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Best gardens to visit in Miami

Getting outside and breathing in fresh air is always a good thing. Miami's many gardens are an ideal setting for taking a nice, long stroll surrounded by lush, colorful scenery.

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Historic spots such as Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Deering Estate, Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, The Kampong and Pinecrest Gardens are just a few we suggest.

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Stroll through the multi-acre lush landscape. Enjoy a tropical rainforest, a multitude of orchid species, native flora and fauna and a host of palm varietals. Pack a picnic to enjoy in the shade or along one of the many ponds. Colorful works by glass sculptor Dale Chihuly dot the landscape.

Take a self-guided tour of the abundant and shade producing legacy trees. Let your nose guide you on the Aromatic Tour, where you're encouraged to smell rosemary, wild cinnamon bark and the ylang ylang flowers. 

In the Pine Rockland area, marvel at the Southern Live Oak which is perfect bird watching with its wide, strong branches where they love to nestle. This area is also home to the colorful pine pink orchid and red mangroves with their tangled, intertwined roots.

There are several ways to save on admission via AAA and the American Horticultural Society Reciprocal program. There are also discounts for bikers, walkers, people who use public transportation, military personnel and first responders. 

Click here to learn about these tours of the grounds.

Deering Estate

Spend the day exploring the grounds of this historic attraction. Hike and explore the various natural areas. Spot orchids, a variety of trees and endangered species along the 87-acre Pine Rocklands.

Make time for walks through the Tropical Hardwood Hammock, Chicken Key and Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve too.

Additionally, the Environmental Endangered Land area features a fishing point and ideal place to spot a variety of shorebirds and even crocodiles.

Access Deering Estate via the Florida Turnpike, US Highway 1 or Old Cutler Road. Ride public transit by taking Metrorail to the Dadeland South station, take MetroBus 1 or 152 and transfer to the IBus for drop off at the parking lot. Bikers will love the 11-mile bike path from Cocoplum Circle past Matheson Hammock Park to Deering Estate.

Click here for more details.

The Kampong

Take a self-guided tour through this Coconut Grove garden created by famed botanical explorer David Fairchild.

The Kampong features exotic plants he collected during his travels throughout Southeast Asia. Expect to see at least 50 varieties of mangoes, various species of palms and cycads, flowering trees and exotic fruit trees.

Candle fruit, egg fruit and peanut butter fruit plus cocoplums are all part of the landscape here. The lily ponds throughout the grounds add to the beauty.

Click here for more information.

Vizcaya Museum & Gardens

Set along Biscayne Bay, the Italian renaissance is gloriously represented at this iconic bayfront mansion.

The 10 acres of gardens provide the perfect place to sit and relax. Visit the Secret Garden, Theater Garden, Maze Garden and Fountain Garden. Elaborate sculptures and fountains grace the grounds and walkways.

Antique and commissioned sculptures are featured throughout the grounds. Made of soft and porous coral stone, they are strategically placed where vines and plants naturally drape over them. The Garden Mound is another highlight, an artificial hill that fits perfectly into the subtropical gardens.

There are 400-year-old trees, more than 2,000 orchid specimens, a variety of endangered plants in the Native Forest, and the mangrove shoreline to complete the experience.

By all means, descend the grand steps and take in the bayfront view. The drive along South Bayshore Drive to arrive at Vizcaya is almost as scenic as the attraction itself.

Plus, Vizcaya is currently offering discounted pricing! Learn more by clicking here.

Pinecrest Gardens

The 14-acre botanical garden sits on the old Parrot Jungle site.

Meander through the Lower Gardens filled with freshwater ponds, swampy areas, and a host of rare tropical plants.

One unique area The Dry Gardens feature succulents, cycads, shrubs and cacti, all of which require minimal water.

Definitely don't miss the Coastal Bald Cypress Slough where the old-growth trees provide support for native cocoplums, pond apples and rare ferns. Click here for details.

Miami Beach Botanical Garden

This three-acre tropical oasis sits in the heart of Miami Beach and it's brimming with beauty.

The sanctuary-like grounds feature a variety of water features, a native and an edible garden, flowering trees, wildlife and of course plenty of orchids and palm tress.

Stroll through the Japanese Garden, walking over an idyllic red bridge then take in the colorful fruits in the edible garden. There you'll see starfruit, papaya, pineapple, lychee and pomegranates growing. 

The orchids are just as colorful, bursting with yellows, purples, pinks and whites while in the Palm Garden there are more than 100 species represented. The main pond filled with water lilies and featuring a cascading fountain and circular fountain are the garden's water features. They're surrounded by red mangroves and plenty of water loving plants.

OTHER FUN OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

Grab your bike and two-wheel it through some of Miami's many bike trails. We've got a great list to get you started! Click here for details.

Are you an art enthusiast? Take in the abundance of public art around Miami, either from your car or on foot. Click here for details on where to find it!

