There was never a better time to surround ourselves with natural beauty, and what better places than the botanical gardens in Miami. And good news! They’re open to the public, and in one case at reduced rates. To really appreciate your visit, you can check out their sites, some of which offer video tours with history and highlights. Here’s the list of wonderful garden walks and an important note about Miami’s parks:
Note that all of the botanical gardens in Miami now require masks and have social distancing policies. Also, picnics are not permitted, and bring your own water.
Vizcaya’s 10 acre European-inspired gardens are among the most elaborate in the United States. Reminiscent of gardens created in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Italy and France, the overall landscape design is conceived as a series of rooms.The central space is dominated by low hedges in a geometric arrangement. Beyond that are the evocative Secret Garden, the intimate Theater Garden, the playful Maze Garden and the once-watery domain of the Fountain Garden. On either side of this designed landscape, James Deering preserved the native forest. Also find the orchidarium. Note, the main house is not open.
Details: Open Thursday to Monday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Reduced admission of $15 for adults; $12 for seniors and children. Tickets must be bought online with a time reserved. Vizcaya Gardens, 3251 South Miami Avenue.
Pinecrest Gardens is a 20-acre park, originally the location of Parrot Jungle. Showcasing the area’s natural features, the park’s gardens and forested areas boast a native cypress slough, tropical hardwood hammock, riverine landscapes, various specialty gardens (including a desert garden), and over 1000 varieties of tropical – native and nonnative – flora. Among its notable natural features, of which there are many, are remnants of the Snapper Creek streambed, a 30,000-year-old solution hole; a piece of cypress hammock that was once connected to Big Cypress National Preserve; a 100-year-old Cocoplum, and various other mature landmark trees.
For visitors wanting to connect and interact with nature, the park features tranquil paths that wind through the botanical garden, a meadowed lake viewing area – Swan Lake – with its resident wildlife, and fish populated waterways.
11000 SW 57th Avenue. Open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission, $5; seniors, $3.
In South Miami, Deering Estate, preserves the 1920s era Miami estate of Charles Deering, Chicago industrialist, early preservationist, environmentalist, art collector, philanthropist and first chairman of the International Harvester Company. Nestled along the coast in South Dade, the Deering Estate is a cultural asset and historic site listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Many areas are open for walking now, including Deering Point, People’s Dock, North Addition Environmentally Endangered Lands, and the Main Estate Grounds. Open daily from 10 AM to 5 PM (no admission after 4PM). Adults: $15; Youth (ages 4-14): $7; Military & senior discounts $2 off on Tuesdays.
Deering Estate Foundation Members: Free. Admission is purchased upon entry, located at the Main Gate on SW 72 Avenue. You can view videos here. Deering Estate, 16701 SW 72nd Avenue.
The preeminent botanical garden is the 83 acre Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens with numerous distinctions. See rare palms, cycads, orchids, and bromeliads, different varieties of ginger, and the largest collection of tropical bamboo in the world, with 125 species of bamboo. Love fruit trees? Find some of the world’s most exotic tropical fruits from the Amazon, Borneo, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.
The Tropical Flowering Trees collection displays over 740 species of flowering trees from all over the world. The most famous tropical flowering tree in Fairchild Gardens is the cannonball tree. The tree was planted in 1938 and is known for its fragrance. It is one of the only cannonball trees in the United States.
Finally, Fairchild Gardens is home to the only rainforest in the continental United States. The two-acre rainforest features waterfalls and cascades throughout. Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Appointments are required at 10, 12 or 2.For nonmembers admission is $25 for adults and $12 for children. New-members will receive 20% off becoming a Fairchild Member. Fairchild Gardens, 10901 Old Cutler Road.
In case you missed the news, 27 of Miami’s parks have reopened ranging from Kennedy Park in Coconut Grove to Tropical Park. They’re open for 12 hours a day, but note safety protocols are in order and no organized sports, sessions with trainers, and picnics and social gatherings are not permitted. Speaking of walks, South Pointe Park in Miami Beach has reopened and a stroll there is always a special treat.
And, certainly, speaking of botanical gardens in Miami, we can’t forget the The Kampong which hasn’t announced its reopening yet. Also, coming up June 2 is the reopening of the Morikami Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach and in mid- June, the Miami Beach Botanical Garden.
Love gardening? Check out this recent post.