Florida in the Spring
A pathway guides visitors into
a wonderland of nature at
Maclay Gardens State Park.
Maclay Gardens State Park
The walled garden is one of
the most popular spots at
Maclay Gardens and features
a distant view of Lake Hall.
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Maclay Gardens State Park, Florida
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Maclay Gardens State Park, Florida
Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park - Tallahassee, Florida
Maclay Gardens State Park
These beautiful gardens in Tallahassee are among
the most spectacular in the South.
Springtime in Florida's Capital
The South is noted for the spectacular colors
of its dogwoods, azaleas and other spring
flowers. Beautiful public and private gardens
dot the landscape, but few can rival the
stunning beauty of Maclay Gardens in
Florida's capital city.

The Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park in
Tallahassee is a beautiful natural and
historical preserve and recreational area
covering hundreds of acres just north of
Interstate 10. Each spring, however, it draws
visitors to experience what once was one of
the finest private gardens in the South. It is
now a public treasure.

The beautiful gardens were conceived and
planted by Alfred B. and Louise Maclay, who
purchased the property as a winter home.
Beginning in 1923, they crafted what has
rightfully been called a "masterpiece of floral

Originally called "Killearn" after a village in
Scotland, the gardens became a labor of love
for Mr. Maclay. He spent hundreds of hours
working and planning the beautiful plantings
that would become his legacy. By the time of
his death in 1944, Killearn Gardens had
achieved recognition as one of the most
beautiful spots in America.

The gardens created by the Maclay family are
absolutely breathtaking, especially during
late March when they are in full bloom.
Bordering pathways that wind along the
shores of Lake Hall, there are stunning
cascades of azaleas, camellias, dogwoods
and even mountain laurel.

Specially designed to create a stunning
explosion of color each spring (the time
when the family concluded its winter visit to
Tallahassee), the gardens are a national

Visitors enter by way of an ornamental iron
gate that opens onto a beautiful brick path
that curves its way through the spectacular
gardens. The original Maclay House (open
during the spring) awaits at the end of the
path and side paths lead off into the beautiful
flowers and gardens. Nature abounds as
visitors wind their way through acres and
acres of ornamental gardens.

Some highlights include beautiful pools of
water surrounded by hundreds of blooming
shrubs and trees, a walled garden, a
reflecting pool, quiet nooks for absorbing
nature and a sense of being in a special and
wonderful place.
Delightful Natural Settings
Maclay Gardens combine
landscape architecture with
natural settings to create a
stunning masterpiece.
A 307 acre parcel including the gardens were
given to the people of Florida by Mrs. Maclay
and her children in 1953. The land forms the
nucleus for today's Alfred B. Maclay Gardens
State Park. The gardens were included on
the National Register of Historic Places in

Please click here to view additional photos of
the gardens in bloom.

Now covering 1,176 acres, the park features
a wide variety of opportunities for visitors. In
addition to the famed gardens, there are
recreational facilities, historic sites and
nature trails. Maclay Gardens State Park is off
U.S. 319 one half mile north of I-10.

Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park is open
365 days a year from 8 a.m. to sundown. The
gardens are open 365 days a year from 9
a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to the park is $6 per
vehicle (or $4 if only one person is in the car).
There is an additional $6 per person ($3 per
children 2-12) fee to visit the gardens during
the blooming season (January - April).

Please click here for more information.
Copyright 2012 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.
Azaleas & Butterfly
A Monarch settles on
blooming azaleas at Maclay
Gardens State Park in
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Spring Blooms continue at Maclay Gardens. Be sure to visit soon!