Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

See a world-class collection of orchids and tropical bromeliads and walk through peaceful mangrove and palm gardens in this botanical park.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is a sprawling garden and research facility in central Sarasota. The gardens feature an impressive collection of diverse plant species in lush greenhouses, native tropical gardens and a herbarium. The facility specializes in epiphytes or “air plants,” especially orchids and bromeliads, and has one of the world’s most diverse bromeliad collections.

Explore this secluded 14-acre (6-hectare) garden getaway to enjoy a refreshing commune with nature. Relax on a park bench or walk around the grounds and discover 6,000 species of plants, including bamboo, palms, mangroves, succulents and wildflowers, in the meticulously maintained garden beds. Watch colorful koi swim around the pond and small rocky waterfall. Step into the warm oasis of the greenhouses and see thousands of orchids and bromeliads as well as a varied collection of lush ferns, arum lilies and gesneriads, such as African violets.

Visit the Herbarium, a space dedicated to tropical flora, with samples from Central and South America. Browse the Christy Payne House, the garden’s gallery for temporary exhibitions, showing art and photography with a botanical theme. See the Spirit Collection, an enormous collection of flowers preserved in nearly 28,000 vials. Botanists at Selby Gardens have discovered or described over 2,000 plant species.

Set aside several hours to fully explore the Botanical Gardens or take advantage of your ticket’s full-day validity that allows you to come and go from the gardens until late in the afternoon. Break up your visit to the gardens with a trip downtown for lunch or a snack. Make several trips to catch different types of sunlight for photography or still life sketching. Try some of the refreshments at the on-site café or indulge in an exotic tea at the Tea Room.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens are open daily except Christmas. Admission includes access to the gardens’ research library and plant identification centers. Infants under 3 years of age can enter for free and discounts are available for children aged 4 to 11. Restrooms and wheelchairs are available in the gardens. This green haven is located in the heart of Sarasota, between the bay and the Hudson Bayou neighborhood.