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Sunken Gardens

Located in the heart of St. Petersburg, this historic botanical oasis behind vine-covered walls offers tropical plants, colorful flower beds, meandering paths, picturesque ponds and cascading waterfalls.

Green space in sunny St. Petersburg is abundant, but the intimate Sunken Gardens are something truly special, and a demonstration of craftsmanship. This is not your usual city park: Over 500,000 tropical plants and flowers fill this exotic attraction that is almost hidden behind vine-covered walls.
Created in the early 1900s by a plumber called George Turner, the Sunken Gardens are now maintained by the city. Turner drained a lake and planted seeds on the rich soil. When the garden became big, he started charging people to admire his handiwork, and later generations kept the gardens alive as a botanical park.

Making your way around, it’s hard to know where to look. The place is packed with orchids, pink bougainvillea, royal palms, fruit trees and cacti, among other species. Follow the designated paths around the 4-acre (1.6-hectare) grounds and discover themed gardens, including Japanese and butterfly sections.

In the water you’ll spot various fish, while dragonflies flit around the ponds, waterfalls and fountains. Chilean flamingos are the most popular residents, and lend themselves beautifully for colorful photos, so keep your camera ready.

Families will find the Sunken Gardens a great place to visit, especially since children enter for half price. Combine your visit with a trip to nearby Great Explorations Children's Museum, where the kids can try out all the exhibits and run around freely after the more restricted walk in the manicured gardens.

The Sunken Gardens also host a wide range of events, and yoga classes are held daily. Try hoop dancing or join horticultural programs such as caring for bonsai trees, or participate in a photography workshop. Check the gardens’ official website for details on times and prices associated with each activity.

The gardens are located just north of downtown St. Pete. The gardens open daily except Sunday mornings, and parking is free. You can bring a picnic, but you can only smoke in designated areas.


Guide to Exploring around Sunken Gardens


Top Sunken Gardens Flight + Hotel Deals

Best Lodging Options Near Sunken Gardens

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Hollander Boutique Hotel $89
Hollander Boutique Hotel

Hollander Boutique Hotel

421 4th Ave N, St. Petersburg, FL
     
    3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in the heart of St. Petersburg, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of The Coliseum and Jannus Live. Vinoy Park and Tropicana Field are also within 1 mi (2 km).

    Hyatt Place St. Petersburg / Downtown $127
    Hyatt Place St. Petersburg / Downtown

    Hyatt Place St. Petersburg / Downtown

    25 2nd Street North, St. Petersburg, FL
       
      3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in the heart of St. Petersburg, this hotel is steps from The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art and Jannus Live. Salvador Dali Museum and Mahaffey Theater are also within 15 minutes.

      Sophisticated Guest Suite in the Heart of Down Town St. Pete
      Sophisticated Guest Suite in the Heart of Down Town St. Pete

      Sophisticated Guest Suite in the Heart of Down Town St. Pete

      St. Petersburg, FL
         
        0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Historic Old Northeast, this apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of Great Explorations Children's Museum, Vinoy Park, and Sunken Gardens. Tampa Bay and Jannus Live are also within 2 mi (3 km).

        Cozy OLD Northeast/downtown Apartment: Close TO Everything
        Cozy OLD Northeast/downtown Apartment: Close TO Everything

        Cozy OLD Northeast/downtown Apartment: Close TO Everything

        St. Petersburg, FL
           
          0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Historic Old Northeast, this apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of Great Explorations Children's Museum, Vinoy Park, and Sunken Gardens. Tampa Bay and Jannus Live are also within 1 mi (2 km).

          Cozy Bungalow IN OLD Northeast/downtown
          Cozy Bungalow IN OLD Northeast/downtown

          Cozy Bungalow IN OLD Northeast/downtown

          St. Petersburg, FL
             
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Historic Old Northeast, this vacation home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Great Explorations Children's Museum, Vinoy Park, and Sunken Gardens. Tampa Bay and Jannus Live are also within 1 mi (2 km).

            The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club $183
            The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club

            The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club

            501 5th Ave Ne, St. Petersburg, FL
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Historic Old Northeast, this spa resort is within a 10-minute walk of Chihuly Collection and Tampa Bay. Vinoy Park and Jannus Live are also within 15 minutes.

              Avalon Hotel Downtown St. Petersburg $84
              Avalon Hotel Downtown St. Petersburg

              Avalon Hotel Downtown St. Petersburg

              443 4th Avenue North, St. Petersburg, FL
                 
                2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in the heart of St. Petersburg, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of The Coliseum and Jannus Live. Vinoy Park and Tropicana Field are also within 1 mi (2 km).

                New! Upscale Classic Bungalow in Old Northeast
                New! Upscale Classic Bungalow in Old Northeast

                New! Upscale Classic Bungalow in Old Northeast

                St. Petersburg, FL
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Historic Old Northeast, this historic resort is within a 15-minute walk of Sunken Gardens and Vinoy Park. Tampa Bay and Jannus Live are also within 2 mi (3 km).