Sunny weather certainly calls for a date with nature, and while South Florida has some pretty awesome hiking trails to check out, sometimes the wilderness can be a little bit too much of an escape from the city. So if you’re ever in the mood for some greenery to break with the brick and mortar of city life but don’t feel like escaping to the wild outdoors, your best best might just be to head on out to one of Miami’s many beautiful gardens (and beyond) for a relaxing stroll in the sun. Check these out!
1. The Kampong, Coconut Grove
If you’re up for discovering the 50 varieties of mango (we know) that exist on this Earth, then make sure to stop by The Kampong on Biscayne Bay. This historic garden, named after the Malay word for a ‘village’ or ‘cluster of houses’, used to be the home of Dr. David Fairchild and nowadays serves as home to rare tropical flowers fruits. It’s the perfect spot if you enjoy botany!
Where: 4013 Douglas Rd, Miami, FL 33133
2. Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, Coconut Grove
What’s more relaxing than going on a stroll through a lush garden in the Italian Riviera? Or, at least pretending like you are. Built over a century ago by magnate James Deering, the 50-acre Vizcaya estate is home to some pretty spectacular gardens. Overlooking Biscayne Bay, these lush gardens are full of stunning architectural structures, elaborate fountains, and antique sculptures that will add a little je ne sais quoi to your walk.
Where: 3251 S Miami Ave, Miami, FL 33129
3. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Coral Gables
The sprawling 83-acre Fairchild is another wonderfully tranquil place with a great deal of nature. Bask in the beauty of lush gardens, rare palms and bamboo species, flowering trees, butterflies, and a two-acre rainforest — the only tropical rainforest found in the continental U.S., as a matter of fact. With so much to explore, you’ll never want to leave!
Where: 10901 Old Cutler Rd, Coral Gables, FL 33156
4. Pinecrest Gardens
Another one of Miami’s countless idyllic spots is Pinecrest Gardens, a park listed on the National Register of Historic Places that’s bursting with wildlife. Wind down its tranquil paths through botanical beauty that includes native forested wetland, tropical hardwood hammock, twisted rock formations, and cypress slough. It’s perfect for kids too, as there’s a petting zoo, puppet shows, and a playground with giant animal-shaped structures that have recently been added.
Where: 11000 SW 57th Ave, Pinecrest, FL 33156
5. Patch of Heaven Sanctuary, Redlands
This stunning nature preserve is one of the city’s best-kept secrets. Located in Homestead, although it feels more like Bali, Patch of Heaven has 20 gorgeous acres of Zen gardens, lotus lagoons, a butterfly house, Asian-inspired architecture, and koi ponds to discover. The sanctuary is dedicated to preserving as many plants and local wildlife as possible — both native and nonnative — as well as historic buildings on its property.
Where: 21900 SW 157th Ave, Miami, FL 33170
6. Morikami Japanese Gardens, Delray Beach
Tucked away in Palm Beach County, Morikami Museum & Gardens was once home to a colony of young Japanese farmers seeking to revolutionize Florida’s agricultural techniques. Today, the enchanting 16-acre estate is home to hundreds of unique species of Japanese flora, winding paths, and carefully designed gardens that will make you feel you’ve been transported to Japan in one fell swoop!
Where: 4000 Morikami Park Rd, Delray Beach, FL 33446
7. McKee Botanical Gardens, Vero Beach
From its astounding collection of water lilies and orchids to some of the most exotic flora and fauna on earth, this Florida landmark has it all. Weave your way through this luscious oasis and discover natural wonders like the giant mushroom, hidden deep within the garden, that will make you feel like you’ve just stepped into Alice’s Wonderland.
Where: 350 US-1, Vero Beach, FL 32962