Gainesville's lesser-known swamp: 68-acre Kanapaha Gardens features Giant Victoria Water Lilies, a Bamboo Maze and Hummingbird Garden

Gainesville's lesser-known swamp: 68-acre Kanapaha Gardens features Giant Victoria Water Lilies, a Bamboo Maze and Hummingbird Garden

You've surely heard of The Swamp, The University of Florida's 89,000-seat Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL. Well, this is a blog post about the other swamp in Gainesville: the 68-acre paradisiacal wonder that is Kanapaha Botanical Gardens. It's a whimsical wonderland that will leave you feeling inspired.

What's the Deal with Kanapaha Gardens?

So, what exactly is Kanapaha Gardens? Well, it's a 68-acre botanical garden that features a diverse collection of plants from all over the world. But it's so much more than just a garden. It's a place where art, nature, and quirkiness collide to create an experience like no other.

Miniature Shrek figurine attached to a plant placard titled Ogre Ears, a plant found at Kanapaha Gardens

Why Should You Visit?

Let's be honest, there are plenty of botanical gardens out there. But Kanapaha Gardens is truly one-of-a-kind. Here are a few reasons why you should add it to your must-visit list:

1. The Giant Victoria Water Lilies: These massive lilies are the stars of the show at Kanapaha Gardens. They're so big, you'll feel like you've stepped into a scene from "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids." Just don't try to use them as a makeshift boat. Trust me, it won't end well.

2. The Bamboo Maze: Get ready to channel your inner Indiana Jones as you navigate your way through the bamboo maze. It's like a real-life game of "Where's Waldo," but with more greenery and fewer striped shirts.

3. The Hummingbird Garden: If you've ever wanted to get up close and personal with these tiny, feathered creatures, now's your chance. The Hummingbird Garden at Kanapaha Gardens is a haven for these speedy little birds. Just be sure to bring your camera and a lot of patience.

A father with a yellow Mekong Monkey Wellspring Gardens shirt poses with his two daughters in front of Kanapaha Botanical Gardens in Gainesville, Florida.

Quirky Tips for Your Visit

Now that you're convinced that Kanapaha Gardens is the place to be, here are a few quirky tips to make the most of your visit:

1. Dress the Part: Embrace your inner flower child and dress in your most colorful, flowery attire. Bonus points if you wear a flower crown or bring a gnome hat. Trust me, you'll fit right in.

2. Strike a Pose: Kanapaha Gardens is basically an Instagrammer's dream come true. So, don't be shy! Strike a pose in front of the giant lilies, do a tree pose in the bamboo maze, or pretend to be a hummingbird in the Hummingbird Garden. The possibilities are endless!

3. Pack a Picnic: After all that exploring, you're bound to work up an appetite. So, why not pack a picnic and enjoy a leisurely lunch surrounded by nature? Just be sure to keep an eye out for any sneaky squirrels who might try to steal your sandwich.

A red bridge marks the entrance to the Chinese bamboo garden at Kanapaha Gardens

Final Thoughts

Kanapaha Gardens is not your average botanical garden. It's a place where nature and quirkiness collide to create an unforgettable experience. So, whether you're a nature lover, a quirky soul, or just someone looking for a fun day out, Kanapaha Gardens is the place for you. Get ready to embrace your inner weirdo and let the magic of this whimsical wonderland transport you to a world of botanical bliss!

1 comment

  • Kanasa Watanabe

    👏👏 Kanapaha Gardens is always a highlight of my trip to Gainesville Florida! Go Gators! 🐊🐊

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