Spring Vacation in Naples, FL - Part 4
Welcome to Part Four of my Naples, Florida travel guide! For the grand finale, I’ll be sharing a photo round up of our visit to the Naples Botanical Garden.
Walking into the Naples Botanical Garden, feels like walking into a tropical rain forest, (or at least it fits my imaginary picture of walking into one)! Tall trees covered in vines and foliage dim the light and the air is warm and humid. Colorful flowers hang from the trees or grow in patches on the ground. A wooden bridge crosses a small stream and birds flit around.
The garden was founded in 1993 and is located a few miles from downtown Naples. Although it’s officially 170 acres, the land is divided up into smaller individual gardens which flow into each other. Each of the gardens has a theme - Caribbean, Asian, Brazilian, etc.; and each is devoted to the vegetation native to that geographic area. It also includes a 90-acre nature sanctuary. Admission is very reasonably priced – $15 for adults and $10 for children ages 4-14. We spent about two hours there and were able to see most of the gardens.
I love orchids, so the orchid garden was a huge treat to visit. There are orchids of all sizes and colors, growing at all heights – on the ground, in the trees, etc. Living in the Northeast, orchids seem like rare, exotic flowers probably because it’s so hard to keep them alive in doors. It was a fun experience to be surrounded by the beautiful flowers. Another thing that seemed extremely exotic to me are the geckos. For my northern readers, they are small lizards with beady eyes that run from place to place extremely quickly. I thought they were adorable running around over the rocks.
The Asian garden was inspired by the plants of Southeast Asia. There are beautiful ponds, and a Thai pavilion and a Balinese shrine. I’m always fascinated by lily pads in ponds because as a child I imagined that they were just delicately floating on the top of the water. It is a very peaceful shady place to sit and enjoy the water and plants.
It was a beautiful, warm, clear day to enjoy the Garden. Being Florida, there were of course lots of palm trees. It was very interesting to see all the different varieties of palm trees. The water between the gardens and the nature preserve was really placid. While we were walking around near the water we saw some large, interesting birds landing on tree branches. It was too far away to identify them though.
The Brazilian garden has a huge beautiful terraced water fall. Standing at the top you can see the plants and flowers below and the beautifully manicured lawn beyond. The sound of the water adds to the ambiance. It was too hot to spend much time in the direct sun though, so we soon moved on to a shadier location.
Did you enjoy the Naples, FL Travel Guide? If you missed the first parts of this series you can check them out here.
Do you have a beautiful botanical garden near you? Share in the comments so other readers near you can check it out!