McKee Botanical Garden has been featured in
22 Secret Gardens – Soothing Places of Surprise and Sanctuary in the U.S. and Canada
The Garden has been featured in
Coastal Living Magazine
10 Most Romantic Places in Florida
The Garden has been been featured on both the cover and articles
Take a Break for Sunshine and Flowers and Warm Getaways
The Garden was awarded the
Hall of Fame Excellence Award in 2019
MCKEE BOTANICAL GARDEN CELEBRATES ITS 20TH ANNIVERSARY SINCE REOPENING IN 2001
In November 2001, McKee Botanical Garden opened its gates to a crowd of 700 curious and enthusiastic visitors. Since then, nearly 800,000 people have walked through the Garden's gates to experience the magic of McKee. In addition, the Garden currently has over 5,600 loyal McKee members. Hundreds of educational classes, workshops, and camps have been held for McKee members and visitors of all ages. Tens of thousands of people have come from across the state of Florida and beyond to enjoy the Garden’s annual special events including 11 years of the Annual Motor Car Exhibition, 19 years of Holidays at McKee, and 16 years of the Annual Waterlily Celebration.
The Garden has garnered a national reputation for excellence and is known for its award-winning exhibitions including internationally renowned exhibits such as Guy Darrough’s Dinosaurs, or sculpture exhibits by Hans Godo Fräbel and Seward Johnson.
McKee Jungle Gardens was the vision of land developers Arthur McKee and Waldo Sexton, who purchased the 80-acre tropical hammock in 1922 with the intention of cultivating citrus. The property's natural beauty was deemed too special in its native state to disturb, so McKee and Sexton identified a new purpose for the land and created McKee Jungle Gardens. In the 1950s, this exquisite piece of land was "hailed as one of the botanical wonders of the world, home to over 2,000 species of native and exotic plants." As central Florida developed in the 1970s, attendance at the Gardens waned, and McKee was forced to close its gates. All but 18 acres were developed, and the heart of the Garden laid dormant for 20 years.
That could have been the end of the story. After a successful and unprecedented $9 million campaign, the remaining 18 acres were purchased and McKee's restoration to its original grandeur began. With bare hands, basic tools, and unimaginable heart, volunteers of every age cleared the trails to reveal once again the jungle's treasures.
In January 2020, McKee opened its new Children's Garden. The Children's Garden is a natural complement to McKee's existing offerings and is being enjoyed by thousands of children of all ages who are exploring the land of pirates and fairies, reading in the Blue Crab Reading Circle, discovering nature and enjoying being outdoors and playing in the water features. Since opening the Children's Garden, McKee has hosted hundreds of children's workshops and activities.
The Garden is open Tuesday – Saturday (10 am – 5 pm), Sunday (12 pm – 5 pm). The last admission ticket is sold at 4 pm. Admission: $15 Adults, $13 Seniors (65+)/Youth (13-17), $10 Children (2-12). McKee members and children under 2 free. Come discover the many wonders of McKee.