As 2012 begins, I’ve decided to focus more on the travel aspect of my blog – Rebel Chick’s Journey is supposed to be mainly about travel and lifestyle, after all!
There are so many wonderful things to do in my own hometown, Miami, that I thought I’d start by sharing some of them with you. Honestly, even though I was born and raised in Miami, I am always finding new things to do!
Take Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens, for example. I had never been to Fairchild, despite the fact that I’ve driven past it a hundred or so times. So last year, when I heard about free entrance day to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden during National Parks Week, I decided to check it out!
As a native, most of the foliage was not new to me. However, it was amazing to walk around a beautifully landscaped park – and I do mean beautiful!
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is a unique place where you can walk through garden paths surrounded by the wonders and beauty of nature, talk to experts in horticulture and conservation science, view impressive art, and see butterflies and other wildlife at every turn.
What is there to do at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden?
Romp Through a Rainforest
Experience the tropics firsthand as you follow a rainforest stream through two acres of waterfalls, tropical palms, orchids and lush foliage in the Richard H. Simmons Rainforest. You have the opportunity to experience the plants and environment of the world’s dwindling rainforest ecosystems.
Enjoy the Lisa D. Anness Butterfly Garden and enjoy more than 30 species of native butterflies fluttering around as they interact with hundreds of butterfly nectar and larval host plants.
More than 4000 Palms and Cycads
Tour through the towering tropical palms and ancient rare cycads of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden’s world-renowned palm and cycad collections. There are species collected from across the globe by their plant scientists.
Experience the Edible Garden
Discover ways to grow various vegetables and herbs, as well as the best selections of tropical fruit for your own garden at home!
The Fairchild Arboretum is an eight-acre display of over 700 species of tropical flowering trees, collected from all over the world. Arranged by plant family, these collections show a diversity of form, structure, texture, color and fragrance. Adjacent to the Arboretum is the 560 foot long Vine Pergola, a historic stone and wood structure supporting a dazzling array of tropical flowering vines of every imaginable shape and color.
Explore the Unknown
Walk through The Windows to the Tropics Conservatory and explore the tropical world like never before as you view fantastic blooms, red trunked palms, massive tree ferns, rare cycads, unusual vines, gorgeous orchids and much more.
Art Meets Nature
Experience Yoko Ono’s Wishing Grove, as well as the art of Dale Chihuly, Daisy Youngblood and Freda Tschumy year round. There is also seasonal art from December to May each year from world-renowned artists which in the past have included Fernando Botero, Dale Chihuly, Roy Lichtenstein, Mark di Suvero, Yayoi Kusama and Claude and Francois-Xavier Lalanne.
Discover the wonderful world of cacti and succulents in the Lin Lougheed Spiny Forest of Madagascar which displays plants that come from one of the world’s most unique and unforgiving ecosystems.
Not Just for the Birds
The Keys Coastal Habitat is a four-acre bird lover’s paradise featuring a densely-planted collection of plants native to South Florida and the Florida Keys. It has been designed to attract migratory birds and other wildlife and is the perfect spot to spy a painted bunting or tiny warbler.
Admission and other Info…
Garden hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m, 364 days a year! The garden is only closed on Christmas Day, December 25.
Admission to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden includes all of the garden exhibits and a narrated tram tour (subject to availability). When available, walking tours and shuttle service are also included in admission.
Seniors (65 and over) $18
Children 6-17 $12
Children 5 and under Free
Fairchild members Free
There are always promotions and discounts available, if you aren’t able to make it on free park entrance day. Fairchild participates ine in the American Horticultural Society Reciprocal Program and the ASTC Passport Program, and offers AAA visitors a discount of $2 off regular adult admission.
You can learn more about free entrance days during National Parks Week and other special events celebrating our beautiful national parks here.