Gardens and Parks

Juan Ponce de León set foot ashore in 1513 and gave the land its name, La Florida, the flowery land.  This name was in part because Ponce de León ‘s landing was during the spring season – during Pascua Florida, or Flowery Easter, celebrated in Spanish Catholicism – as well as the incredible natural beauty of our state. You too can experience Florida’s natural beauty year-round in our botanical gardens, as well as in our national and state parks and preserves, showcasing collections of native and exotic plants.

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The Grove

The Grove was built in the 1830s by Richard Keith Call, Florida’s third and fifth territorial governor, and later purchased by LeRoy Collins, Florida’s 33rd governor, and his wife... Read More

Region: Northwest

County: Leon

City: Tallahassee

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Velda Mound

Built by Apalachees around 500 years ago, Velda mound was likely the foundation platform for the leader’s house. An interpretive panel at the site explains the site’s origins.

Region: Northwest

County: Leon

City: Tallahassee,

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Henry B. Plant Museum

When you’re building a railroad to nowhere, how do you make the journey worthwhile? …. If you’re railroad magnate Henry Bradley Plant, in the midst of the sand swamps that would... Read More

Region: Central

County: Hillsborough

City: Tampa

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Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo

Recognized as the #1 Zoo in the U.S. by Parents magazine (2009) and Child magazine (2004), Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo features 1,500 animals on nearly 60 acres of natural habitats. Guests... Read More

Region: Central

County: Hillsborough

City: Tampa

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The Florida Aquarium

Discover over 10,000 aquatic plants & animals from Florida and the entire globe! Encounter sharks, rays, gators, river otters, rare sea dragons, a giant green sea turtle & more.... Read More

Region: Central

County: Hillsborough

City: Tampa

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Upper Tampa Bay Park Archaeological District

This is a 2,144-acre park and preserve located on Double Branch Peninsula in Tampa Bay. The archaeological district within the park includes 18 sites that date from 4,000 to 500 years... Read More

Region: Central

County: Hillsborough

City: Tampa

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Fort Foster, Hillsborough River State Park

Within Hillsborough River State Park is a replica of Fort Foster, a Second Seminole War military fort built in 1836 and occupied until 1838. The fort guarded a military bridge over... Read More

Region: Central

County: Hillsborough

City: Thonotosassa

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Hillsborough River State Park

Opened in 1938, Hillsborough River State Park is one of Florida's first state parks; this original CCC Park is divided by the swiftly flowing Hillsborough River with a set of Class... Read More

Region: Central

County: Hillsborough

City: Thonotosassa

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Environmental Learning Center

The ELC's mission is to provide stimulating environmental education programs that instill an understanding of the natural world, enrich people’s lives, and inspire participants to... Read More

Region: Central

County: Indian River

City: Vero Beach

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McKee Botanical Garden

Located on an 18-acre tropical hammock, McKee Botanical Garden is home to a diverse collection of more than 10,000 native and tropical plants as well as 100 species of waterlilies.... Read More

Region: Central

County: Indian River

City: Vero Beach

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