If you’ve never heard of Mckee Botanical Garden, get ready for an adventure! This hidden garden near Miami will make you feel like you’re not in Florida! It has total ‘Alice In Wonderland’ vibes! If you’re visiting Orlando, it’s only a short 2-hour drive. Which makes this dreamy destination easy to add to your Florida bucket list! So come along with me while we explore this mythical garden located in Vero Beach, Florida.
Address: 350 US-1, Vero Beach, FL 32962
|Monday(Martin Luther King Jr. Day)||Closed|
The History of Mckee Botanical Gardens
Formerly known as McKee Jungle Gardens, this hidden wonderland is 80 acres of subtropical garden. It was founded in 1932 by Arthur McKee and his partner, Waldo Sexton. When they acquired the land, they filled it with all sorts of wildlife. From exotic animals like lions, monkeys, and tigers to exotic plants. Quickly the gardens became the number 1 tourist destination during the 1950s, as families and visitors from all around the world would make it a stop along their way to Miami Beach. Vero Beach isn’t as popular of a destination itself, so when air travel became more common, the Mckee Jungle Garden lost a lot of it’s revenue. Forcing the land to be sold with plans to become a future shopping center.
Fortunately, the locals of Indian River County raised enough money ($1.7 million) to purchase the garden oasis! Today, we explored the land which now is home to over 10,000 species of plants and trees as well as the largest water lily collection in the southeast!
When visiting the lush green landscape it was easy for us to social distance even on a weekend day! Even better yet, it’s open year round!
Our Trip to The Gardens
Since the park opened early, we decided to head down a few hours to beat the crowd. Especially since we were visiting during the weekend.
The main attraction is the “Grand Central” stickwork sculptures. It feels like we were transported to Tulum!
The newest addition is the Children’s Garden, making Mckee Botanical Gardens fun for the whole family!
From the entrance, if you take a right down the path, you’ll quickly run into Grand Central sculpture created by Patrick and Sam Dougherty. This whimsical installation has a similar look like the exhibit at Azulik Resort in Tulum, Mexico. It’s so breathtaking!
There’s still so much we need to explore at Mckee Botanical Gardens.
Where to Eat Nearby
Google Description: Upscale yet casual American eatery with an oceanfront veranda offers seafood & other elevated fare.
- Curbside pickup·
Address: 1050 Easter Lily Ln, Vero Beach, FL 32963
Lunch with a view