The world’s natural beauty can get lost in our fast-paced environment and nine-to-five jobs. Mother Nature has a way of transporting people into a state of grace. Comfort and serenity settle in as worries fade away at the warm embrace of nature. Computer screens, house chores and water bills are all be left behind for a day when you visit South Florida’s public gardens, which spread from Pinecrest to Davie. Here are some of the best homes to exotic plants, animals and trees from all over the globe.
3750 So. Flamingo Road
Davie, FL 33330
Flamingo Gardens is 110 acres of nature, floral scents and exotic plants. It is a historical gem and among the oldest botanical gardens in South Florida. It was established by former commissioner of Port Everglades Floyd Wray and his wife Jane Wray in 1927. Home to 16 so-called champion trees, 3,000 exotic plants, 200 birds, butterfly enclosures and rescued animals from all around the world. Don’t want to walk the whole way through? No problem. There is a narrated tram tour that takes you through a tropical rainforest, wetlands and many more surprises that you should see for yourself. There is also a wildlife-encounter show three times a day where you can learn about rescued animals. It is open daily from 9:30 a.m to 5 p.m., so make sure to wake up early to enjoy the garden all day long. The entrance price ranges from $15.95 to the highest of $21.95, and reserving online gives you a $2 discount. This non-profit botanical garden is ready to take you on a nature-loving experience of a lifetime.
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
3251 So. Miami Ave.
Miami, FL 33129
Want to travel back in time while enjoying nature? Make sure to visit Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, where you’ll be transported to the year 1910. Enjoy its 10 acres of Italian-inspired waterfront garden and breathtaking landscape. Perfectly trimmed bushes, colorful plants, historical interiors and worldwide artifacts are just some of what Vizcaya has to offer. Come and visit Monday through Wednesday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Make sure to buy your tickets online. They range from $10 to $25. A walk around this garden will leave you with an unforgettable experience and maybe a desire to move to Italy.
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
10901 Old Cutler Road
Coral Gables, FL 33156
Want to enjoy nature with a twist? Make sure to visit the 83 acres of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. It gets its name from one of the world’s most famous plant explorers, David Fairchild. He visited all the continents of the world except for Antarctica and brought back more than a hundred plants. This garden was established in 1938 and is named the best garden in North America by USA Today. Different locations in the garden include the arboretum and the Geiger Tropical Flower Garden, butterfly garden, cycad collection, Jewels of the Caribbean, Lin Lougheed Spiny Forest of Madagascar, tropical plant conservatory and rare plant house. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Entrance prices range from $11.95 for children to $24.95 for adults, and children five and under can come visit free of charge. If you are a student, make sure to bring your school ID to get a discount. From April 30 to August 28, sculptures made out of Legos by the artist Sean Kenney are scattered around the garden. Events for the family are available, and even your furry friends are invited. Every Sunday from 8 to 10 a.m, the garden has “dog dates,” in which a man’s best friend can tag along.
11000 SW 57th Ave.
Pinecrest, FL 33156
Pinecrest Gardens is located in the former home of Parrot Jungle. In 2003 it became a dedication to the Village of Pinecrest. The garden is home to the calabash tree, fish feeding waterfall, turtle island, rainforest grotto, banyan tree, swan lake, meadow desert garden and sausage tree. The petting zoo is being renovated but will be up and running by August for all guests to enjoy nature’s wildlife. There is also a Splash ‘N Play Zone in which kids ages 2 to 12 can play. Access these benefits for an affordable general admission of $3 to $5 dollars. Hours of operation vary depending on the season but usually are open daily from 9 p.m. to 5 p.m. This garden is a 15-minute drive from Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden. If you are looking to spend a day enjoying nature’s beauty, you can explore one garden right after the other.
Miami Beach Botanical Garden
2000 Convention Center Dr.
Miami Beach, FL 33139
This three-acre botanical garden was opened to the public in 1962. It was a plant nursery until they decided to expand. Nowadays, it is a free-admission garden that includes orchids, flowering trees, 100 palm species, a koi pond, fountains, a Japanese garden, a native garden and a garden of edible plants. The only thing you have to pay for is the $4 per hour meter parking charge along 19th Street or a $2 per hour fee in the convention center parking garage. The garden is open to the public and pets Tuesdays through Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is a self-guided tour where you can use your phone to call or scan barcodes for an audio of each station. While enjoying garden views, you can have a picnic at the tables or benches available. It is a perfect escape and only a few minutes away from the beach.