More free and cheap things to do in and around Miami

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Farmers markets & vendor fairs

FREE | Broward, Dade & greater Palm Beach

Best Picture Showcase, AMC Theatres

$5.00-19.49 | AMC Theatres

$5 all-day fares weekends on Tri-Rail

5:00 am to 11:30 pm | $5.00

Junior flea market in Dania Beach

8:00 am to 2:00 pm | FREE | Dania Beach Frost Park

Delray GreenMarket

9:00 am to 2:00 pm | FREE

Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU free every Saturday

10:00 am to 4:00 pm | FREE | Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU

South Miami Rotary Art Festival

10:00 am to 6:00 pm | FREE | South Miami Downtown

Regal Cinemas Saturday Morning Kids Flicks for $2

10:00 am | Discounted | Regal Cinemas

Celebrate our Families Festival

11:00 am to 2:00 pm | FREE | North Shore Park

Free family event, Fantasy Theatre Factory, Miami Beach

11:00 am to 2:00 pm | FREE | North Shore Park

Free tour of the Adrienne Arsht Center

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm | FREE | Adrienne Arsht Center, Miami

Black History Month in Connection to Haiti

12:00 pm to 8:00 pm | FREE | Miami International Voodoo Museum

Merrick House Museum Guided Tours

1:00 pm to 4:00 pm | $0-5.00 | Merrick House Museum, Miami-Dade

Free Family Fun Day at the Underline

2:00 pm to 4:00 pm | FREE | The Underline Urban Gym & Sound Stage, Miami-Dade

Miami Street Food Festival

2:00 pm to 8:00 pm | $7.99 | Dolphin Mall

Free MISO at the Park Concert

5:00 pm to 7:00 pm | FREE | Downtown Doral Park

McBride Plaza Free Concert Series

5:30 pm to 7:30 pm | FREE | McBride Plaza

Jungle Island Luminosa deals

5:30 pm to 10:30 pm | $32.00-39.00 | Jungle Island

City Reads on Key Biscayne

6:00 pm | FREE | Key Biscayne Community Center

Free live music series at The Betsy Hotel

7:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | The Betsy Hotel

Free New World Symphony WALLCAST Concert

7:30 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | New World Center, Miami Beach

$10 Student tickets: New World Center, Miami Beach

7:30 pm | $10.00 | New World Center, Miami Beach

Live Music at Doral Yard

8:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Doral Yard

Free Live Music

8:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | Books and Books Coral Gables

Discount late-night movies

9:00 pm to 11:30 pm | $5.00 | Coral Gables Art Cinema

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Farmers markets & vendor fairs

FREE | Broward, Dade & greater Palm Beach

Best Picture Showcase, AMC Theatres

$5.00-19.49 | AMC Theatres

$5 all-day fares weekends on Tri-Rail

5:00 am to 11:30 pm | $5.00

Pinecrest drive-up Farmer's Market

8:00 am to 2:00 pm | Pinecrest Gardens

Palmetto Bay Farmer's Market

8:30 am to 3:00 pm | FREE | Coral Reef Park

Vizcaya weekly farmer's market

9:00 am to 2:00 pm | Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

South Miami Rotary Art Festival

10:00 am to 5:00 pm | FREE | South Miami Downtown

Farmer's Market at Village of Merrick Park

11:00 am to 5:00 pm | Merrick Park

Black History Month in Connection to Haiti

12:00 pm to 8:00 pm | FREE | Miami International Voodoo Museum

Merrick House Museum Guided Tours

1:00 pm to 4:00 pm | $0-5.00 | Merrick House Museum, Miami-Dade

Free tour of historic Biltmore Hotel

2:00 pm to 3:00 pm | FREE | Biltmore Hotel

Free Family Day at Bass Museum of Art

2:00 pm to 4:00 pm | FREE | Bass Museum of Art

Miami Street Food Festival

2:00 pm to 8:00 pm | $7.99 | Dolphin Mall

$10 Student tickets: New World Center, Miami Beach

2:00 pm | $10.00 | New World Center, Miami Beach

Free Gospel Sundays 15th Anniversary Celebration: Music From The Bottom

5:00 pm to 6:30 pm | FREE | Adrienne Arsht Center, Miami

Nestor Torres at Collins Park

5:00 pm to 7:00 pm | FREE | Collins Park, Miami Beach

Ocean Drive Promenade Music Series

5:00 pm to 7:30 pm | FREE | Ocean Drive Promenade, Miami Beach

Tropical Sundays Live Music

5:00 pm to 8:00 pm | FREE | Doral Yard

McBride Plaza Free Concert Series

5:30 pm to 7:30 pm | FREE | McBride Plaza

Jungle Island Luminosa deals

5:30 pm to 9:30 pm | Discounted | Jungle Island

Jai-Alai, spring season, Miami

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Magic City Fronton, Miami

Free live music series at The Betsy Hotel

7:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | The Betsy Hotel

Salsa dance class

9:00 pm | FREE | Ball & Chain

Monday, February 26, 2024

Best Picture Showcase, AMC Theatres

$5.00-19.49 | AMC Theatres

Free tour of the Adrienne Arsht Center

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm | FREE | Adrienne Arsht Center, Miami

