Florida Guide > Days Out
Sarasota Jungle Gardens
Sarasota Jungle Gardens are located on Bay Shore Road in Sarasota which is on the Gulf Coast side of Florida. These gardens have been operating since the 1940s. This makes them one of the oldest atractions in Florida.
At one time this area was swampy and grew only bananas; however, in the 1930s a newspaperman bought 10 acres with the intention of creating an exotic garden.
Later, he was joined in this venture by a friend and together they imported literally thousands of plants and trees from around the world.
There was no early intention to open the gardens to the public, but that is what happened and since that time the gardens have evolved into what we can visit and enjoy today.
Now a little about the animals; most of these animals have been rescued from bad conditions or have been donated by owners who simply cannot cope any more. The birds come from bird rescue organisations and the Florida crocodile are on loan from a local alligator farm.
These gardens cover 10 acres of tropical planting by way of winding jungle trails. The canopy it provides is very welcome on a hot day. In all there are around 3000 plants here, some dating back to those early days.
The flamingos roam freely and you are invited to hand feed them during your visit so have a camera ready.
There are 3 shows to enjoy here during your day:
' The Reptile Encounter' takes place twice a day and tells you all you want to know about these creatures. Afterward, there is an opportunity to handle an alligator which provides another great photo opportunity.
' Birds of the Rain forest' also happens twice a day and features a performing bird show. A great hit with the younger children.
' Birds of Prey, Critters and Things' only takes place once a day so keep an eye on your watch. This covers anything that crawls, wiggles or slithers and also owls and red tail hawks.
There is a cafeteria here that sells snacks and drinks or you are welcome to bring a picnic. Afterwards there is a themed play area where the youngsters can run it all off again.
Sarasota Jungle Gardens are open from 10. a. m. to 5. p. m. every day except Christmas and Thanksgiving days. The admission is $45 per adult and $30 per child. O. A. Ps get a concession rate of $40.
Sarasota Jungle Garden
3701 Bay Shore Road
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