West South

Marie Selby Gardens – A Day of Stunning Beauty

Marie and William Selby moved to Sarasota, Florida in the 1920s. Despite their wealth, they lived a quiet life away from Sarasota’s social scene. Marie was a lover of nature, and upon her death in the 1970s, she left her home and property to the city with the request that the city would establish it as a botanical garden.

Selby Gardens was opened on July 7th, 1975, and today the Downtown Sarasota Campus has grown to 15 acres in size.

Selby Gardens’ Downtown Sarasota Campus features the best scientifically documented collection of orchids and bromeliads in the world.

John and I spent several hours walking through the gardens, and we were in absolute awe of the beauty around every turn.

The kids playground area has got to be one of the coolest playgrounds I have ever seen. With a rainforest theme, it looked like amazing fun. They never had playgrounds like that when I was a kid.

John and I had a cozy scenic lunch in the outside courtyard of the Selby Cafe’. The Cafe’s building was once the Selby home, and upon the walls are some interesting pictures and history of the Selbys’ and pioneering women botanists.

The scenery for an outdoor lunch could not have been any better, but be prepared the cafe’ is a bit pricey.

Selby Gardens is nestled on Sarasota Bay and is a Downtown urban oasis, located at 1534 Mound Street. Open daily from 10 am to 5 pm. Admission is $20 for adults and $10 for children ages 5 -17.

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