You don’t have to be a horticulturalist to appreciate all the natural beauty in Miami. From Japanese zen gardens to exotic botanical species, Miami features some of the most beautiful gardens and parks in the nation. Just in time for summer, we’ve rounded up the best places to enjoy mother nature in the Magic City.
Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens
Everybody say “Ommm!” Since its opening in 1977, The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens has been a center for Japanese arts and culture in South Florida, with rotating exhibitions in its galleries, tea ceremonies performed monthly in its Seishin-an tea house, an educational outreach program with local schools and organizations, and Japanese traditional festivals celebrated for the public several times a year. If you need a little zen in your life, Morikami is the perfect place to relax and revitalize among exotic flowers and tranquil rock gardens.
4000 Morikami Park Road, Delray Beach; (561) 495-0233
Located on Biscayne Bay in Coconut Grove, Florida, The Kampong contains a fascinating array of tropical fruit cultivars and flowering trees. The garden is named for the Malay or Javanese word for a village or cluster of houses. Some of the first plantings there came from Indo-Malaysia, brought there by the renowned explorer/horticulturist who introduced these species to the United States and who owned the property in the early 1900s. The collections were expanded and diversified by the next owner, who eventually gifted the garden to the NTBG. Heritage collections from Southeast Asia, Central and South Americas, the Caribbean, and other tropical locales create a cornucopia of exotic fruit, including candle fruit, peanut butter fruit, egg fruit, cocoplums, and over 50 varieties of mango. Numerous species of palms, cycads, and flowering trees are also studied by scientists from the world over.
4013 South Douglas Road, Miami; 305.442.7169
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
Along with being a National Historic Landmark, this stunningly beautiful retreat in the heart of Miami features a main house, ten acres of formal gardens, a rockland hammock (native forest), and soon-to-be-restored historic village. Built by agricultural industrialist James Deering in 1916, Vizcaya Museum & Gardens has been a diplomatic seat of Miami-Dade County, having hosted some of the world’s most renowned dignitaries such as Queen Elizabeth II, Pope John Paul II, President Ronald Reagan, and King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain.
3251 South Miami Ave., Miami; 305.250.9133
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is dedicated to exploring, explaining and conserving the world of tropical plants. It is one of the premier conservation and education-based gardens in the world and a recognized international leader in both Florida and international conservation. Currently Fairchild has field programs in over 20 countries including support to protected areas in Madagascar and Africa and botanic garden development and renovation projects in South and Central America, the Caribbean and Middle East. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden houses palm and cycad collections that are nationally recognized by the American Public Gardens Association (APGA), has the world’s greatest living collection of palms and cycads, an education program reaching more than 52,000 school children per year, hosts popular events like the International Chocolate Festival, International Mango Festival and International Orchid Festival, the Ramble, concerts, affiliated plant society shows and sales.
10901 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables; 305.667.1651
Miami Beach Botanical Garden
Another great place to get your meditation on, this four-and-a-half-acre botanical garden showcases orchids, tropical plants, trees, a Japanese Garden and a living wall vertical landscape. For a relaxing afternoon, stroll the grounds, relax in a dynamic green space, attend cultural programs simply make it a date at this gorgeous destination. An ideal venue for memorable events, the garden is a wedding and event hotspot.
2000 Convention Center Drive, Miami Beach; 305.673.7256