Kanapaha Botanical Gardens is a 68-acre botanical garden in Gainesville, FL that is home to Florida’s largest public display of bamboo and the largest herb garden in the Southeast. Wind your way along the 1 1/2 miles of accessible paved pathway and explore the 24 unique plant collections found throughout the gardens.
Some of these collections include the Butterfly Garden, Children’s Garden, Rose Garden, Azalea/Camelia Garden, Palm Hammock, Vinery, Woodland Garden, Rock Garden and much more.
We recommend starting on the east side of the park, as this side has the majority of the walking and gardens. It is a big loop, so start on one side and you’ll end up back at the entrance to the park. Then if your group is feeling up for it, head over to the Water Gardens on the west side of the park.
Kanapaha (Kuh-NAP-uh-hah) is derived from two Native Timuqua words that mean “palmetto leaves” and “house”. The garden, which opened to the public in 1986, is named for nearby Lake Kanapaha.
Things to Do at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens
There is plenty to see and do at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens and you can easily spend a few hours observing the different plants around the property. There is also a number of relaxing water features around the park including ponds and waterfalls. Additionally there are a few sinkholes that can be observed from the path in the southeast corner of the park.
Kids will love the play area located in the Children’s Garden and the Labyrinth maze near the park entrance.
This is also an excellent place for a picnic. There are picnic tables near the entrance of the gardens, plus multiple gazebos and benches throughout the trail. Additionally, you are able to bring a blanket and enjoy a picnic lunch anywhere on the lawn.
Our favorite gardens in the park are:
Bamboo Garden: it’s quaint and relaxing to be surrounded by tall forests of bamboo
Woodland Garden: a winding path through the woods, with beautiful water features and a gazebo
Rock Garden: a cactus lovers dream!
Spring Flower Garden: beautiful, colorful blooms, and the pink saucer magnolia trees are breathtaking when in bloom
Events at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens
Kanapaha Botanical Gardens hosts a number of annual events including a Spring Garden Festival, Fall Plant Sale and Orchid Show, Moonlight Walk, Bamboo Sale and more.
They also offer guided walking tours of the gardens on the first Saturday of each month at 10 am.