Miami is one of the world’s top destinations for glistening beaches and sultry nights in the city. Its lush vegetation and tropical climate attract travelers from all over the globe, but there’s one place worth visiting that some may overlook. From pristine gardens to events, educational programs and conservation efforts, this world-class venue has something for everyone. Let’s explore six of the top reasons to visit the enchanting Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden on your next trip to Miami.
What to Expect at the Gardens
1. Lush Landscapes
The first (and most obvious) reason to visit the Fairchild is to take in the seemingly endless green spaces and floral flair. With a collection of more than 3,400 species, it’s no wonder that this is considered one of the utmost prominent botanical gardens in the country. Among 83 acres of lush greenery, you’ll find a Butterfly Garden, a Rainforest Garden, and the Baobab Tree Grove that boasts sky-high, century-old African Baobab trees. Their impressive height and durability will leave you full of wonder and amazement!
In addition to these larger gardens, there are several smaller gardens that are equally as beautiful. The Edible Garden features an array of fruits, vegetables and herbs native to South Florida, but my personal favorite are the whimsical Orchid Gardens. You’ll find upwards of 50,000 tree-attached orchids in an effort to reestablish a thriving orchid population once damaged by poachers and urbanization. Their Million Orchid Project aims to propagate 1,000,000 native orchids for reintroduction to several public spaces around South Florida. There are a variety of orchids in three main exhibits throughout the “uplands” – the Tropical Orchid Rainforest, Caribbean Jewels, and the South Florida Native Orchid Hammock.
2. Educational Experiences & Workshops
The Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is not only beautiful, but there’s much to learn about, too! A day spent here serves as an excellent educational tool for anyone interested in learning more about our ecosystems, conservation and horticulture. In fact, the garden offers a wide selection of programs and workshops, many of which are included in admission. Some of the most popular programs are guided tours and bird walks, along with workshop topics like photography and gardening.
For those that wish to take it a step further, you can also participate in unique citizen science projects. These initiatives allow guests to contribute to real scientific research by collecting data on an assortment of subject matters. It’s a hands-on way to learn more about our natural environment while also lending your assistance to meaningful scientific studies.
3. Family-Friendly Activities
Fear not, families! Your kids will delight in the adventures that await them at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. On any given day there are scavenger hunts, garden tours geared towards children, events, or family picnics taking place. Become a certified explorer and collect new pins for every completed mission! Moreover, if your little ones need to let their inner adventurer out, the Children’s Garden is just the place to be.
P.S. Kids 5 and under get in for FREE!
*Check their website for summer camp or Kids Club options.
4. Doggie Dates
Fur babies are a part of the family at Fairchild. While most places of such prestige typically restrict access to pets, they’re more than welcome to join the festivities here. In fact, Fairchild hosts a myriad of special events just for you and your pup. Aside from strolling the gardens, past events have included a Dog Bazaar, pet portraits, glow nights, and more!
5. Conservation Efforts
Since its inception in 1938, the Fairchild has been a pioneer in research and conservation worldwide. Their current projects include a high level of community involvement from university faculty and volunteers, to K-12 and university students. Likewise, your presence at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden supports their mission to spread awareness and continue funding important projects for the future. Think of your visit as an enjoyable way to help preserve this living laboratory.
Be sure to stop by the Rare Plant House to see a collection of the world’s most endangered plant species. Many of these are on the brink of extinction in their native habitats, however, visitors are encouraged to learn about how they can help protect them.
6. Unique Events & Exhibits
Throughout the year, the Fairchild hosts a fabulous lineup of events and exhibits. From cooking and painting classes to yoga and succulent arrangement workshops, there’s always something fun on the agenda.
Similarly, the International Mango Festival, Gala in the Garden, and the Festival of Chocolate are some of their most popular annual events! In addition to these exciting events, the Fairchild also hosts a variety of rotating exhibits and installations.
Keep up to date on what’s happening next by checking their calendar of events here.
Fairchild Fun Facts & Tips
- The Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden was founded in 1938 by botanist and plant explorer, David Fairchild. Mr.Fairchild played an important role in introducing mangoes and avocados to the U.S.
- Both Travel & Leisure and USA Today have nominated the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden as one of the top botanical gardens in the United States.
- The garden is home to the largest collection of palms in the world, with over 900 different species.
- The gardens have been featured in several films and TV shows like “Miami Vice”, “CSI Miami”, “Bad Boys II”, “Meet the Fockers”, “Marley and Me”, and “Burn Notice” (Fun fact within a fun fact, I had a bit role in an episode of Burn Notice!)
- Bring your own water bottles, sun protection and bug spray for a more enjoyable experience.
- Feel free to bring your own picnic or dine at the Glasshouse Cafe by Le Basque.
- A thorough tour of the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden will generally take around 2-3 hours but an expedited tour is available via tram (approx 45 min).
- The garden is open to visitors 7 days a week.
- Shuttle service is available for those with mobility issues and wheelchairs are available at the garden entrance on a first-come-first-serve-basis.
- Comfortable walking shoes are highly recommended!
- Unlimited access to the garden during operating hours.
- Discounts on special events, workshops, and educational programs.
- Advanced notice and early access to plant sales, art exhibits and other events.
- Free entry to many other botanical gardens that participate in the reciprocal admission programs around the United States.
- Discounts on purchases at the gift shop and plant sales.
- Invitations to member-only events such as tours and lectures.
- Access to members-only areas of the garden, including a special lounge and rest area.
- Exclusive access to the garden’s horticulture library and archives.
- Free parking.
- If you walk, ride your bike, or take public transport to the garden, you’ll receive a Bike-n-Five complimentary gift admission valued at $25 after 5 visits.
Discounts & Free Entry
- Active military & veterans receive free admission year round. Fairchild also participates in the Blue Star Museums program that grants free admission to the spouses and children of active military personnel from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
- AAA members: $2 off regular adult admission.
- Free entry with the American Horticulture Society Reciprocal Admissions Program
- Eco Discount: If you walk, ride your bike or take public transportation to the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, you’ll receive $5 off adult admission tickets, and $2 off children’s admission tickets as a way to show their appreciation for your conservation efforts. (valid 7 days a week).
- Active first responders (police and fire rescue personnel) receive 50% off admission year round with a valid ID.
- Culture Shock Miami students between the ages of 13-22 receive discounted tickets.
- Seniors: On the 1st Wednesday of every month, Miami-Dade senior residents age 62+ and with a Golden Ticket will receive one free admission. You must present your completed Golden Ticket form at the entrance.
You won’t regret visiting the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. It’s surely an enchanting way to spend an afternoon in Miami. Whether you attend an event or decide to leisurely stroll the grounds, it’ll be a day well spent. So, be sure to add this stop to your itinerary next time you’re in Miami, and don’t forget your camera!
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden Info
10901 Old Cutler Road, Miami Florida 33156
Open daily from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
For tickets & additional discount info visit www.fairchildgarden.org
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