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Florida Best Tourist Attractions and Places to Visit: Flamingo Gardens in South Florida Fla

Updated on October 1, 2013
Lily Rose profile image

I am a believer in being a tourist in your own town (and state) —so few people take advantage of what's in their own back yards.

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Flamingo Gardens,FloridaFlamingo Gardens' FlamingosTired flamingos at Flamingo Gardens!
Flamingo Gardens,Florida
Flamingo Gardens,Florida
Flamingo Gardens' Flamingos
Flamingo Gardens' Flamingos
Tired flamingos at Flamingo Gardens!
Tired flamingos at Flamingo Gardens!

Flamingo Gardens in Davie / Fort Lauderdale, Florida is a one-stop eco experience.  It features the Wray Botanical Collection as well as the Everglades Wildlife Sanctuary.  It’s a not-for-profit, 60-acre facility which provides the perfect backdrop for the native plant species that reside there.  All of the proceeds from merchandise purchases directly benefit the care of injured and endangered animals, as well as their cultural and botanical exhibits.

You can go to Flamingo Gardens to study the alligators, otters, flamingos, Florida Bobcats and a host of birds that inhabit the free-flight aviary as well as the bird of prey center.  Peacocks roam freely throughout, as do iguanas.

There’s even an area with a beautiful gazebo that’s reserved for tropical weddings! 

When you walk in, you feel like you’re in a tropical forest, with Florida’s largest collection of Champion trees and 200-year-old live Oak trees; this is reminiscent of how Florida used to be. You can visit the Historic Wray Home, built in the 1930s, and experience the past.

The pathways, made from 10 tons of waste / recycled rubber tires, feel so nice underfoot - but if you're not up for walking...

For a few dollars extra, you can enjoy a narrated tour of the citrus groves, wetland, and native hammock areas via tram.

Just through the entrance into Flamingo Gardens
Just through the entrance into Flamingo Gardens
Lots of lush tropical plants and trees
Lots of lush tropical plants and trees
Feels like a tropical rainforest!
Feels like a tropical rainforest!
200-year-old Oak tree
200-year-old Oak tree
Tram Tour
Tram Tour

Flamingo Gardens' Mission:

“To depict and preserve the natural and cultural heritage of South Florida and the Everglades in our botanical gardens and wildlife sanctuary:

  • By providing a repository for endangered plant and bird species and a living library and specific taxa available for research and education.
  • By inspiring an appreciation for beauty and diversity of tropical and subtropical plants from around the world that can be grown in our area.
  • By guiding the public in environmentally responsible and aesthetic horticultural practices.
  • By encouraging environmental awareness and Everglades preservation to visiting tourists, residents and school children.”

 

click large picture for full-size image:

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Florida AlligatorsBald Eagle signBald EagleGolden Eagle signGolden EagleFlorida BobcatIbis
Florida Alligators
Florida Alligators
Bald Eagle sign
Bald Eagle sign
Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle
Golden Eagle sign
Golden Eagle sign
Golden Eagle
Golden Eagle
Florida Bobcat
Florida Bobcat
Ibis
Ibis

Lots of Wildlife at Flamingo Gardens

All of the wildlife seen at Flamingo Gardens are permanently injured, non-releasable animals. They are being provided a safe sanctuary; even some of the state’s threatened and endangered animals can be found here.

Some of the animals and birds you'll find are: flamingos (duh!), Ibis, peacocks, alligators, river otters, Florida Bobcats, panthers, tortoises & turtles, as well as lots of birds of prey like the bald and golden eagles, perigrine falcons, and vultures.

One of the goals is to perpetuate these species and return the young back to the wild.

Here are a few pointers if you’re going to visit Flamingo Gardens:

