If you ever find yourself in Naples, FL, make sure to visit the Naples Botanical Garden. A true oasis 3 miles from downtown Naples, this award-winning botanical garden is like stepping into a slice of tropical paradise.
I love visiting botanical gardens wherever I travel, but there is just something about the Naples Botanical Garden. It’s visually stunning. My family has been visiting Naples for years now, and even with so much to do between the beach, the pool, Naples’ own zoo, and a vibrant downtown, the botanical garden always makes it to the top of the list of places to visit.
What makes the Naples Botanical Garden so special? Honestly, it’s a world all its own, one that is lush, green and exotic. It really is like being whisked away to some far-away island full of colorful and unique plants and vegetation. It’s a serene escape that is perfect for when you need a break from the every day beach scene.
The Naples Botanical Garden is comprised of 170 acres and features plants from around the world. There are several themed gardens, including the Asian Garden, Brazilian Garden, Caribbean Garden, Florida Garden and Children’s Garden. All have their individual look to them and are beautiful in their own way. Walking around them is a real treat, and I would go so far as to say, feels therapeutic. If you’re having a bad day, head to the Naples Botanical Garden!
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Of all the gardens, however, it has to be the Children’s Garden where my family and I spend most of our time. I cannot tear my kids away from this garden – they are obsessed! On our past trip to Naples my daughter insisted we go to the Naples Botanical Garden before we left, as the Children’s garden is one of her favorite activities in all of Naples. It’s easy to see why – it looks right out of a children’s fairytale.
The Naples Botanical Garden has done an amazing job with the Children’s Garden, and families from far and wide come to visit. The garden’s designer, Herb Schaal, is a landscape designer who in 2008 was named Designer of the Year by the American Horticultural Society. He specializes in public gardens, including educational gardens for children, and has created a playful and whimsical children’s garden at the Naples Botanical Garden. It’s hard not to fall in love with it, as it brings out the child in all of us.
There are fountains to play in (bring bathing suits), a miniature house to go into, flowers to water, a tree house to climb, ramps to run along, a waterfall to walk under, a butterfly conservatory to walk through, a tower to climb, lilly pads to jump over, scavenger hunts to play, sandcastles to build. It’s a kid’s dream come true, full of wonder and exploration. Kids go bananas for this garden, and you’d be tight pressed to walk in and out. There’s so much to discover, they can spend hours there.
Once we’re able to pull ourselves away from the Children’s Garden, we enjoy walking through the rest of the gardens, and seeing what types of vegetation and plants are like from around the world in the Asian, Brazilian, Caribbean and Floridian gardens. The landscape design is so well-done that every time I visit I’m in awe. We usually wrap up our visit with a snack and drink at the Fogg Café, and then browse the gift shop, which is beautiful.
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The Naples Botanical Garden has a variety of educational – and entertaining – exhibitions throughout the year. It offers a wide range of programming for both adults and children, as well has several fundraising events year-round. It’s a gem of a place, and one I would highly recommend visiting if you’re in Naples.
The Naples Botanical Garden is located at 4820 Bayshore Drive in Naples, and the telephone number is 239.643.7275. For more information such as hours and pricing see their website here.
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