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Best gardens to visit in Miami

Getting outside and breathing in fresh air is always a good thing, especially during these times.

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.

Please keep in mind: Many places require facial coverings and social distancing. We suggest you visit a location’s website before venturing out for details on safety regulations.

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 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

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Regal Theatres: Discounted movie tickets on Tuesdays

All Day | $5.00-6.00 | Regal Cinemas Multiple Locations

Historic Holiday Decor: Gilded Age

10:00 am to 5:00 pm | $7.00-15.00 | Deering Estate

'Stranger Things' immersive exhibit

11:00 am to 9:00 pm | FREE | Aventura Mall

Market Tuesdays at CityPlace Doral

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

Tasty Tuesdays with Food Trucks

5:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Amphitheater in Boca Raton

Food Trucks Tuesdays

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

Discount advance tickets: Magic of Lights Homestead drive-thru experience

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | Discounted | Homestead-Miami Speedway

Nightly Snowfall

7:00 pm | FREE | Dolphin Mall

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Historic Holiday Decor: Gilded Age

10:00 am to 5:00 pm | $7.00-15.00 | Deering Estate

'Stranger Things' immersive exhibit

11:00 am to 9:00 pm | FREE | Aventura Mall

Food truck gathering at Pelican Harbor Marina

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

North Bay Village Winter Wonderland & Tree Lighting

6:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Vogel Park

Night Garden Experience

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $25.00-35.00 | Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Discount advance tickets: Magic of Lights Homestead drive-thru experience

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | Discounted | Homestead-Miami Speedway

Zoo Lights at Zoo Miami

6:30 pm to 10:00 pm | Discounted | Zoo Miami

School choir caroling competition

7:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | 550 Biltmore Building

Nightly Snowfall

7:00 pm | FREE | Dolphin Mall

Comedy Night at Pub 52

8:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | Nightlife Brewing Co.

Comedy Night at Exit One Taproom

8:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | Exit One Taproom

Thursday, December 1, 2022

What the Constitution Means to Me

Discounted | Adrienne Arsht Center

Women Championing Freedom

$0-12.00 | Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU

Historic Holiday Decor: Gilded Age

10:00 am to 5:00 pm | $7.00-15.00 | Deering Estate

A Very Merry Garden: Reindeer Round-Up at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

10:00 am to 5:00 pm | $11.95-24.95 | Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

'Stranger Things' immersive exhibit

11:00 am to 9:00 pm | FREE | Aventura Mall

The Art of Transformation

11:00 am to 10:00 pm | FREE

Santa's Circus

12:30 pm to 7:30 pm | $15.99 | Jungle Island

Night Garden Experience

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $25.00-35.00 | Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Discount advance tickets: Magic of Lights Homestead drive-thru experience

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | Discounted | Homestead-Miami Speedway

Live music at Doral Yard

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

The Moth - Miami StorySLAM

7:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $15.00 | Sandrell Rivers Theater

Nightly Snowfall

7:00 pm | FREE | Dolphin Mall

Friday, December 2, 2022

What the Constitution Means to Me

Discounted | Adrienne Arsht Center

Women Championing Freedom

$0-12.00 | Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU

Historic Holiday Decor: Gilded Age

10:00 am to 5:00 pm | $7.00-15.00 | Deering Estate

A Very Merry Garden: Reindeer Round-Up at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

10:00 am to 5:00 pm | $11.95-24.95 | Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

'Stranger Things' immersive exhibit

11:00 am to 9:00 pm | FREE | Aventura Mall

The Art of Transformation

11:00 am to 10:00 pm | FREE

Santa's Circus

12:30 pm to 7:30 pm | $15.99 | Jungle Island

holiday market at Dania Pointe

5:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | Dania Pointe

Food truck gathering at Tropical Park

5:30 pm to 10:30 pm | FREE | Tropical Park

City of Doral Park and Tree Lighting Ceremony

6:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Doral Meadow Park

Night Garden Experience

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $25.00-35.00 | Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Free Gallery Night entry

