Waterfall at Sunken Gardens in St. Petersburg, Florida

There are plenty of beautiful, unique places to explore in St. Petersburg, Florida. Sunken Gardens, a 100+ year old historical attraction, features an amazing collection of exotic plants and animals. Sunken Gardens is a tranquil place to visit when you need an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and hectic beach areas.

In 1903, George Turner drained a lake (15 feet below sea level) to create this beautiful place. Sunken Gardens officially opened in 1935 as Turner’s Sunken Gardens. In 1998, it became a historical landmark. This popular roadside attraction was once home to the world’s largest gift shop (now the restored entrance).

A Tropical Oasis

Today many of the same beautiful plants remain. Staff does a tremendous job maintaining and landscaping the grounds. Sunken Gardens truly is a beautiful place to take a rejuvenating stroll.

Shaded path at Sunken Gardens in St. Petersburg, Florida
Beautiful landscaping at Sunken Gardens in St. Petersburg, Florida
Large old palm tree at Sunken Gardens in St. Petersburg, Florida
Palms at Sunken Gardens in St. Petersburg, Florida
Palm trees at Sunken Gardens in St. Petersburg, Florida
Tall palm trees at Sunken Gardens in St. Petersburg, Florida
Sun peeking through the palm trees at Sunken Gardens in St. Petersburg, Florida
Cactus at Sunken Gardens in St. Petersburg, Florida

The entire garden is absolutely beautiful and relaxing, especially the many waterfalls found along the grounds.

Pretty waterfall at Sunken Gardens in St. Petersburg, Florida
Lush waterfall at Sunken Gardens in St. Petersburg, Florida
One of the many waterfalls at Sunken Gardens in St. Petersburg, Florida

The Koi pond is also gorgeous.

Koi pond at Sunken Gardens in St. Petersburg, Florida
Huge goldfish in the Koi pond at Sunken Gardens St. Petersburg, Florida

The palms from all over the world give the garden a lush tropical feel. Take a look below at this odd grey colored palm. The Bismark Palm is native to Madagascar.

Bismark palm at Sunken Gardens in St. Petersburg, Florida

Wildlife Habitat

Other highlights include: flamingos and exotic birds. The parrots are beautiful. If you are lucky, you may get to hear them speak a phrase or 2!

Flamingos at Sunken Gardens in St. Petersburg, Florida
Parrot at Sunken Gardens in St. Petersburg, Florida

The Australian Cockatoo is quite a unique sight. A staff member was nice enough to take the bird out of its’ cage and let us pet it. Oddly enough, the bird was very friendly and eager to be petted – a bit strange to me! Because she had been around the bird since it was hatched, the bird cuddled up with her as a cat would do – this was really neat to see!

Australian Cockatoo at Sunken Gardens in St. Petersburg, Florida

The Growing Stone

The growing stone, a limestone rock, was originally found in the lake. Supposedly, anyone who sits upon it will be granted “tranquility, inner harmony, and the talent to make things grow.”

Growing Stone at Sunken Gardens in St. Petersburg, Florida
Growing Stone at Sunken Gardens in St. Petersburg, Florida

I would definitely recommend a visit to Sunken Gardens, whether you are a local looking for something new to do, or a tourist looking for the best things to do in the area. Sunken Gardens is a fantastic place for a stroll anytime of the year. A summer visit is great for escaping the crowds at the beach, while a winter visit offers a refreshing change of pace from holiday shopping.

Location & Pricing Information

Sunken Gardens is located at 1825 4th St. N. in St. Petersburg.

Admission is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, and $6 for ages 2-17. Deals are often available on Groupon.

Hours are Monday-Saturday: 10am-4:30pm, and Sunday: Noon-4:30pm. Note that the last admission is sold at 4pm.