Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
4.5
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Bayfront sanctuaries connecting people with air plants of the world, native nature, and our regional history.
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  • boxshop
    Norfolk, Virginia5,948 contributions
    Tour with Betsy, Neal and Jane Meadows Feb 2023
    We visited Selby Gardens today and it was exquisite. The unique Gardens with tropical plants and trees allowed you to believe you were in a tropical rainforest. We had the additional treat of the Tiffany Glass Exhibition truly beautiful. I highly recommend this before the exhibit leaves in June. The staff and volunteers should be so proud of the wonderful work they do. The new parking garage and upgrades currently under construction will be wonderful.
    Visited February 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written February 28, 2023
  • cymricj
    Greenfield, Ohio23 contributions
    Beautiful gardens that are affected by Red Tide
    We visited Selby Gardens and saw the Tiffany exhibit. It was just lovely. Our trip was negatively affected by Red Tide. It is one thing to consider if you are sensitive. We all started coughing as soon as we left the car and we coughed intermittently through our whole stay. The Gardens are right along the water front so it was definitely a problem. We were able to enjoy the gardens but if you had any airway sensitivity it could be a problem.
    Visited March 2023
    Written March 14, 2023
  • Carol D
    King of Prussia, Pennsylvania113 contributions
    Beautiful gardens with intriguing exhibits
    This is a beautiful garden and the Tiffany exhibit makes it extra special. The colored panels throughout the garden add an extra level of beauty. The exhibit is very walkable (we had an individual in a wheelchair who could access just about everywhere). Unfortunately I do need to leave one negative remark, that does not necessarily reflect on the gardens and the lovely staff there, but did create a negative experience for us. The man running the food truck was down right rude. He was nasty to a customer before us, then not very kind to us. He kept yelling out to remember to tip your servers (him). If he wonders why he is not receiving tips, he needs to look in the mirror
    Visited March 2023
    Written March 19, 2023
  • Kristin C
    134 contributions
    Beautiful day, beautiful views
    What a beautiful botanic gardens! Not only were the gardens beautiful but it was located on the water so we sat numerous times just to look at the water. They close promptly at 5 and were rushing us towards the end so make sure you get there early enough so you don't have to rush. Great day! If you have a membership to another botanic gardens this will be free so ask about that.
    Visited March 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written March 30, 2023
  • Travelhound
    Fredericksburg, Virginia592 contributions
    ABSOLUTELY GLORIOUS!
    I first visited these glorious gardens not long after they opened in the '70s and was delighted and amazed to see how much had changed in a recent visit. Their fifteen acres are beautifully maintained to showcase their extensive variety of tropical plants. The orchid collection was mind-boggling, and the current exhibit displayed them inside picture frames as though they were works of art, which indeed they are! This is an ideal place to visit if you want to get away from the bustling beach crowds and wander the green paths or sit by the bay. Wonderful!
    Visited November 2022
    Written April 15, 2023
  • Lois M
    Bozeman, Montana45 contributions
    Beautiful Gardens!
    This botanic garden was by far the best part of my trip. The Tiffany Exhibit, with all the stained glass, was re-created throughout the gardens giving a one of a kind experience. A lightning storm required us to shelter in the cafe for about 90 minutes, but I was impressed with the diligence in keeping visitors and staff safe.
    Visited April 2023
    Written April 15, 2023
  • Captain-Sherm
    41 contributions
    Tiffany exhibit was fantastic!!!!
    Absolutely love Selby Gardens. Went today to the Tiffany exhibit and it was so amazing and interesting. Visually stunning and historically significant. Once again the folks at Selby really know how to make a visit there memorable. Highly recommend the Tiffany exhibit but hurry. It’s only there through June 25th.
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written May 27, 2023
  • Taylor B
    Chicago, Illinois8,761 contributions
    Marvel at the world's second largest spirit collection
    There are a lot of fish in Sarasota, Florida, as you might expect, but there are a lot of flowers, too. As life-long Chicagoans, and Lincoln Park residents for the last 40 years, my wife and I have made several visits to the Lincoln Park Conservatory, the oldest public gardens in Chicago. So it figures that we have made more than a few visits to the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens during our vacations in Sarasota. Located at 1534 Mound Street, overlooking Sarasota Bay, the gardens feature more than 20,000 living plants, including 5,500 orchids, 3,500 bromeliads and 1,600 other plants. A signature collection is the world's second largest spirit collection consisting of vials of mostly orchid flowers in preservative fluids. The gardens maintain banyans, bamboo, live oaks, palms, mangroves, succulents, wildflowers, cycads, bromeliads, a butterfly garden, a fragrance garden, an edible garden and a koi garden. More than 150 expeditions to the tropics and subtropics have contributed to these collections and Selby Gardens botanists have discovered or described more than 2,000 plant species previously unknown to science. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998, the 15-acre site features such major divisions as the Mulford B. Foster Bromeliad Identification Center that maintains taxonomic files for over 2,800 species; Greenhouses that contain over 10,000 accessions in more than 600 genera representing 92 plant families; Gardens that contain about 2,300 recorded tropical and subtropical plantings; the Herbarium that contains about 106,000 specimens of tropical flora; the Orchid Identification Center that studies and curates wild collected and conservatory grown orchids; the Christy Payne House that is home to the Museum of Botany and the Arts; the Research Library that houses about 124,000 volumes dealing primarily with tropical plants; and the prized Spirit Collection.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 6, 2023
  • wgod1234
    Boynton Beach, Florida232 contributions
    Good visit
    We visited the downtown campus. Due to construction, we parked at the overflow lot just a 5-minute walk away. the gardens are beautiful and the setting by the bay excellent. An hour and a half was sufficient time to walk the entire gardens at a leisurely pace. A nice stop after checking out of our hotel and before a 3-hour drive home .
    Visited August 2023
    Written August 28, 2023
  • bertaron
    164 contributions
    Worth a visit
    As far as botanical gardens this one is very good. The fig and banyan trees were quite impressive. They had a section for Bonsai trees and they were excellent. I felt the garden was kid friendly and has some nice views of the Bay on the water.
    Visited December 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written December 29, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
3,331 reviews
Excellent
2,542
Very good
606
Average
128
Poor
28
Terrible
27