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

Discount advance tickets: Magic of Lights Homestead drive-thru experience

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | Discounted | Homestead-Miami Speedway

Historic Holidays Evening Strolls at Deering Estate

6:30 pm to 9:30 pm | $7.00-15.00 | Deering Estate

Zoo Lights at Zoo Miami

6:30 pm to 10:00 pm | Discounted | Zoo Miami

Jam on percussion for free

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

Coral Gables Holiday Spectacular:

7:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE | Coral Gables City Hall

Free live music at Dolphin Mall

7:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | Dolphin Mall

Nightly Snowfall

7:00 pm | FREE | Dolphin Mall

Live Music at Doral Yard

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

Saturday, December 3, 2022

Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU free every Saturday

All Day | FREE | Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU

Gold Coast Museum free first Saturday

All Day | FREE | Gold Coast Railroad Museum

Free entry to museums with bank card

All Day | FREE | South Florida Museums

What the Constitution Means to Me

Discounted | Adrienne Arsht Center

Women Championing Freedom

$0-12.00 | Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU

The Polar Express

$65.00-75.00 | Brightline MiamiCentral Station

$5 all-day fares weekends on Tri-Rail

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

Plantation Farmers Market

8:00 am to 12:00 am | FREE | Volunteer Park Plantation

Las Olas Oceanside Park Farmers, Antiques & Artisan Market

9:00 am to 12:00 am | FREE | Las Olas Oceanside Park

Master Naturalist (55 minute) Tours

9:30 am to 2:30 pm | $10.00 | Big Cypress Gallery, Big Cypress National Preserve

Historic Holiday Decor: Gilded Age

10:00 am to 5:00 pm | $7.00-15.00 | Deering Estate

A Very Merry Garden: Reindeer Round-Up at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

10:00 am to 5:00 pm | $11.95-24.95 | Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Brightline Holiday Marketplace

10:00 am to 8:00 pm | FREE | Brightline MiamiCentral Station

'Stranger Things' immersive exhibit

11:00 am to 9:00 pm | FREE | Aventura Mall

The Art of Transformation

11:00 am to 10:00 pm | FREE

Free tour of the Adrienne Arsht Center

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

Santa's Circus

12:30 pm to 7:30 pm | $15.99 | Jungle Island

$5 holiday movies

1:00 pm to 3:00 pm | $5.00 | Regal Cinemas

Merrick House Museum Guided Tours

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

Winter Kiddos Land

2:00 pm to 7:00 pm | FREE | CityPlace Doral

Free holiday concert at church

5:00 pm to 7:00 pm | FREE | Old Cutler Presbyterian Church

Christmas at the Gazebo

6:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Royal Poinciana Blvd. & Curtiss Parkway

Palmetto Bay Light Up Your Holidays Celebration

6:00 pm to 9:00 pm | FREE | Village of Palmetto Bay city hall

Night Garden Experience

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $25.00-35.00 | Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Discount advance tickets: Magic of Lights Homestead drive-thru experience

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | Discounted | Homestead-Miami Speedway

Zoo Lights at Zoo Miami

6:30 pm to 10:00 pm | Discounted | Zoo Miami

Free live music at Dolphin Mall

7:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | Dolphin Mall

Nightly Snowfall

7:00 pm | FREE | Dolphin Mall

South Florida Symphony Orchestra "Messiah" in Fort Lauderdale

7:30 pm to 9:00 pm | $15.00-95.00 | Parker Playhouse

Free holiday concert at church

7:30 pm to 9:30 pm | FREE | Old Cutler Presbyterian Church

Live Music at Doral Yard

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

Live in the Park! Tito Puente, Jr.

