Deep Roots in Downtown St. Pete
St. Pete’s oldest living museum is a botanical paradise in the midst of the bustling city. The 100-year-old Sunken Gardens is home to some of the oldest tropical plants in the region. Meandering paths guide visitors through a living collection of more than thousands of plant species, tropical plants and flowers with lush demonstration gardens, cascading waterfalls, and a flock of flamingos.
As one of the last remaining Florida roadside attractions, this historic gem requires some additional care when visiting. Visitors to Sunken Gardens should prepare to stay on the paths, refrain from touching or climbing the plants and structures, and respect the animals’ space by viewing them from a distance. Gardens may be closed due to inclement weather.
Pre-registration is required for some programs. Please see event details for more information.
Wednesday, June 7 – Full Moon Yoga, Meditation & Sound Healing – 6:30 - 8pm
Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays – Yoga with Vandana Dillon – 10:30 - 11:45 a.m.
View the Sunken Gardens Calendar
Plan Your Visit
Sunken Gardens provides garden tours, horticultural programs, special events, field trips, weddings, private and corporate rentals.
Monday through Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Sunday: Noon to 4:30 p.m.
The last admission is sold at 4 p.m. daily.
Sunken Gardens is open on most holidays except for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, when the attraction is closed. The Sunken Gardens Business Office is closed on most holidays, while the Gardens remain open.
- Adults: $15
- Seniors (62+): $12
- Children (2-17): $6
Support Sunken Gardens and become a member! Enjoy unlimited admission and exclusive discounts all year. More information under Membership & Volunteer Opportunities below.
- Individual Membership: $50
- Family Membership: $100
For self-guided group visits, please submit your request form after reading over the information found under Group Visits.
Parking & Accessibility
A limited number of on-site parking spots for standard vehicles are available. Sunken Gardens cannot accommodate bus parking from October through May. Overflow parking is available along Crescent Lake Park (street parking) on the west side of 4th St. along 22nd Ave. N. Bus drivers may also choose to park at shopping center lots just north of Sunken Gardens on 4th Street N.
Most of our historic paths are ADA-accessible and span three-fourths of a mile. Wheelchairs/walkers are allowed, but not provided. Some paths have a steep incline, but there are alternate ways to access all areas. Limited seating is located throughout the gardens. Mature foliage provides ample shade with open, sunny areas located throughout. Contact Sunken Gardens for accessibility inquiries or concerns prior to visiting.
Only ADA service-trained dogs are permitted inside Sunken Gardens. During the visit, service animals must be harnessed or leashed, and must be under the guest's complete control and care (including clean-up). If these guidelines are not followed, guests will be asked to leave. Pets and emotional support animals (ESAs) are not allowed at this time. Guests with service animals are encouraged to check with Guest Relations on the day of visit to determine if access to any specific area is restricted on that day.
Membership & Volunteer Opportunities
Residents can deepen their relationship with Sunken Gardens by becoming a member or volunteer. Members receive unlimited annual admission to Sunken Gardens, giving them year-round access to this unique tropical garden experience. Sunken Gardens volunteers make new friends, participate in unique projects, and gain knowledge from their volunteer efforts.
Sunken Gardens Membership
Members of Sunken Gardens enjoy valuable "members only" benefits and help support new educational opportunities, children's programs, special events, and plant collections.
Members Only Benefits
- Unlimited free admission for one year during regular hours
- 10% discount in the gift shop (on regular priced merchandise)
- Free admission and shop discounts at more than 200 reciprocal gardens, arboreta, and conservatories in the United States, Caribbean, and Canada. A complete list of reciprocal gardens is listed at ashgardening.org.rap.
- Discounts and priority registration on specified workshops
- Access to horticultural information
- Discounts at local sister attractions, including the Museum of Science and Industry, Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Florida Aquarium, and Great Explorations (month of May).
Become a Sunken Gardens member today by visiting our ticketing office.
- Individual Membership: $50
- Family Membership: $100
Includes 2 household family member cardholders (valid ID required) and children 17 and younger. Family Membership holders receive all of the "members only" benefits listed above.
Please note: Due to the volume of attendance at special events, new memberships may not be processed or redeemed.
From garden caretakers to trained docents, Sunken Gardens volunteers help preserve and enhance this historic locale and provide opportunities for the community to enjoy this educational and cultural center.
Apply to Volunteer
Sunken Gardens accepts volunteers to assist with animals, help out at special events, run the gift shop, perform garden care, and as members of our speaker’s bureau.
Complete and return the Volunteer Application, and our volunteer coordinator will respond with next steps.
Apply to Become a Docent
Sunken Gardens docents have a passion for gardening and history and feel comfortable speaking in front of groups. Interested applicants should have a love of the environment, a willingness to learn, a reliable nature, and basic knowledge of tropical plants.
