Visit the Marie Selby Gardens in Sarasota

For a fun Florida vacation for the entire family, look no further than gorgeous Siesta Key. This hidden gem of the Sunshine State delivers everything you could want from a Florida getaway: bright sunshine, soft white sand, mouth-watering seafood, and interesting history. Siesta Key is never crowded but is close to exciting attractions in nearby cities like Sarasota. 

One of the most fascinating places to visit in Sarasota is the Marie Selby Gardens, an incredible destination that will appeal to every member of your group, even the indoor people! The best part? It’s just a few minutes’ drive from our Siesta Key resorts. 

History of the Gardens

Marie Selby Gardens is named for Marie Selby, who was born in West Virginia in 1885 and moved to Sarasota with her husband in the early 1920s. Marie was passionate about landscaping and flowers, and she was a charter member of Sarasota’s first Garden Club. The William and Marie Selby Foundation was established in 1955 with an emphasis on education, youth and children, and programs for all ages. Marie passed away in 1971, and her final wish was fulfilled on July 7th, 1975, when the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens officially opened.

What to Do

There are tons of interesting exhibits to discover at the gardens. Let your kids wander through the Rainforest Garden and explore the bonsai exhibit and koi pond, or head to other sections including the Desert, Great Lawn, Mangroves, and more. Each section provides a distinct look into the various habitats that make up our planet.

In addition to all of the interesting exhibits, you can also dine at the gardens. Selby House Cafe is a great place to grab a quick sandwich or pastry, all while enjoying the beautiful view of gardens. Don’t forget to stop by the garden shop for all your botanically inspired souvenirs!

Marie Selby Gardens in Siesta Key Florida

Visiting the Gardens

Marie Selby Gardens is located at 900 South Palm Avenue in Sarasota. They are open daily from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Admission is $20 for adults, $10 for youth ages 4 to 17, and free for ages 3 and under. You can find parking on Palm Avenue or Orange Avenue, but if those lots are full, you can find free city parking lots like the Burns Square Parking Lot on Orange Avenue. There are also three city garages close by. Marie Selby Gardens are handicap accessible, and complimentary wheelchairs can be found at the Welcome Center.


The gardens hold multiple events throughout the year, so you can always find something fun to discover with your sweetheart or family. Their annual Halloween Spooktacular is always a fun fall event, or you can celebrate New Year’s Eve at the Gardens to ring in 2020. Lights in Bloom is a beautiful Christmastime celebration, or you can get in on any of the fun classes taught throughout the year. Before your visit, visit the Gardens’ website for a full calendar of events happening while you’re in town.


If you’re in the Siesta Key area for your big day, make Marie Selby Gardens a part of it! Holding your wedding at the Gardens can be a beautiful and serene experience, full of natural elegance and historical charm. You can hold your ceremony on the north side of the island at Christy Payne Mansion Lawn, Bay Lawn, or Michael’s on the Bay. 

Alternatively, you can opt for the south side of the lawn where you will find the Schimmel Wedding Lawn and Pavilion, Ann Goldstein Children’s Rainforest Garden, and the Banyan Tree.

No matter which of these backdrops you opt for, you are guaranteed to have a gorgeous ceremony to parallel the most exciting day of your life. Contact the Gardens for more information about booking.

Visit The Resort

The Marie Selby Gardens is a beautiful destination just minutes from our hotel on Siesta Key. For more information on the Gardens, the Sarasota and Siesta Key areas, and our Siesta Key hotel, contact us today!

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