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Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden

5210 College Road, Key West, FL 33040
305 296 1504
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Ranked #43 of 84 attractions in Key West
Type: Nature/ Wildlife Areas
Owner description: The Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden is the only "frost-free" botanical garden in the continental United States. A tropical environment... more » Owner description: The Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden is the only "frost-free" botanical garden in the continental United States. A tropical environment with ample rain allows most trees to retain their leaves in the dry season (December through late May). It is home to many endangered and threatened flora and fauna. Unlike traditional botanical gardens, this garden advocates as a teaching tool native plants and species in a natural conservation habitat. Tropical forests of the world hold at least half of all the variety of life on Earth. Moreover, the species found with the Caribbean are among the richest in plant and animal life on the planet.The Key West Forest & Garden is a special place where you can appreciate biodiversity and learn more about its importance. For instance, the forest has two of the last remaining fresh water ponds in the Keys and is a major migratory stopping point for neo-tropical birds from places as far as South America, as well as being home to many rare birds in the Florida Keys.Enjoy this "one of a kind" U S tropical forest and garden filled with butterflies, birds, plants and beautiful flowers. Your visit begins with a smiling volunteer greeter at our education center. See a short film and browse the photo walls. Pick up a Garden Guide that describes the 8 self-guided information tours, 2 wetland habitats and 2 butterfly gardens. The lush courtyard has a waterfall wall of tropical plants and below turtles happily show off their home. Meander through a one acre butterfly habitat with over 23 species discovered! Stroll through a lush canopy of tropical palms and trees. Discover the hidden pond and maybe get lucky enough to see a rare resident white crowned pigeon or bald eagle! Restrooms and refreshments are available. « less
Useful Information: Activities for older children
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84 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Key West, Florida
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
14 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2014 NEW

I recently visited here with my children. It was far better than I anticipated. Overall, it was a relaxing experience - as much as it can be with multiple children in tow. The grounds were fairly well kept. We appreciated the signage giving us information on the palms, but some could have been written a little clearer/cleaner and more professional.... More

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Rapid City, South Dakota
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
16 attraction reviews
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2014 NEW

My husband and I stopped at the Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden on our way in to Key West. It is a really nice area with many native plants, trees and animals. The animals were somewhat scarce the day we visited, but maybe they were just in hiding because of the hot temperatures. There were objects of art... More

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Greenfield, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
13 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2014 NEW

We road our bikes from the southern most point and it took a while. When we got there, I was let down from the entrance on. The price was too high for what it is, the paths are weak, it's like walking into someone's back yard with wild native plants, we got to the edge and saw the fence and... More

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Jacksonville, Florida
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2014

Great photo ops. The natural vegetation is breath taking. The volunteers were friendly and accommodating. We had a great time. But, there is some walking so wear your comfy shoes.

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botanicalgarden, Manager at Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden, responded to this review

We thank you for your visit and for taking the time to comment. We truly appreciate it. As an outdoor facility, we have strived to blend a natural, conservation habitat with botanical, educational elements. This is not your usual Botanical Garden; we teach the importance of native plants and species of the keys, Cuba and Caribbean. April - July, the... More

2 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2014

The gardens were not that busy when we went, so we were able to enjoy a quiet stroll through them. Lots of butterflys, lizards, turtles, and birds. We even saw a rather large iguana in the parking lot. The pond and foliage made for a nice afternoon stroll. Would recommend if you are tired of the hectic Duval shopping experience.

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botanicalgarden, General Manager at Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden, responded to this review

Thank you for your recent visit and comment to the Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden. The Garden is a step from the downtown wildlife into the 'natural wildlife', our own kind of locals that inhabit this small vestige of green left in the lower keys. The Garden is home to the native flora and fauna of the keys,... More

Saint Augustine, Florida
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2014

Good place to walk in natural woods with pets. Neat exhibits of flotilla from Cubans escaping to the us.

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botanicalgarden, General Manager at Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden, responded to this review

We want to thank you for your recent visit to the Key West Botanical Garden and for your recognition of our continued efforts to protect the native habitat, flora and fauna of the region. This Garden is just one of only a few areas of green left on the island making it critical to a number of threatened and endangered... More

Miami, Florida
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2014

The garden is tiny and has some nice hard-scape (the patio and elevated walkway), but the plants are not very diverse. As botanical gardens go, this one is pretty pathetic. It's a bit of a let-down after seeing some nice gardens in Miami (such as Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden or Pinecrest Garden.

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botanicalgarden, General Manager at Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden, responded to this review

We wish to thank you for your recent visit to the Key West Botanical Garden and taking your time to comment. We are disappointed by your post, an indication we failed in our mission to educate the importance of protecting native habitat for the flora and fauna of this region. We also failed to point out that this is not... More

Morristown, NJ
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
10 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2014

We were there in May and nothing was blooming, so wasn't very showy. Some of the plants had signs with names, but many did not. It's mostly native plants, so don't expect to see a great variety. It was fine for what it is, which is a more or less wild section of the Keys.

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botanicalgarden, General Manager at Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden, responded to this review

Thank you for commenting on your recent visit to the Key West Botanical Garden. We appreciate you noting our efforts to protect and educate the importance of disappearing keys habitat, a remnant of a tropical forest unique to North America. This Garden remains one of the last vestiges of native habitat in the lower keys. As it is the end... More

Baltimore, Maryland
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
30 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2014

Every single part about this place is great. It's a beautiful outside atmosphere where you can surround yourself with nature, flowers, butterflies, and all things tropical. The attendant at the desk was kind enough to let me store my bags as I walked through the park because I came straight from the airport. This place is lovely and a great... More

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botanicalgarden, General Manager at Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden, responded to this review

On behalf of the Key West Botanical Garden Society, Inc., I thank you for your recent visit and comment on the Garden. It can be difficult mission to educate and stress the importance of nature, conservation and protecting habitat and we are happy you understand it. You taking the time to comment strengthens our resolve to continue our efforts. This... More

Frederick, Maryland
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
14 attraction reviews
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2014

If you are not interested in all the "touristy" things to do in Key West and your not too concerned about providing a little funding to a worthy cause, then do put this on your "to do" list. We decided that since we don't know much about the flora of Key West we would arrange to have a guided tour... More

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botanicalgarden, General Manager at Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden, responded to this review

On behalf of the Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden, I thank you for your visit and requesting a tour of the Garden. Moreover, I thank you for your impression and comments about your experience, the Garden and our mission. As one of the last vestiges of green native habitat in the lower keys, it is a step back... More

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