of experience: July 2016
Thank Taylor B
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 26 August 2016

You will see amazing natural sights at this Sarasota landmark Arboretum . The Orchid House alone is worth the visit. A fun quiet day for strolling and being close to exoctic foliage, incredible trees ,and (of coase) flowers.

Date of experience: May 2016
Thank ChrisZ452
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 25 August 2016

We thought this would be a quick visit, but we ended up spending half a day here. It is a really great Botanic Garden. The price does seem a little high, but you can find coupons and it is definitely worth it. The children's area is great for all ages. The history of the Selby's is also interesting as you visit various areas within the park. The food in the cafe is also good. The Banyan trees are so intricate and beautiful. Of course all the various Orchids are beautiful. Take your time and visit all the areas.

Date of experience: August 2016
Thank chiggsmiyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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