Pinellas County Heritage Village and Botanical Gardens

Pinellas County Heritage Village and Botanical Gardens: 11909 125th Street North Largo, Fl.
This indoor/outdoor museum was established in 1976 and features live demonstrations, reenactments and a walking tour of 19th century Florida historical buildings.
Originally part of Pinewood gardens, the county set aside 20 + acres to showcase and preserve the living history of Hernando, Pinellas & Pasco counties.  They brought in 24 real historical buildings including the house of seven Gables, an original general store, train depot, schoolhouse, church, and log cabin.
They are currently constructing a boat museum to chronicle the marine history in the Tampa Bay Area as well.
It is a walking tour with certain larger buildings offering docents on the hour and half hour. Because it is a walking tour you can go at your own pace, skip places that are crowded and come back to them later. It is also all outdoor, however the Florida Pines provide great shade and help cool off in the heat. Picnic tables are available at no cost, in fact the entire park is FREE.  Even parking was FREE.
At the edge of the park is a bridge, cross over it and you head into the botanical gardens which is also free. The botanical gardens were beautiful however we didn’t stay very long because the kids were tired.
I went with kids ages 4 1/2 up to 9 1/2. I would not take a child younger than the age of four here. Because of the walking, because it is outdoors, and because some of the buildings do not allow you to touch many things it could be a little boring for a younger child. However my 4 1/2 year-old loved the schoolhouse, as well as the train depot, post office, and garage. There was plenty of things to play with, touch, and manipulate that it kept her attention. In fact all of the kids had a blast!
Pros: It’s FREE!!
Cons: It’s far from Polk; getting there took me just over an hour. However on the way home I hit traffic on 275 and on I-4 and it took me just under two hours to get home.
Insider tip: Pack a lunch. There is no concession stand or place to eat in the park. It opens at 10 AM, so you can walk around for two hours, stop to eat lunch at one of the picnic tables and then walk over to the botanical gardens. You can make a whole day of it! We did! We loved it.

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