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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 #44 of 83 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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87 reviews from our community

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English first
Dallas
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
26 attraction reviews
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2014

This is a very nice place to hike through the native forests of key west. it is no a botanical garden. Calling it an arboretum would be more appropriate. They are trying to keep it native-type and iguana free. All in all, it was an enjoyable walk through nature and a good escape from the commercialism of key west, but... More

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Bel Air, Maryland
2 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2014

All native garden. Different habitats from tropical hammock to open pond. Great trail system and all plants and trees labeled. Knowledgeable and friendly staff. Very well maintained. Very "cool" entrance. I go for butterflies and dragonflies and am always rewarded with South Florida and Keys specialties. Also has great Cuban and art exhibit. Worth a visit every year during our... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
botanicalgarden, General Manager at Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden, responded to this review

The Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden wishes to thank you for your recent visit and comments about the Garden. We are pleased you got our message about the importance of native plants and species and pleased to hear you found what you were interested in. As stewards of the land and plants, the fauna that those attract and... More

Charlotte, North Carolina
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2014

We were very disappointed in the Botanical Garden. It was mainly covered paths of natural palm trees and not much of anything else. No flora or fauna to be seen, one turtle. I would not recommend this trip to anyone, unless you have $7 burning a hole in your pocket.

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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 to the Key West Botanical Garden and taking the time to comment. All comments are building blocks. We too were disappointed by your visit post, an indication we failed in our mission to educate the importance of protecting native habitat for the flora and fauna of this region. Yes we do protect a number... More

Key West, Florida
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
14 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2014

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
36 reviews 36 reviews
17 attraction reviews
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2014

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
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
17 attraction reviews
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2014

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
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 attraction 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

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