Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
USF Botanical Gardens Orchid Garden
USF Botanical Gardens Orchid Garden
Original photo by Carolina Gutfreund
Life > Experiences

5 Reasons to Visit USF’s Botanical Garden This Spring/

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at USF chapter.
Location & Price!

The botanical garden is free for students with proof of student ID, and $5 for non-USF students. It’s open from Tuesday – Sunday: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. When you arrive, walk up to the cashier in the main building and plant shop to make purchases and pay for entry. The USF Bullet red line stops at the Botanical Gardens. Click here to check bus routes. Once on the bus show the driver your student ID and you can enjoy your free, air conditioned ride to the gardens, all year round. Using public transit, or carpooling helps to lower your Carbon Footprint. The botanical gardens 12210 USF Pine Drive, Tampa, FL  33620. It is on the outskirts of campus closest to the Magnolia Fields and Magnolia  Apartments. It is also near off campus residences such as The Standard and University Square Apartments.

The Bamboo Garden 

During the winter months when the wind starts to blow the sounds that fill the bamboo garden will put you in a meditative state. The cool wind coming from Lake Behnke causes the bamboo to collide against each other causing them to creak gassing each other creating their peaceful sound. 

USF Botanical Gardens Bamboo Garden
Original photo by Carolina Gutfreund
Lake Behnke/The Wetlands

You can also get a glimpse of what the famous Florida Wetlands feel like. Lake Behnke and the Botanical  Gardens’ plants, cypress trees and soon to come Mangrove Forest, mirror that of wetlands like the Florida Everglades, on a much smaller level. However, it is still beautiful to get a taste of the beauty the wetlands have to offer.  

USF Botanical Gardens Lake Behnke/The Wetlands
Original photo by Carolina Gutfreund
The Nature Trail

The nature trail is a ½ mile untouched trail that allows people to be up close and personal with plants that are Native to Florida’s wetlands. Enjoy the woods complete with signs and QR codes that identify certain trees. Its winding turns will eventually lake you along the bank of lake Behnke and eventually drop you into the cactus and succulent section of the garden. 

USF Botanical Gardens Nature Trail
Original photo by Carolina Gutfreund
Max the Friendliest Cat you’ll ever meet! 

The garden is home to several cats. However, some are more friendly than others. Max is an older yellow cat that loves people. He can often be found sunning himself by the main office and plant shop. If you see him be sure to approach slowly and offer him lots of love!

USF Botanical Gardens Cat, Max
Original photo by Carolina Gutfreund
Carolina Gutfreund is a second year honors student double majoring in English with a Creative Writing concentration and Interdisciplinary Social Sciences with a dual concentration in Environmental Science and Policy and Social Relations and Policy. She is a climate advocate and the Treasurer of the Botanical Gardens Club at USF. She plans to work for the EPA when she is older. She has been published by the USF honors college, Thread magazine, and the Library of Congress.