6 Florida Gardens To See Spring Flowers In Bloom Before Anywhere Else

Visit these gorgeous gardens in the Sunshine State.

Harry P. Leu Gardens
PHOTO: COURTESY HARRY P. LEU GARDENS

Thanks to a year-round sub-tropical climate, Florida boasts some amazing gardens perfect to visit any time of year. From sprawling historic gardens to horticultural wonders to museum-adjacent gardens, no two flower-powered properties are the same. Get ready for a blooming good time at these gardens sprinkled throughout Florida.

In general, the best times to visit most gardens are fall and spring, when temperatures are cooler and crowds are thinner. Spring, in particular, showcases peak blooming time for flowers. If you do visit in summer, weekdays typically draw fewer crowds than weekends. And, because you’re in Florida, winter still offers a lovely time to visit, thanks to evergreen plants, special events, and mild temperatures.

Here are the best Florida gardens to visit for spring flowers in bloom.

01
of 06

Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Gardens

Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Gardens
COURTESY KEY WEST TROPICAL FOREST & BOTANICAL GARDENS

Key West

Open since 1936, this 15-acre property sits on the northwest side of Stock Island, serving as a major migratory stop for South American neo-tropical birds. Take a self-guided tour of the gardens (which feel less manicured and more like a nature preserve) to discover two wetland habitats, a waterfall, tropical plants, and seasonal flowers. Meander along the boardwalk and explore two butterfly habitats, spotting some of the nearly 40 species fluttering about. Pack a lunch to enjoy in the tranquil picnic pavilion.

Must See

As the only frost-free botanical garden in the continental U.S., this garden serves as a natural conservation habitat with three freshwater ponds. And, thanks to its ample rainfall and temperate climate, its subtropical forest retains its leaves even throughout winter and early spring.

keywest.garden; 5200 College Road, Key West, FL 33040

02
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Bok Tower Gardens

Bok Tower Gardens
COURTESY BOK TOWER GARDENS

Lake Wales

A serene sanctuary dating back to 1929, this historic property stretches over 250 acres in Central Florida. Step back in time with a tour of the 20-room El Retiro mansion at Pinewood. Stroll through the Olmsted Gardens, offering an informal woodland setting with a lush backdrop of flowering plants, abundant wildlife, and breathtaking vistas. As a designated site on the Great Florida Birding Trail, more than 125 different species of birds call the gardens home. Hammock Hollow Children’s Gardens connects kids with nature, thanks to its discovery-based learning elements (like the Songbird Music Tree) and kid-size fun (like the interactive River Walk).

Must See

Bok Tower draws visitors from around the country for its iconic “singing bells.” This 205-foot neo-Gothic Singing Tower houses the carillon, “an instrument of at least 23 tuned bells in chromatic series.” No matter where you are in the gardens, you can enjoy the Singing Tower carillon concerts every day at 1:00 p.m. and 3 p.m.

boktowergardens.org; 1151 Tower Blvd, Lake Wales, FL 33853

03
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Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
COURTESY VIZCAYA MUSEUM AND GARDENS

Miami

When you need a serene retreat from the buzz of Miami’s thriving cultural scene, head to this 50-acre historic estate along Biscayne Bay. This stunning waterfront property boasts a 45,225-square-foot Main House, where you can explore 34 decorated rooms open to the public. Outside, stroll the grounds to discover gardens nestled between the native Rockland forest and mangrove shore. Completed in 1922, the formal gardens sport geometric plantings and sculptures. Don’t miss the spectacular David A. Klein Orchidarium, bursting with dozens of eye-catching orchid species.

Must See

The gardens that frame the Italian Renaissance-style villa showcase formal gardens, fountains, architectural structures, and sculptures. Known for its historic and cultural significance, Vizcaya lets you experience Miami during the Gilded Age.

vizcaya.org; 3251 S Miami Ave, Miami, FL 33129

04
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Harry P. Leu Gardens

Harry P. Leu Gardens
COURTESY HARRY P. LEU GARDENS

Orlando

This 50-acre botanical oasis on the banks of Lake Rowena provides a nearby respite from the hustle and bustle of theme park crowds. Discover palms, azaleas, and bromeliads. Stroll under the canopy of camphor trees, elms, and oaks. And, because you’re in Florida, wander among the orange, grapefruit, and lemon trees in the Citrus Grove. Visit the butterfly, herb, and rose gardens, then check out the towering bamboo collection. Don’t miss touring the Leu House Museum, a restored 19th century home listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Must See

Lots of movie nights, concerts, classes, special events, and family-friendly activities make this a really fun option for families in town for the rollercoasters.

leugardens.org; 920 N Forest Ave, Orlando, FL 32803

05
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Florida Botanical Gardens

Florida Botanical Gardens
COURTESY FLORIDA BOTANICAL GARDENS

Largo

Amble through 150-acres of formal gardens (including a formal wedding garden), native habitats, scenic landscapes, and demonstration gardens. Take a breather in the Adirondack chairs, nestled in a shady spot overlooking the tranquil pond. Bring little ones to enjoy the newly opened Majeed Discovery Garden. This two-acre just-for-kids space bursts with hands-on, experiential education opportunities like the bamboo climbing bridge, music forest, and sensory curtain.

Must See

It’s free and pet-friendly, so enjoy visiting this accessible, affordable property with your leashed furry friend. Plus, it sits adjacent to Heritage Village, a 15-acre historical site worth visiting for a peek into 19th century Florida.

flbgfoundation.org; 12520 Ulmerton Rd, Largo, FL 33774

06
of 06

Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens

Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens
COURTESY MORIKAMI MUSEUM AND JAPANESE GARDENS

Delray

Tucked into the beach town’s suburbs, this unique garden combines nature and art, with a focus on authentic Japanese culture. Spanning 16 acres, the Roji-en’s distinct spaces include the Shinden Garden—two landscaped islands in the lake reachable by a majestic arched bridge. Visit the museum, filled with Japanese art and artifacts, including core collections and rotating exhibits. Opened in 1977, Morikami serves as South Florida’s hub of Japanese art and culture.

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