Meghan B
1 contribution
Dec 2021
Horrible customer service!! I bought tickets for the Lights in Bloom event on 12/19/2021 and was very excited, as I have been to the gardens before, and it is beautiful. I knew going in that the tickets were nonrefundable/nontransferable, but I had bought them the week of, and nobody plans on unfortunate things happening to them. Well, the unfortunate thing happened to me. The morning of December 19, my father-in-law had to be emitted to the hospital and with very few other family members to lean on for help I was the only one available to stay with him. Desperately, trying to reach any one at Marie Selby Gardens, before it was too late, I called their main phone number and tried every extension. I never was able to reach any employee. Emailed every department to try and hear from somebody. Never got an email back until 12/21/21 when it was far too late to fix anything. I sent them a response back telling Marie Selby Gardens how disappointed I was, and I still have to wait another three days to get a second response back from them. $50 wasted and no resolution. Very disappointed.

Long story short, you have a family emergency on the day you're supposed to go to one of their events, they don't care. Your ticket is nonrefundable/nontransferable.
Written December 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Peter M
Duxbury, MA243 contributions
Feb 2020 • Couples
The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens are a wonderful, creative, and imaginative collaboration of plants, flowers, and tropical trees that turn this pastoral setting into a collection of living art. The current Salvador Dali exhibit is whimsical and fun. This is a regional treasure to be enjoyed by visitors of all ages. The children’s section of the garden is fun and engaging for the entire family. A must see if you are visiting Sarasota,
Written February 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tricia G
Charlotte, NC5 contributions
Aug 2021
These gardens are magical, so amazingly beautiful, and breathtaking. I highly recommend planning an entire day to visit as we spent a couple of hours and wanted more time just to sit amidst the beauty and process it. We were in awe of the variety and quality of the plants, installation, and exhibits.
Written August 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

