Want to step away from the hustle and bustle of daily life and immerse yourself in a lush oasis? Palma Sola Botanical Park — located in the “Old Palma Sola” area of Northwest Bradenton — is home to gorgeous, tranquil gardens, abundant wildlife, and three lakes. Here you’ll find rare palms, fruit trees, flowering trees, and other subtropical plants.
Admission to the park is free, and visitors can spend the day wandering through the gardens, visiting the screened pavilion, and enjoying some time relaxing on the park’s swing or in one of the gazebos.
Palma Sola Botanical park has come a long way since it was first established by local citizens and community groups in 1990. In the year 2000, they added an administrative and educational building, known as The Galleria, and a multipurpose/reception area, called The Baden Building.
Since then, The Gulfcoast Plumeria Society established a “Lei Garden” with two groves of Plumeria trees from around the world. The Manatee Rare Fruit Council also planted and continues to maintain an exotic fruit tree section. Each tree bears an identification post, creating a fun, interactive learning experience.
The park is now one of the area’s most stunning backdrops for celebrations. They rent out the space for weddings, reunions, showers, parties, meetings, workshops, fundraisers, corporate events, club events, and more.
It’s also home to The Hidden Garden Nursery. This gem is located inside the park, tucked away behind the Butterfly garden. They sell exotic plants, bromeliads, succulents, and more. All of the plants are home-grown and reasonably priced.
Palma Sola Botanical Park Needs Your Support!
Like most businesses and organizations, the park suffered some financial difficulties during the COVID-19 shutdowns. The park is run by The Palma Sola Botanical Park Foundation, which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Most of their revenue comes from renting the space for events, and almost all were canceled when COVID-19 struck. However, the costs to maintain the gardens and the park didn’t go away.
Many events have re-booked beginning in October. However, the park could still use some support to ensure that they’re able to continue offering free admission. You can support the park by visiting it in person and making a donation (even a small one!) while you’re there. They’ve also set up a GoFundMe to raise funds for necessary maintenance and upkeep.
Another great way to support the park is to plan to attend one of their exciting upcoming events. Here are two you’ll want to add to your calendar!
Fall Plants & More Sale
Saturday, October 3rd from 8 am until 3 pm.
Come by the park and check out the selection of native and exotic plants for sale. There will also be artisans in wood, pottery, textiles, jewelry as well as food (barbecue and sweet treats) and music. Social distancing and face masks are encouraged.
Winter Nights Under the Lights
December 17th through 21st from 6 pm until 9 pm
You won’t’ want to miss the park’s gorgeous holiday light display! During this event, you can take your time strolling through the gardens and enjoy some sweet treats and a visit from Santa! Entry to this event will be free. However, there will be donation boxes throughout the area where you can give what you can spare to help support the park.
Palma Sola Botanical Park is located at 9800 17th Ave NW, Bradenton, FL 34209. This 10-acre park is open 7 days a week from 8 am until sunset. The Hidden Garden Nursery is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday 9 am until 5 pm.
Have you had a chance to visit Palma Sola Botanical Park in Bradenton? If so, head over to their listing and leave them a review!