The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is a beautiful, tropical garden oasis set on Sarasota Bay. This living museum with more than 20,000 colorful plants, including more than 6,000 orchids, is inviting to children and adults.
Begin your tour in the Conservatory, where you’ll encounter the most concentrated display of tropical plants in the United States. Then, wander along the gardens’ pathways that take you past the butterfly garden, bamboo garden, banyan groves and other delightful botanical surprises.
The Ann Goldstein Children’s Rainforest Garden offers a delightful, natural space for discovery, exploration, learning and PLAY! In conjunction with the nearby Kids' Corner, there are hands-on, developmentally appropriate activities and programs available on a regular basis. For active families, the Gardens include a 100-year-old Banyan tree to scramble upon, canopy walk and rope bridge, tropical "research station," a play lawn and edible garden.
The Garden Shop and the unique Banyan Treasures Store are brimming with unique collectibles, unusual plants and gifts. The Gardens hosts a café in the historic Selby House where visitors can enjoy light refreshments.
The former Christy Payne Mansion, also on the grounds, is a unique example of eclectic Southern Colonial architecture. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Mansion is home to the Museum of Botanical Arts with changing botanical art and photography exhibits.
Selby Gardens is located in downtown Sarasota. Call 941-366-5731 for more information or visit www.selby.org.