For more than a century, Sunken Gardens has been a tropical oasis in the middle of downtown St. Pete

Sunken Gardens, St. Petersburg’s oldest living museum, is a botanical paradise amid a bustling city. It was developed by George Turner in 1903 and he opened to the public around 1935. Since then it has become a historical roadside attraction.

"When folks come to Sunken Gardens, they’re kind of transported to a different place than what you’d expect in a downtown city. It’s very tranquil. Some people think it’s about 30 or 40 acres, but it’s not. It’s about three to four acres, but the way George designed the gardens, it makes you feel like you’re meandering through trails and it feels much larger than it is," explained Dwayne Biggs with Sunken Gardens.

Sunken Gardens was originally a sunken hole or pond with a lot of muck in it. Turner pumped the water out and started planting what has grown into a beautiful oasis in St. Petersburg.

Turner started off growing fruits such as bananas and papayas, and some are still in the garden today, but the gardens also feature an array of plants from all over the world. 

Biggs said, "There’s always something blooming at Sunken Gardens."

In addition to plants, there are a variety of animals that call the gardens home.  Biggs said two of the flamingoes have been on site since the 1950s or 1960s. It is also in the process of revitalizing its macaw exhibit. 

Biggs shared that people visit the gardens from all over the world and some of the regulars drop by once a week or every other day.

"It’s one of those places that kind of takes you back to what old Florida was and still is in some respects. There’s been a lot of celebrities here, models and fashion shows. It’s just one of those places that you really feel what Florida is all about," Biggs added.

LINK: Learn more about Sunken Gardens online here

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