In the early days, McKee Botanical Garden was originally opened as McKee Jungle Gardens in 1932 by Arthur G. McKee and Waldo E. Sexton. The duo populated the 80-acre tropical hammock with 300 animals, including macaws, toucans, flamingos, alligators, deer, wildcats, a wrestling bear and various types of monkeys. It contained more than 2,000 botanical species, as well as jungle trails and the 300-tree Cathedral of Royal Palms planted by Waldo. Later additions included Waldo’s Hall of Giants, which features the longest mahogany table in the world, and his outdoor Spanish kitchen, modeled after one Waldo had seen in Mexico. Today McKee Botanical Garden is filled with streams, ponds and trails with a focus on one of the most outstanding collections of waterlilies and orchids – augmenting native vegetation with ornamental plants and exotic specimens from around the world.
McKee has garnered national attention in publications such as Better Homes and Gardens, Coastal Living, House and Garden, Southern Living and The New York Times, and was named one of “22 Secret Gardens – Soothing Places of Surprise and Sanctuary in the U.S. and Canada” by National Geographic Traveler. In 2018, McKee was recognized by Coastal Living as “One of the Ten Most Romantic Places in Florida”. It is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places and endorsed by The Garden Conservancy as a project of national significance.
Spend the day at McKee Botanical Garden which is located at 350 US Highway 1. Visit the website at: https://mckeegarden.org/
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