GordCummings
Toronto, Canada128 contributions
Jan 2020
This is a large botanical garden that was started about 100 years ago by a wealthy family, there house is still there. Parking is tough but they are working on getting approval for a multi story parking lot. The vegitation is breathtaking. It is about a 2 mile walk to see everything, and well worth the time. We saw a large number of families with small and bigger children all greatly enjoying the outing. A large indoor exhibition area is under rernovation and will open again in February.
Written January 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kensal1951
Gulfport, FL194 contributions
Mar 2021
The gardens and the greenhouse are beautiful. It is located on Sarasota bay. Marie Shelby donated her home and gardens to the city in the 70’s. The orchid collection is wonderful. It currently has a special exhibit of Roy Lichtenstein art work. The outdoor area has trees that are massive, and a great playground for kids. If you have a membership to other botanical gardens, you may get in free.
Written March 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Desiada
Kings Park, NY58 contributions
Feb 2020
Well it was cold for Florida for even a New Yorker so we donned jeans, long sleeves and jackets and braved the outdoors. The place is amazing with different rooms of vegetation, bonsai, butterfly gardens, and the best was the outdoor whimsical sculpture additions of the Salvador Dali exhibit. Food truck looked awesome as did their restaurant. Volunteers were helpful. A nice hop and skip from Siesta Key.
Written March 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for visiting us on one of our colder days! We hope to see you in the Gardens again soon!
Written March 4, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

pyanogyrl1
Grand Rapids, MI45 contributions
Mar 2020
We were a little hesitant to pay $25 per person to tour these gardens, and were truly delighted to find that it was worth the expense. We've been to numerous botanical gardens around the country and this is by far one of the best if not the very best. A wonderful variety of plants with interesting and varied areas, plenty of places to sit and enjoy the scenery. This is definitely a must-see. It's pricey, but totally with it.
Written March 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

qwerty103
Sarasota, FL356 contributions
Aug 2021
Selby has a very unique location on Sarasota Bay. The Orchids are always a delight, the outdoor loop to the point and back has some spectacular Botanical plants and the views of Sarasota Bay are beautiful. The Mansion usually has an interesting exhibit going on. This month it is the Florida Highwaymen, painters of old Florida landscapes, an old Florida that doesn't exist anymore.
Written August 9, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Doodle Bird Terrariums
Eagan, MN59 contributions
Jan 2020 • Solo
Very small botanical garden that is not kept up. Plants look half-hazardly planted around the grounds. Oddly, the succulent/cactus garden is planted in the shade. And shade-loving plants were planted in full sun. All look tattered and uncared for. Nothing exciting in the way of plant types either. For example, most areas were filled with Impatiens (seriously I’ve seen better at Walmart) and weedy looking native plants. Bathrooms were dirty. Barely any parking. The greenhouse for closed the day I visited so I can’t comment on that. And all this cost me $20. During my stay in Florida I also visited Fairchild botanical garden and Naples botanical gardens, both of which are far superior and cost just about the same. Bok tower gardens was also beautiful, and only $15. I would skip this place unless you are already in the area and have nothing else to do.

Oh! One area that did seem nice was the children’s garden. It looked as if it has been recently added or renovated. It had a waterfall, tree houses to climb on, and it is near a pond filled with koi. The kids there that day seemed to enjoy themselves.
Written January 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

fjones
Osprey, FL80 contributions
Jun 2021 • Couples
This is another one of Sarasota’s gems in the middle of down town on Sarasota Bay. We visited during the week when the crowds were light. The gardens are a spectacular site to see. We were fortunate to be there during the Roy Lichtenstein exhibit of Monet’s Garden goes Pop. Lichtensteins’ interpretation and depiction of Monet’s gardens was whimsical and beautiful. The Gardens features the best scientifically-documented collection of orchids and bromeliads in the world. It also houses the most diverse living and preserved collections of air plants in the world. when you walk around, make sure to look up and down as the displays are everywhere. To really enjoy the gardens it will take 2-3 hours to tour. There is a small cafe on the grounds and restrooms scattered throughout.
Written June 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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