Welcome to The Botanic Gardens at Kona Kai Resort, one of only two frost-free botanic gardens in the southeastern USA. Our Botanic Gardens are a unique addition to your Florida Keys vacation experience.
Our Garden mission:The 4 E's: Enlightenment – Education – Enjoyment – Enrichment. As an ethnobotanic garden, The Botanic Gardens at Kona Kai Resort endeavors to enhance your understanding of the significant role plants play in our everyday lives.
Plants are ubiquitous – they provide us with the raw materials we need to live and thrive. Plants power our cars, factories and computers . . . are part of many of the things we build and much of what we eat, including, indirectly, the meat, dairy and fish we consume. Plants thrive on the threatening waste we create in the process of powering our lives (CO2) and plants provide the life-giving oxygen we all breathe.
Visit our Gardens or better yet, vacation here: Uniquely, The Botanic Gardens at Kona Kai Resort is, perhaps, the only botanicgarden with a hotel incorporated into the gardens. Visitors are able to stay, enjoying our gardens day and night. If plants have not yet captured your attention, a vacation here at Kona Kai Resort, Gallery and Botanic Gardens just might tweak your perspective.
While maintaining documented collections of living plants for the purposes of display, education, conservation and scientific research, our Gardens emphasis is ethnobotany: the study of the relationships between people and plants.
“Nearly every organism on this planet depends on plants for their survival,” says ecologist Brad Cardinale. The idea for The Botanic Gardens at Kona Kai Resort was born with this vision in mind and it is with this awareness that we invite you to grow your appreciation and understanding of the greenery all around you.
The general public is invited to reserve a guided ethnobotanic tour of The Gardens. As the grounds are otherwise reserved for registered guests, we require an advance reservation for our toursvia email or by calling 305-852-9766. Weather permitting, from December through mid-April tours are offered every day; during the rest of the year tours are scheduled Tuesday at 9:30am, Thursday at 4:30pm and Saturday at 9:30am. Additional tours are added upon request. Generally limited to a maximum of 6 adults (16+ years), tours last about 90 minutes. Our Garden tours are $25.00 per person, of which $20 is tax deductible. Because our gardens are supported by a 501c3 nonprofit organization, higher amounts are welcomed as your additional tax-deductible donation will help our gardens continue to grow
Registered guests of the resort get to live with and in the gardens, day and night, during their entire stay. For the botanic garden enthusiast or tropical vacationer, this is a one-of-a-kind experience. Registered guests are encouraged to reserve space on one of our scheduled guided tours; while our introductary tour is complimentary, donations to help support our garden mission are encouraged. Registered guests are also invited to enjoy complimentary self-guided tours, at any time during their stay, using our smartphone enabled signage.
Custom tours of the gardens and our 'backyard,' Everglades National Park, are available, as are topic specific symposia in our new conference center. At this time, custom tours and symposia do not have scheduled times or subjects, thus advance request is required. Please use this link to request further information.
Please join us for a most memorable tropical vacation, which might include many unique activities, including experiencing our tropical ethnobotanic gardens 24/7! If you can't do that, give us just 90 minutes of your time and join one of our guided tours - it will likely change the way you experience your world.
With over 250 documented tropical species, The Botanic Gardens at Kona Kai Resort, overlooking Everglades National Park, is unique to South Florida.
Most botanic gardens are tens or hundreds of acres and oftentimes they prove to be quite overwhelming. That is one of the unique things about The Botanic Gardens at Kona Kai Resort . . . while our gardens are packed with many genera and species, they are quite compact and thus a great introduction to understanding the tropical plant universe.
Our collections, documented in BG-Base, a well known botanic database, are guided by our Collections Policy. For pre or post visits, our smartphone site serves as an adjunct to our unique ethnobotanic tour. In 2013, as our Living Collections database comes on-line, we’ll be enabling botanic gardens, botanists and amateur gardeners worldwide to search our complete records.
Our Supporters:The Botanic Gardens at Kona Kai Resort was founded and is currently supported by Kona Kai Resort owners Joe and Ronnie Harris. To continue and expand our work, your generous donations are encouraged. We have begun a membership and a Patron Program and invite you to inquire about actively supporting our gardens at this e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, where you will reach Garden Executive Director Joe Harris.
Independent of the resort, The Botanic Gardens at Kona Kai Resort operates as a 501c3 not-for-profit organization. A satellite partner of The Fairchild Challenge, we are striving to serve the community, as well as the world at large, by promoting concepts that support bio-diversity and an expanded human ecological view.