Florida is blessed with so much natural beauty. It is also home to numerous magnificent, well-tended gardens. They preserve history and celebrate nature among other things. These spots are great for family outings and road trips. In fact, one Florida site named most stunning Botanical Gardens in the United States, might surprise you. It is Alfred B Maclay Gardens in Tallahassee.

I was in Tallahassee a couple of years ago and a friend suggested a visit to the gardens. I had no idea what I was in for. It was gorgeous, and massive. There are all kinds of manicured shrubs, a secret garden, a reflecting pool and a huge lake. You can kayak in that lake, fish, swim and picnic on its shores. In addition, there are hundreds of colorful and fragrant azaleas, camellias and other flora. Alfred B. and Louise Maclay planted the gardens in 1923. They were snowbirds.

Long narrow pool full of bright blue water surrounded by green gras and trees

This is the reflecting pool at Alfred B. Maclay Gardens. It was surrounded with ladies doing yoga when we first arrived. Wow. This is perfect for yoga and meditation.

More Florida botanical gardens

Two more Florida sites made it into the top 20 rankings. They are a little closer to home. One is Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota. It ranks 17th. The other is Sunken Gardens in St. Pete. It ranks 18th in the nation. Put them both on your list if you have not been.

The list was put together by Pergola Kits USA using data from Tripadvisor. They combed through reviews  looking for key words. The words included descriptions such as “stunning”, “impressive”, “gorgeous”, and breath-taking” to name a few. Next, the gardens were ranked according to the percentage of the keywords found in the reviews.

“We hope this data analysis encourages you to explore a new botanical garden and appreciate the beauty of the outdoors,” said a spokesperson from Pergola Kits USA.

Finally, here is how the rest of the top five list rounds out. Enjoy.

  • #2 Gardens At Blue Spring Heritage Center in Eureka Springs, Arkansas

    Blue Spring Heritage Center in Eureka Springs was close behind Alfred B. Maclay Gardens with 77.35% of its Tripadvisor reviews gushing about it’s crystal-clear waters. It honors the Cherokee people during the Trail of Tears.

  • #3 Fellows Riverside Gardens in Youngtown, Ohio

    Fellows Riverside Gardens shows 76.61% of its total Tripadvisor reviews raving about its beautiful setting. The twelve acre garden is full of magnificent roses, seasonal flora and fauna, and all kinds of vibrant plants.

  • #4 Harkness Memorial State Park in Waterford, Connecticut

    Harkness Memorial State Park has 75.86% of Tripadvisor reviews describing the beauty of the gardens. It has a Renaissance mansion, scenic trails, and 230 acres of natural wonder to explore.

  • #5 Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs, Arkansas

    Garvan Woodland Gardens boosts 75.35% of its Tripadvisor reviews talking about the breathtaking features found here. It is the botanical garden of the University of Arkansas and features a rich assortment of flora, fauna and pines. In addition, it has the Ouachita Mountains as a back drop.

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