Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park, Tallahassee

(320+ reviews on the web)
Garden Wildlife Area
The Alfred B. Maclay State Gardens is a 1176acre Florida State Park, botanical garden and historic site, located in Tallahassee, in northwestern Florida. The address is 3540 Thomasville Road.The gardens are also a U.S. historic district known as the Killearn Plantation Archeological and Historic District. It received that designation on August 16, 2002. According to the National Register of Historic Places, it contains 18 historic buildings, 4 structures and 4 objects.HistoryThe gardens began in 1923 when Alfred Barmore Maclay and his wife, Louise Fleischman, bought the site. Maclay named his gardens Killearn, after the birth place of his great-grandfather in Scotland, and developed them continuously until his death. His wife continued their development, opened them to the public in 1946, and in 1953 donated some 307acre of their estate, including the gardens, to the Florida Board of Park Service. In 1965 the gardens were renamed in Maclay's honor, to avoid confusion with the new adjacent development called Killearn Estates.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Visited spontaneously with out of town guests recently, in the early evening. They were as enchanted by the gardens, the lake, and tranquility as I remember from childhood visits. A very special place...  more »
  • I've visited Tallahassee many times and this is my first visit to the Garden State Park and I must say, I wish I had discovered it sooner! Lots of scented flowers, beautiful wildlife ( I love bunnies)...  more »
  • A wonderful park area with flowers, a lake and many paths for exploring. There is a small fee (4 usd I guess) to enter the park. Definitely worth it.  more »
Google
  • GORGEOUS park! It's a wonderful place to relax and get away from the sounds of traffic, and even nap under a tree! It's beautiful any time of year, but even more so when everything is in bloom. Hands down one of the best places to visit in Tallahassee.
  • The lake area is my favorite shady picnic spot in Tallahassee. Also an awesome place to rent a kayak! Tons of trails and manicured gardens, really something for everybody.
  • At the park entrance the Ranger can give you good information. There is an extra fee to visit the gardens during the blooming season. Pets not allowed in the gardens. But the park is much bigger than just the garden area. The first turn off leads the the lake, the second area you come to is the parking for the gardens, and you can continue past the parking area and down a dirt road to the back area of the park where dogs are allowed. We strolled the gardens and met the very helpful volunteer at the house who can give you lots of historical info. Everything was left exactly as the family had it. We missed peak bloom by just a week or two. Visited in late march 2017. Its still a great garden to visit, with lots of garden "rooms" lots of people were there taking photos for engagements & sororities. The previous day a triathlon had been held at the park. We got our bikes and then rode from the garden parking area to the 4 mile loop around lake Overstreet. There are also other trails you can take for a longer ride if you have a mountain bike. We had hybrid bikes and they were able to do the trail ok but a mountain bike would have been better. Very shady. Lots of poison ivy off of the trail so beware if your walking dogs. I think I also picked up tiny ticks here too, and I was biking not walking. Its a beautiful treasure for Tallahassee
  • Best place to relax in northeast Florida. Beautiful gardens; water to kayak, swim or row on; and trails to explore (walk, bike, or jog). A gem.
  • Beautiful park with well-maintained trails. Lake is peaceful and home to many species of birds. Dogs are allowed on the trails. The trails aren't difficult at all and we saw a lot of families and older people. We didn't go to the gardens this time but it's supposed to be lovely from late January to March. The recreation center at the other end of the park has a small swimming area, picnic tables, and other facilities.