Looking for something to do? Why not explore Dunlawton Sugar Mill Gardens at 950 Old Sugar Mill Road in Port Orange, offering expansive botanical gardens bursting with indigenous plants and wildlife? It is open daily except for Christmas and New Year from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
While you can learn about the property’s more well-known 19th century sugar mill that withstood two Seminole Wars, you can also stroll the Sugar Mill Garden pathways adorned by stately oaks, which are gently draped with Spanish moss, and lovely blooms, which provide a haven for butterflies and pollinators. There are also benches, a gazebo and a view of a gorgeous stone bridge along the way. In fact, you can even find locally sourced honey for sale there, as well as limited edition artwork of the scenic gardens surrounding that bridge.
These Sugar Mill grounds and gardens are managed and maintained by the Botanical Gardens of Volusia County, a non-profit organization made up solely of volunteers. Volunteers are on hand Wednesday and Saturday mornings to answer questions and help you make a purchase. Plus, there are Master Gardener Sessions held the second Wednesday of every month from 9-11 a.m. for plant discussions and inquiries
Fun fact: This property was also once a theme park and contains large, concrete dinosaur statues! You may even see the resident giant ground sloth! Both, of course, are fan favorites of the kiddos.