Fairchild Tropical Garden is an 83-acre reserve for tropical and sub-tropical plant life. It’s one of Miami’s most interest sights since South Florida is one of the few places in the continental United States where these plants flourish outdoors year-round.
The botanical garden and plant research center was founded in 1938 by plant-lover Colonel Robert Montgomery and named for his good friend and renowned botanist, David H. Fairchild.
The Garden offers miles of lakefront pathways to explore, and there is also a 40-minute tram tour included in the admission price.
Fairchild has one of the world’s largest collections of rare palms and cycads, plus numerous flowering trees and vines.
You can experience the sweet scent of ylang-ylang trees — its oil is used in Chanel No. 5 perfume –and check out African baobab trees with branches the size of tree trunks.
The Garden also includes a two-level, 16,428-square-foot Windows to the Tropics conservatory, which houses nearly 2,000 plant species from wet tropical regions around the globe, and the Gate House Museum of Plant Exploration which features plant artifacts, photographs, and text panels.
A great garden shop located by the property’s north entrance offers a broad selection of horticultural books, tableware, candies, and gifts with tropical flair.
The Whitman Tropical Fruit Pavilion showcases exotic fruits from Southeast Asia such as the mangosteen (a tangerine-sized fruit that tastes like a cross between a pineapple and a banana), the rambutan (sweet, tiny, hairy red fruit), and the durian (notorious for tasting great but smelling like fish sauce).
Fairchild Tropical Garden is located 18 miles from Miami Beach and is open daily 9:30 A.M.-4:30 P.M.
Fairchild Tropical Garden
10901 Old Cutler Road
Miami, Florida 33156