Bamboo forests are hardy, sustainable, and can be downright dreamy— it’s hard not to feel like you’re on some grand adventure in a far-off land when wandering through one. And you don’t have to buy a plane ticket to do so, either. At the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens in Gainesville, you can explore acres of lush landscape, flowers, rock gardens, waterfalls, and bamboo forests.

The Kanapaha Botanical Gardens contain 68 acres of natural beauty, with 24 collections viewable from the walkway that winds through the grounds. Here you’ll find the largest public display of bamboo in Florida, and the largest herb garden in the Southeast.

During the warm months, you’ll even find giant Victorian water lilies that are so big, they look like you could lounge around on them like a pool floaty (please don’t, though).

As months warm, you can spot hummingbirds flitting about the colorful flora, and in the early morning hours, it’s not uncommon to find deer wandering the gardens.

You’ll even see blooming Japanese cherry blossoms in the early spring months. It almost feels like you stepped out of the Sunshine State and right into a little slice of Japan.

Admission to the gardens is just $10, and guests are welcome to bring their own picnic baskets.

They hold several enchanting festivals throughout the year too, including a Moonlight Walk where the pathways are illuminated and you can experience the gardens after dark.

For those bamboo enthusiasts looking to start their own exotic garden, Kanapaha also has annual bamboo sales where you buy your own bamboo stalks and shoots by the gallon.

In October, the Fall Plant Sale allows for free admission. In addition to viewing the gardens, you’ll also get to check out tons of stalls selling a variety of plants and orchids to bring an extra bit of beauty to your home.

Those looking for a uniquely romantic place to tie the knot can do so here. They offer various wedding rental rates.

Needless to say, these botanical gardens are a picture-perfect place for an adventure, a romantic stroll, or simply to let your mind roam.

Kanapaha Botanical Gardens

Price: $10 admission

Address: 4700 SW. 58th Dr., Gainesville, FL

Why You Need To Go: These gorgeous gardens will get you back in touch with nature! A dense bamboo forest, trails winding through the lush landscape, and even a chance to take home some bamboo of your own make this a great little escape.


We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.


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