Botanical Gardens

A December visit to Kanapaha Botanical Garden

Kanapaha Botanical Garden is a 62-acre facility near the banks of Lake Kanapaha, within Alachua County, in Gainesville Florida.

On this adventure, I first had to learn how to pronounce the word Kanapaha and learn its meaning. I found out that it is believed that the word kanapaha is a combination of two old Timucua Indian words meaning palmetto leaves and house, or palm house. See, you really do learn something every day when you are out adventuring.

Each season in the gardens has its own specific beauty. The peak time to see plants and flowers in bloom is in the spring and summer; however, our December visit was not disappointing in the least. The mild weather made walking the expansive gardens quite enjoyable, and seeing all the Camellias in bloom was breathtaking.

Kanapaha Botanical Garden has one of the largest public bamboo gardens, and walking through the bamboo forest was incredible.

John and I spent about 3 hours exploring the gardens. The canopy of towering trees and the sounds of the flowing water features provided a peaceful setting, and we enjoyed the time away from the noise of everyday life.

In most cases, the walkways are wide and paved, making for easy walking. I also noticed that the walkways were wheelchair friendly, and in fact, there were a few wheelchairs and walkers at the main entrance for the use of visitors who may find the amount of walking involved to view the entire gardens difficult.

Within the gardens is a unique children’s garden complete with a maze and playground. There is also a Butterfly Garden, a Hummingbird Garden, and a Herb Garden that is supposed to be one of the largest in the South-East.

We found our visit to Kanapaha Botanical Garden well worth it and have decided that we would love to come back in the spring or summer months to view how the landscape changes with the change of the seasons.

Hours of Operation

  • Monday – 9 am to 5 pm
  • Tuesday – 9 am to 5 pm
  • Wednesday – 9 am to 5 pm
  • Thursday – Closed
  • Friday – 9 am to 5 pm
  • Saturday – 9 am to dusk
  • Sunday – 9 am to dusk
  • no entry 45 minutes before closing

Admission & Directions

We found the admission price to be reasonable, and John and I considered it to be a good value for the amount of time we spent there.

  • Adults: $10
  • Children (ages 5-13): $5
  • Children under 5: Free (when accompanied by parent)

The entrance to the gardens is at 4700 SW 58th Drive, Gainesville, Fl. 32608 From Interstate 75 take S.W. ARCHER ROAD (SR 24 / EXIT #384) and travel west 1 mile.

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