Docent training spans Sunken Gardens’ history, horticulture, and animal information, docent best practices, role-playing, and tour shadowing to provide a complete, well-rounded learning experience that prepares docents to lead tours with confidence. Training also requires spending a minimum of 10 hours of time outside of class getting familiar with the gardens, reviewing class information, and studying reading material. Once trained, docents will lead our volunteer coordinator through the Gardens before becoming an official docent. All docents are asked to lead at least one hour-long tour per month for groups of 10 to 25 people and may do so during a time that is most convenient for them.
Check back for future docent training applications and training dates.
Sunken Gardens Forever Foundation
The Flamingos Forever Committee was so successful in raising funds for the purchase of flamingos for Sunken Gardens that a non-profit organization, Sunken Gardens Forever Foundation, has been formed to support special projects at the Gardens. Visit their website and consider donating to help support Sunken Gardens!
ATTENTION: Group visit requests will be responded to within three business days.
For an in-depth Sunken Gardens experience, consider booking a docent-led tour for your group. Group tours are interactive, age-appropriate, and include the rich history of the site as well as fascinating details about the tropical plants and animals on site.
- Subject to standard admission prices. Free admission for one group escort and bus driver. No other discounts, coupons, or memberships may be used when booking a group visit.
- Minimum: 10 people; Maximum: 40 people
- Groups must book in advance and pay in one lump sum upon arrival. A deposit is not required.
- On average, a group tour can take between 1-2 hours.
- Self-guided groups of 10+ and max of 40 people are eligible for a group discount of $1 off general admission.
- Groups must pay in one lump sum upon arrival. A deposit is not required.
- An all-ages picture scavenger hunt is available to self-guided groups at no additional charge. Explore and learn about the flora, fauna, and rich history of Sunken Gardens with this fun interactive element.
Docent-led Group Tours
- Guided tours are offered from October – May. Tours are not guaranteed as they are based on volunteer docent availability.
- Group tours must be booked in advance and are available to groups of 10 or more.
- Tours are 1-1.5 hours long and cost standard admission prices.
- Tours may be requested to begin between 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tours are interactive, age-appropriate, and include the rich history of the site (over 100 years!) as well as fascinating details about tropical plants and animals.
- Reservations are required at least 2 weeks in advance by submitting the Group Tour Request Form to the Education Department. Please have the date of the tour and the estimated number of people in the group. Tours must be confirmed by a staff member via email prior to your visit to ensure a docent-led tour.
- No other discounts, coupons, or Sunken Gardens' Guest Passes can be used. Sunken Gardens' members must pay standard admission due to the special nature of the tour.
In contrast to the rapid pace of the city outside its vine-covered walls, Sunken Gardens offers a tranquil garden atmosphere that creates space for connection, reflection, and community. Sunken Gardens offers a prime location for weddings, private parties, seminars, luncheons, retreats, and receptions hosted by corporations, organizations, or individuals. Events held at the garden offer guests a unique experience in a venue that’s conveniently located near hotels, shopping, museums, dining, and entertainment.
Since 1935, Sunken Gardens has been a sought-after setting for exchanging vows. Hundreds of flowering plants, lush tropical displays, and serene waterfalls create a beautiful and tranquil atmosphere in which to say, “I do.”
Garden wedding ceremonies are offered on the historic Wedding Lawn, North Lawn, or under a canopy of shade trees in the Oak Pavilion; celebrations can be hosted in the Garden Room—part of the historic main building.
Call 727-551-3106 to book Sunken Gardens for a daytime or evening wedding. More details can be found in the Sunken Gardens Wedding Brochure.
Filming & Photography
Amateur, hobbyist photographers are welcome to take photos and videos on property. Professional and commercial photographers must make a appointment and pay a fee to utilize the grounds. This includes, but is not limited to: wedding, fashion/beauty, pregnancy, graduation, prom, engagement, & family photography. Please review the policy and submit a request utilizing the forms below:
In 1911 a plumber named George Turner, Sr. purchased the six acres that would later become a world famous botanical attraction. Using an elaborate maze of clay tiles, he drained an ancient lake on the property, leaving a rich muck soil that was ideal for his favorite hobby—gardening. Neighbors so enjoyed strolling through Mr. Turner's garden, that by the early 1930's he was charging a nickel for tours. George's wife, Mrs. Eula Turner shared her husbands love of plants and played a large role in establishing the gardens as a landmark. Their children and grandchildren continued the family vision and created this unique tropical garden with its flowing ponds.
The City of St. Petersburg purchased Sunken Gardens in 1999 with funds from a voter-approved tax. With the original vision in mind, the City works to preserve this historic botanical garden and use it to provide cultural and educational opportunities to the community.
Today, thousands of visitors a year enjoy the serene garden experience that Sunken Gardens offers. The space serves residents and visitors with garden tours, horticultural programs, and special events. Over 100 years after George Turner Sr. began investing in his hobby, Sunken Gardens remains a tranquil oasis nestled in the heart of St. Pete.