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How to Become One with Nature at the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens

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Gainesville, Florida, might have more than you’d expect! While many know the city to be a  destination for college football, there’s so much more that we have to offer. During your next trip, try exploring the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens. You’d be amazed at how much green space there actually is in our beautiful city; it’s just waiting for you to discover it! But this isn’t the only place to get in touch with nature in Gainesville. Unlock the many outdoor excursions in our city by viewing the Gainesville Vacation Guide. Everything you need to immerse yourself in local wildlife is right inside. Go ahead, take a look.

View the Guide

What You’ll Want to Know About Kanapaha Botanical Gardens

Fun Facts

Kanapaha Botanical Gardens is the largest herb garden in the southeast. Who would have thought you’d find an astounding 62-acres of green space just near the bustling city of Gainesville? You can view all of the exhibits as you walk down the large, one-and-a-half-mile paved walkway that weaves throughout thriving greenery. Take a look at the garden map so you can navigate your way!

Interestingly, a Native American tribe named the Timucua were the first to use the word Kanapaha, meaning palmetto leaves and home. This fits the botanical gardens perfectly, as it houses so many prosperous plants.

Lake Kanapaha got its name first. When the botanical gardens were created, the local attraction adopted the name since it resides right along the peaceful waters.

Most Praised Plants & Exhibits

When you visit in the warm months of June through September, you’ll see plants offering the most colors. Some of the most popular exhibits include the giant Victoria Water Lillies and Asian Snake Arums. Water Lillies are circular, electric green, and can grow up to ten feet in diameter! View them floating serenely throughout the ponds of the garden. Asian Snake Arums, on the other hand, are planted firmly in the ground and have tall, purple blooms.

These botanical gardens are also home to Florida’s largest public display of bamboos. You can view the forest-like bundle of Chinese royal bamboo up close as you follow the pathway throughout the park.

Special Events

The tremendous space the park provides makes it a great location to host fantastic local events and festivals. Here are just a few you’ve got to see when visiting Gainsville, Florida:

Spring Garden Festival: Discover original art and treasures from the natural world

Moonlight Walk: The gardens are lit with magical lights and lasers

Paint Out: Artists create paintings LIVE!

Find A Retreat in Nature at Sweetwater Branch Inn

The Giovanna Room at Sweetwater Branch Inn

If you’re feeling inspired by the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, you’ll love our very own gardens at Sweetwater Branch Inn. Our property features gorgeous greenery dotted with seven fountains, a tranquil koi pond, a putt-putt green, and even an outdoor pool. The winding brick pathways throughout will remind you of your time traversing the Florida gardens. Continue your immersion into nature by staying in Giovanna’s Room, which features a magnificent wisteria tree mural. Join us today and begin your adventure in Gainesville, Florida.


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