“The City Beautiful” is known around the world for its amazing theme parks and man-made attractions, but Orlando also offers a wide variety of lush, wonderful gardens that are not to be missed by nature lovers. To help you explore the best outdoor areas of O-Town, check out our round-up of the best spots in town.
Harry P. Leu Botanical Gardens
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Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens
633 Osceola Avenue, Winter Park, FL, USA, +1 407 647 6294
Central Park Rose Garden
There is a wonderful rose garden along the southern border of Central Park in Winter Park, an upscale suburb of Orlando, Florida, that’s wildly popular among locals, and for good reason. Central Park’s Rose Garden features dozens of beautiful rose bushes that were donated by a well-known couple in the neighborhood. There are plenty of benches as well as an iconic peacock fountain in the Central Park Rose Garden, making it a great place to visit for a family picnic, romantic date, or photography shoot.
111 W New England Avenue, Winter Park, FL, USA, +1 407 599 3334
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One of the most beautiful gardens you have to visit while in Orlando is the Mead Botanical Garden, a 48-acre urban oasis that’s open daily for free from sunrise to sunset. The vast space features several flowering gardens, tranquil pavilions, and wildlife habitats that visitors are welcome to explore through every season of the year. The Mead Botanical Garden offers several programs, including horticulture and gardening classes, guided birdwatching tours, and herb walks.
1300 S Denning Drive,Winter Park, FL, USA, +1 407 262 2049
Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival
You’ll get to see some great gardens throughout Walt Disney World’s Epcot Center no matter what time of year you visit, but the annual Flower and Garden Festival makes for a truly epic experience for plant lovers of all ages. As you stroll through the theme park you’ll see creatively crafted topiaries, plant beds, and themed gardens as well as living garden sculptures shaped like world-famous Disney characters.
Epcot Center Drive, Orlando, FL, USA, +1 407 939 5277
Nehrling Gardens, the former home of famous horticulturalist Henry Nehrling, was among Florida’s first experimental botanical gardens. Here, Dr. Nehrling conducted year-round experiments and tests on more than 3,000 tropical and subtropical plants that were relatively unknown at the time, and by the early 1900s the grounds had become a popular tourist destination for nature lovers. Touring the grounds of Nehrling Gardens, now a much smaller area than the original 40-acre plot, gives you a sense of his accomplishments in the variety of plants you can see in such a small space. Today, Nehrling Gardens continues to preserve the gardens, which include many of Dr. Nehrling’s original plantings and specimens of the original 100-year-old tree canopy, as a public education and resource center, providing tours, workshops, and other learning projects throughout the year.
2267 Hempel Avenue, Gotha, FL, USA, +1 407 445 9977