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Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden

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Address: 5210 College Rd, Key West, FL 33040-4302
Phone Number:
+1 305-296-1504
Website
Today
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Description:

The Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden is the only...

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.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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  • 87
    Excellent
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    Very good
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    Average
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  • 7
    Terrible
Beautiful Views of Natural Flora of South Florida

This unique botanical garden is the only one of its kind on the US mainland in that it is in a completely frost-free environment. It was built for the purpose of providing a view... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 4 days ago
Retta P
,
Santa Fe, New Mexico
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204 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 195: English reviews
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Level Contributor
69 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

This unique botanical garden is the only one of its kind on the US mainland in that it is in a completely frost-free environment. It was built for the purpose of providing a view of the naturalized tropical environment of south Florida. The plantings are marked and palm tree and butterfly exhibits are featured.

Helpful?
Thank Retta P
Rangeley, Maine
Level Contributor
163 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Started by the WPA, a history buff would enjoy this site as much as a botanical or horticultural buff or naturalist. Although a bit in need of fiscal infusion, this is worthy of a walk through to appreciate what diversity existed and how things looked on the island. The waterfall patio is very soothing and kids might enjoy counting turtles... More 

Helpful?
Thank DaisyDiva07
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
31 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Mainly tropical plants... Butterflies are beautiful... Friendly customer service... Watched a 4 minute video, very informative.

Helpful?
Thank leruiz73
Naples, Florida
Level Contributor
45 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

This was a very pleasant way to spend some time walking in nature. The staff was very helpful answering questions we had about flora and fauna that’s special to this location. And seeing the derelict Cuban boats really made us stop and think about what it means to live here in a democracy.

Helpful?
Thank Kailua711
Audrey T, Board of Directors at Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden, responded to this review

As a volunteer driven, non-profit organization, we value our Visitor Center greeters who are able to enhance the experience of our guests. The Cuban boats "Chugs" are a part of our history and culture in the Keys and have become an important part of our museum. More 

Cape Cod, MA
Level Contributor
15 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Visiting from Cape Cod we went on the birds & butterflies walk 2/11/17 and saw warblers, hawks, flycatchers, gnatcatchers. We were particularly pleased to see so many butterflies and learn their names. Beautiful trails and a waterwall as a backdrop to musicians playing. Anyone interested in the flora & fauna of Key West (I'm a nature guide on Cape Cod)... More 

Helpful?
Thank dwaguy
Audrey T, Board of Directors at Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden, responded to this review

Our Tropical Forest is not only home to native plants, but also to our native birds, butterflies, bees, etc. We are pleased that you were able to appreciate the Garden and lucky enough to attend on the weekend of Gardenfest when we open the Garden to all to enjoy vendors, food and music in addition to our greenery. More 

Lynchburg, Tennessee
Level Contributor
23 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Very disappointed!! Read the reviews and did not expect a well groomed area but did hope to see something interesting!!! Lots of trees and bushes raged with handwritten chalk boards.. tacky! Only animals we saw were a few turtles in a mossy pond! Hope the $10 we spent went toward something worthwhile! Save your money! Also was a building in... More 

Helpful?
Thank Sudie T
Audrey T, Docent at Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden, responded to this review

We are sorry you were disappointed in your visit to The Tropical Forest. The chalk boards are temporary informational signs which inform the visitor of herbal and medicinal aspects of our native collection. We are currently fundraising to make these permanent. Our mission as a Botanic Garden is to preserve and maintain our rare and endangered plants and educate the... More 

madison
Level Contributor
157 reviews
68 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 19, 2017

Great nature walks, and it's very interesting to see the Cuban Chugs, the boats that people escaping Cuba over the recent years created and used to get to USA.

Helpful?
1 Thank charles m
Seattle
Level Contributor
86 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 12, 2017 via mobile

This is right off the highway so make time top stop and see it. The upkeep is all volunteer and it is a wonderful walk. Besides all the normal items of beauty I really enjoyed the Cuban Chugs Exhibit and the musical exhibit at the entrance. The tones were beautiful. We purchased the small book so we could read about... More 

Helpful?
Thank PeeDeeR
Audrey T, Docent at Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden, responded to this review

Key West is many things and the Tropical Forest is one place that is not on many visitor's radar. We are so glad that you enjoyed your visit. The Cuban Chugs represent the desperation of not only the Cuban migrants but those fleeing oppression all over the world. Our small group of volunteers are passionate about this last bit of... More 

Charlottesville, Virginia
Level Contributor
314 reviews
76 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 10, 2017 via mobile

A great place for strolling or sitting. You can feed turtles and ducks, or hike along a rough dry hammock trail, or simply read the curious signs outlining the traditional medicinal properties of the many types of trees and shrubs from the region. A must for tree lovers.

Helpful?
Thank putnik123
Levittown, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
22 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 29, 2016

Worth the visit. Small fee and a short video to begin then off for a walk around short trails and a small lake. There are signs indicating tree and plant names. The park is snuggled in between a gulf course and some larger building, but it is a little bit of wild and undisturbed land.

Helpful?
Thank Traveler53023

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