Free Noche de Arte

5:00 pm to 7:00 pm | FREE | InterContinental Hotel

McBride Plaza Free Concert Series

5:30 pm to 7:30 pm | FREE | McBride Plaza

Jungle Island Luminosa deals

5:30 pm to 9:30 pm | Discounted | Jungle Island

Free live music series at The Betsy Hotel

7:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | The Betsy Hotel

Comedy Night at Sandbar Sports Grill

8:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | Sandbar Sports Grill, Miami-Dade

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Regal Theatres: Discounted movie tickets on Tuesdays

All Day | $5.00-7.00 | Regal Cinemas Multiple Locations

Best Picture Showcase, AMC Theatres

$5.00-19.49 | AMC Theatres

Market Tuesdays at CityPlace Doral

5:00 pm to 9:00 pm | CityPlace Doral

Food Trucks Tuesdays

5:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Haulover Beach Park

Food Truck Tuesdays at Haulover Park

5:00 pm to 10:00 pm | Haulover Beach Park

McBride Plaza Free Concert Series

5:30 pm to 7:30 pm | FREE | McBride Plaza

Jungle Island Luminosa deals

5:30 pm to 9:30 pm | Discounted | Jungle Island

$5 Retro Replay Films

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm | $5.00 | Landmark Theatre at Merrick Park, Coral Gables

Free live music series at The Betsy Hotel

7:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | The Betsy Hotel

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Best Picture Showcase, AMC Theatres

$5.00-19.49 | AMC Theatres

Food truck gathering at Pelican Harbor Marina

5:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Pelican Harbor Marina

McBride Plaza Free Concert Series

5:30 pm to 7:30 pm | FREE | McBride Plaza

Free live music series at The Betsy Hotel

7:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | The Betsy Hotel

Comedy Night at Pub 52

8:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | Nightlife Brewing Co., Miami-Dade

Comedy Night at Exit One Taproom

8:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | Exit One Taproom, Miami-Dade

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Best Picture Showcase, AMC Theatres

$5.00-19.49 | AMC Theatres

Jazz at Jackson, Miami

12:00 pm | FREE | Alamo Park, Miami-Dade

Street Stages concerts, Miami

4:30 pm to 8:30 pm | FREE | Old Post Office, Miami-Dade

Food Truck Thursdays at Highland Oaks Park

5:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Highland Oaks Park

McBride Plaza Free Concert Series

5:30 pm to 7:30 pm | FREE | McBride Plaza

Live music at Doral Yard

7:00 pm to 9:30 pm | FREE | Doral Yard

Free live music series at The Betsy Hotel

7:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | The Betsy Hotel

Cuban cinema series with English subtitles, Miami

7:30 pm | FREE | Koubek Center at Miami Dade College

Friday, March 1, 2024

Regal Best Picture Film Festival

$5.00-6.00 | Regal Cinemas

Best Picture Showcase, AMC Theatres

$5.00-19.49 | AMC Theatres

Food truck gathering at Tropical Park

5:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Tropical Park, South Miami

McBride Plaza Free Concert Series

5:30 pm to 7:30 pm | FREE | McBride Plaza

Smorgasburg Miami weekly street fair with music

5:30 pm to 10:30 pm | FREE | Lincoln Road Mall, Miami Beach

Koubek Center open house, Coral Gables

6:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Koubek Center at Miami Dade College

Free Coral Gables gallery night and free museum entry

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Coral Gables Museum

Jai-Alai, spring season, Miami

6:30 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Magic City Fronton, Miami

Jam on percussion for free

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | South Florida Center for Percussive Arts

Into the Stacks: Souvenirs

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Wolfsonian-FIU

Free live music series at The Betsy Hotel

7:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | The Betsy Hotel

Live Music at Doral Yard

8:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Doral Yard

Free live music - Giralda Live

8:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Giralda Plaza, Coral Gables

Free Live Music

8:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | Books and Books Coral Gables

Josie Gulliksen

About Josie Gulliksen

Josie Gulliksen is a freelance writer and major arts advocate and enthusiast who loves everything cultural and is excited to live in such a thriving community as Miami. A Miami native, aside from Miami on the Cheap, she currently writes for Artburst Miami and contributes to Edible South FL and Miami Media Group. She has contributed to Miami.com, Biscayne Times and Miami New Times. She worked for nearly a decade at Miami Today as Calendar Editor and arts writer and then worked for 13 years in public relations. She has her own blog Scene Around South FL at josiegulliksen.com

Living on the CheapMiami on the Cheap is a member of Living on the Cheap, a network of websites published by frugalistas, journalists and consumer advocates. Find practical advice on saving money on groceries, travel and shopping, plus tips from our experts on how to live the good life for less at Living on the Cheap.

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