After months of being confined to our homes, which for many has now become our office or work space, we need a place to get away…there is no better place to heal and recharge than McKee Botanical Garden, which is located on an 18-acre tropical hammock in beautiful Vero Beach featuring something for all ages.
Horticulture: McKee Botanical Garden is known for its horticulture beauty where native plants and exotic botanicals combine with Old Florida charm. The Garden features 10,000 native and tropical plants, as well as one of the largest waterlily collections in the state of Florida comprised of over 80 varieties and over 300 potted and 100 free-range plants, including night and day-blooming varieties. McKee’s ponds and waterways are currently adorned with a vast array of waterlilies in a variety of colors and fragrances.
History: Thousands of visitors come to the Garden each year to learn about McKee’s rich history and enjoy the natural landscape of majestic palms, exotic plants, trees, waterfalls, tranquil streams, and historic structures like the Hall of Giants and Spanish Kitchen. McKee Botanical Garden is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and endorsed by The Garden Conservancy as a project of national significance.
Art and Culture: The Garden is currently hosting its Ocean Sole Africa sculpture exhibition featuring 40 marine-life species created from recycled flip-flops that have washed upon the shore of Africa. Also, on display is internationally-acclaimed artist, Patrick Dougherty and his son Sam’s ‘Grand Central’ Stickwork sculpture that was created by Patrick and Sam in January 2020 with the help of McKee volunteers. This intricate masterpiece, which is made completely from willow branches, weaves and twists among the stately palms in the Royal Palm Garden.
Children’s Garden: The new Children’s Garden at McKee, which opened in January 2020, is a natural complement to McKee’s existing offerings and is designed to spark imagination and curiosity in children through interactive exploration where children can Explore, Discover, and Just Be a Kid. The Children’s Garden features include the Scorpion Shipwreck in the Grand Discovery Tree, a Fairy Circle & Fairy Forest Trail, Nautilus Shell Amphitheatre, Karst Splash Garden, Waterlily Fountain, Music Maze, Bamboo Village, Blue Crab Reading Circle & Stumpery, and Sandridge and Pollinator Garden. The Children’s Garden is featured in Florida’s I-95 Welcome Center Kids Zone display.
National Publicity: McKee was featured on the cover of Southern Living magazine in February 2020, which showcased Vero Beach, Amelia Island, and Apalachicola. The Garden has also garnered national attention in publications such as Better Homes and Gardens, Coastal Living, House and Garden, Travel & Leisure, and The New York Times. McKee was named one of “22 Secret Gardens – Soothing Places of Surprise and Sanctuary in the U.S. and Canada” by National Geographic Traveler. The Garden was awarded the Hall of Fame Excellence Award by TripAdvisor.com in 2019.
Research has found that exposure to nature offers mental and physical health benefits for both adults and children. Nature walks have been found to reduce stress, reduce depression, improve mental focus and immune system function. Come explore and discover the many wonders of McKee.
To see all of McKee’s offerings, please visit our website at www.mckeegarden.org.
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday (10 am – 5 pm), Sunday (Noon – 5 pm). Closed Mondays and major holidays. Last admission ticket is sold at 4 pm.
Admission: $15 Adults, $13 Seniors (65+)/Youth (13-17), $10 Children (2-12)/Military. McKee members and children under 2 free.
About McKee Botanical Garden
McKee Botanical Garden is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to nurture and enhance a historic garden in a unique tropical setting for the education, enjoyment and enrichment of all. McKee Botanical Garden is located at 350 US Highway 1 in Vero Beach.