  • As with most outdoor places in sunny South Florida, don’t forget the sunscreen and hats!
  • Keep fingers out of cages; they can be considered food to some animals.
  • Peacocks and iguanas roam free – do not feed or touch them.  Really.  We were looking at and taking pictures of one peacock when we were there and another family with a little boy, probably 3 years old, walked up to take a look, too.  As we were walking away, we heard the dad ask the boy if he wanted to pet the peacock.  A couple of minutes later we heard the mom scream in terror; when we turned to look, she was holding the boy with her hands on his head.  We assumed he fell and felt awful; the mom was frantic and freaked out (I told my husband I would be the same way, that’s what we moms do best!)  A few minutes later we ran into that family and asked if the boy was okay and we found out what really happened – the peacock attacked the boy!  It attacked him and pecked at the boy’s head; it drew blood!  Ladies and gentlemen, that is why they tell you not to touch or feed the animals.  Thankfully, the boy was okay, just shaken up.  He gave the peacock a time-out!
  • Bring a camera – this is a fantastic place to get some beautiful photographs of the gardens, flowers, animals… 

peacock at Flamingo Gardens
peacock at Flamingo Gardens
This peacock seemed to be trained to pose for the camera - really!
This peacock seemed to be trained to pose for the camera - really!

Now if you’re looking for tropical plants for yourself, you can visit the garden shop located just outside the entrance to Flamingo Gardens – you practically have to walk through it to get to the entrance.  They have a great selection of tropical plants, shrubs and trees at decent prices, with knowledgeable salespeople to help you choose what you need.

We had a very nice time at Flamingo Gardens and definitely plan on going back.  Admission is $17 for adults, $8.50 for kids 4 and up, 3 and under is free.  Often times, like when we went, there will be something special happening and they’ll offer half price admission.  This weekend was the 14th Annual Spring Garden Event.  Yes, we came home with a few plants! 

Examples of just a few of the beautiful flowers at Flamingo Gardens:

Comments

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    • profile image

      Donna Poen 

      2 weeks ago

      I remember going there when I was a little girl...they had a chicken that played a piano...and I remember the peacocks screeching!

    • MichaelGallinger profile image

      MichaelGallinger 

      6 years ago from Detroit, MI

      Seems to be fun, thanks for sharing...

    • Lily Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Lily Rose 

      6 years ago from A Coast

      I'm very pleased to have introduced you to this great place - it is only a few miles from me so we go a lot. I have found that not a lot of locals are aware of it; I don't think they do much advertising. It's certainly worth a visit - I hope you make it there and enjoy it!

    • jamila sahar profile image

      jamila sahar 

      6 years ago

      i live in south florida and did not know about this, thanks for sharing i will head over to this place asap ! voted up interesting, useful and beautiful! love the gorgeous peacock!

    • Lily Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Lily Rose 

      8 years ago from A Coast

      Thanks for the comment, maruthirp, I think...

    • maruthirp profile image

      maruthirp 

      8 years ago from Hyderabad

      I had never visited America. I don't know wheather I would visit in the future. I don't need visit Florida if I ever come to America. Your post is so good explaining attractions of Florida but I will definitely visit if ever I visit America. Nice Post.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 

      8 years ago

      Terrific hub. I have visited this part of Florida many, many times and I never tire of it.

    • Lily Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Lily Rose 

      8 years ago from A Coast

      Hey Don - I lived in Pompano Beach for several years after college, and my parents have a townhouse there (which they're trying to sell - interested? LOL!) I love it there. Glad I sold you!

      Hi there, Hello, hello! Thanks for visiting. I took over 200 pictures and it was so hard to chose which to post! I'm a bit scared about how many pictures I'll probably end up with when I go to Disney if I took this many here!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      I have heard of it but to see it must be an unforgettable experience. Thank you for you great hub and wonderful pictures.

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 

      8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      I've been to Ft. Lauderdale and Pompono Beach, but didn't got to this attraction as I was there for other reasons during Spring Break! However, I am planning to go back to Florida next year, so I won't miss this place the next time around. And you better believe that I'll have my camera ready ;) Thanks for a fantastic hub, Lily Rose. You sold me!

    • Lily Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Lily Rose 

      8 years ago from A Coast

      @ Sandyspider - yes, it was!

      @ Nelle - it sure is. Reminds me of Lover's Oak in downtown Brunswick, GA - it's said to be at least 900 years old! I would think you'd have lots of very old trees up your way - no?

      South Florida would be a lovely change of scenery for you! Daytona is still a few hours north of us, but if you do the trip and make it further south, let me know - I would love to meet you face-to-face!

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      This looks like a lot of fun.

    • profile image

      Nelle Hoxie 

      8 years ago

      This looks like quite the paradise. I'm trying to convince Matt that we need to go to Southern Florida on a vacation soon. I've never been and I'd like to see where he grew up (30 miles west of Daytona.) That 200-year-old Oak Tree would be something to see!

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