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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

Read all 208 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 89
    Excellent
  • 56
    Very good
  • 28
    Average
  • 19
    Poor
  • 7
    Terrible
Unfussed Over key West Flora

This is not your typical manicured botanical garden. The plants are left in their natural state, with markers and audio tour to let you know what you are seeing. It is an... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 1 week ago
John H
,
Fair Haven, New Jersey
via mobile
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208 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 199: English reviews
Goldsboro, North Carolina
Level Contributor
33 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

The botanical garden was nice and quiet. Seeing beautiful tropical plants in their natural settings was so relaxing. After a short video we were given a map and told to enjoy ourselves.

Helpful?
Thank Lee Y
Moscow, Idaho
Level Contributor
28 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

When I think of Botanical Gardens, I assume there will be flowering plants. Maybe we got there at the wrong season (March), but there were no flowers, no butterflies -- lots of palm trees. The trees are interesting and the signage is helpful. The pond is pretty and has lots of turtles, but the setting is not quite as colorful... More 

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

We are sorry you missed all the flowering plants and trees. The season for flowering is just beginning and there are many plants blooming right now. The native plants that grow in the harsh environment in the Keys have adapted to growing in limestone with little nutrients during a dry winter. Therefore, the flowers that are produced are usually small... More 

Fair Haven, New Jersey
Level Contributor
279 reviews
123 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This is not your typical manicured botanical garden. The plants are left in their natural state, with markers and audio tour to let you know what you are seeing. It is an altogether pleasant way to spend some time away from the hustle of Key West and see the land like it used to be.

Helpful?
Thank John H
Audrey T, Board Member at Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden, responded to this review

We appreciate your understanding of the Key West Tropical Forest and are glad you enjoyed the peacefulness and education about our native plants. More 

Hingham, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This is an excellent place to visit if you are interested in native plants, birds and butterflies. We got there just as it opened and skipped the video because it was crowded in the room. The plants are all very well marked and we saw quite a few birds that were new to us. An enjoyable place to spend a... More 

Helpful?
Thank jajm319
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Level Contributor
69 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 weeks ago

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
169 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 weeks ago

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
33 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 17, 2017 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 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 13, 2017

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 February 13, 2017

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
25 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 3, 2017 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 

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