8:00 pm | Discounted | Westchester Cultural Arts Center

Discount late-night movies

11:30 pm to 2:00 am | $5.00 | Coral Gables Art Cinema

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Free entry to museu,s

All Day | FREE | South Florida Museums

What the Constitution Means to Me

Discounted | Adrienne Arsht Center

Women Championing Freedom

$0-12.00 | Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU

The Polar Express

$65.00-75.00 | Brightline MiamiCentral Station

$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

Tamarac Farmers Market

9:00 am to 12:00 am | FREE | Veterans Park

Vizcaya weekly farmer's market

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

Sunday kids' art class for under 13

10:00 am to 12:00 pm | $16.00 | Museum of Graffiti

Historic Holiday Decor: Gilded Age

10:00 am to 5:00 pm | $7.00-15.00 | Deering Estate

A Very Merry Garden: Reindeer Round-Up at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

10:00 am to 5:00 pm | $11.95-24.95 | Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Redland Heritage Festival and Craft Fair

10:00 am to 5:00 pm | $8.00-15.00 | Fruit & Spice Park

Brightline Holiday Marketplace

10:00 am to 8:00 pm | FREE | Brightline MiamiCentral Station

Farmer's Market at Village of Merrick Park

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

Snow & Crystals Festival

11:00 am to 6:00 pm | FREE | Cauley Square Historic Railroad Village

'Stranger Things' immersive exhibit

11:00 am to 9:00 pm | FREE | Aventura Mall

Santa's Circus

12:30 pm to 7:30 pm | $15.99 | Jungle Island

$5 holiday movies

1:00 pm to 3:00 pm | $5.00 | Regal Cinemas

Merrick House Museum Guided Tours

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

Bluegrass festival and acoustic jam

1:00 pm to 5:00 pm | FREE | Greynolds Park

The Art of Transformation

2:00 pm to 10:00 pm | FREE

Santa's Parade of the Elves

2:00 pm | FREE | South Miami Downtown

School caroling competition

3:00 pm to 7:00 pm | 550 Biltmore Building

South Florida Symphony Orchestra "Messiah" in Miami

4:00 pm to 7:00 pm | $20.00-75.00 | Broad Center for the Performing Arts at Barry University

Joy to the World Caroling Crawl and Tree Lighting in Coconut Grove

4:00 pm to 8:00 pm | FREE | Commodore Plaza

Ocean Drive Promenade Music Series

5:00 pm to 7:00 pm | FREE | Ocean Drive Promenade

Tropical Sundays Live Music

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

Night Garden Experience

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | $25.00-35.00 | Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Discount advance tickets: Magic of Lights Homestead drive-thru experience

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | Discounted | Homestead-Miami Speedway

Zoo Lights at Zoo Miami

6:30 pm to 10:00 pm | Discounted | Zoo Miami

Nightly Snowfall

7:00 pm | FREE | Dolphin Mall

Comedy Night at Nightlife Brewing Co.

8:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | Nightlife Brewing Co.

Salsa dance class

9:00 pm | FREE | Ball & Chain

Monday, December 5, 2022

The Polar Express

$65.00-75.00 | Brightline MiamiCentral Station

Historic Holiday Decor: Gilded Age

10:00 am to 5:00 pm | $7.00-15.00 | Deering Estate

A Very Merry Garden: Reindeer Round-Up at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

10:00 am to 5:00 pm | $11.95-24.95 | Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

'Stranger Things' immersive exhibit

11:00 am to 9:00 pm | FREE | Aventura Mall

Free tour of the Adrienne Arsht Center

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

Discount advance tickets: Magic of Lights Homestead drive-thru experience

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | Discounted | Homestead-Miami Speedway

Zoo Lights at Zoo Miami

6:30 pm to 10:00 pm | Discounted | Zoo Miami

Nightly Snowfall

7:00 pm | FREE | Dolphin Mall

Comedy Night at Sandbar Sports Grill

8:00 pm to 11:00 pm | FREE | Sandbar Sports Grill

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, Biscayne Times, Edible South FL and Miami Media Group. 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.

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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