There was also a 13-acre palm collection, a green house with orchids, bromeliads, palms aroids and ferns, and the only outdoor tropical rainforest in the continental United States .

Overall Impression Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, an 83-acre haven for nature lovers in a ritzy residential neighborhood, was one of our choice places to visit in Miami. Well managed and populated by rare and striking tropical and subtropical plants from all over the world, the Garden was visitor friendly. Young and old alike were made welcome through tram, audio and walking tours, classes and tropical plant themed festivals such as ginger, mango, orchid, palms and many others. New and popular features included a butterfly garden (a favorite with children), a bird watching section, the Victoria pond with its four Amazon water-lilies, and a tropical fruit tree pavilion. There was also a 13-acre palm collection, a green house with orchids, bromeliads, palms aroids and ferns, and the only outdoor tropical rainforest in the continental United States .

Audio Tours Self-Guided Audio Tours ($2) were available for selected areas of Fairchild

Average Duration Of Visit 3 hours; more for botanical and tropical plant enthusiasts

Established 1936; opened to public 1938

Handicapped Access Yes Fairchild had good access to persons with disabilities. Two wheelchairs were available on site, as well as assisted listening devices for tram tours.

Location Miami, Florida (USA ) Adjacent to Matheson Hammock Park in the Southeastern part of town

Open 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. daily (Except Christmas Day)

Owned-Managed Fairchild was a private, non-profit 501(c )( 3) organization governed by a board of trustees. Funding: Members and friends and grants from the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, Florida Arts Council, Miami-Dade County Cultural Affairs Council, Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissions, Institute of Museum and Library Services and McLamore Foundation.

Size 83 acres, 11,300 plants, 4,300 plant species, 3,800 palms, one small rainforest

Transportation Rental car, taxis, and private tours

Description Many plants still growing in the Garden were collected and planted by Dr.

Fairchild, including a giant African baobab tree near the Gate House Museum . The Fairchild Herbarium featured more than 165,000 preserved and archived plant specimens. A five-million dollar tropical fruit glass house featured exotic fruit from around the world.

The Conservatory or greenhouse housed the famous Mr. Stinky, Fairchild’s most famous resident. The rare Mr. Stinky (Amorphophallus Titanum ), a native of Sumatra , flowers every few years into one of the “world’s largest, most exotic and worst smelling blooms.” A newly built 12,000 square foot Florida style Visitor Center housed the gift shop and a ballroom on the second floor. Architectural features included a keystone façade, outdoor verandas, two elliptical outdoor staircases, a wide patio with Italian mosaic inlays and an original tropical foliage mural by local artists Rosario Marquardt and Roberto Behar. Fairchild hosted special events and offered a 750 square foot catering room with elevator access, restrooms and parking for 250 guests.

The Fairchild Library included more than 18,000 volumes on tropical botany, horticulture, plant exploration, ethno botany, garden design and environmental science. Fairchild had 78 full-time and 12 part-time employees; 18,000 members and 300 volunteers. In 2004, more than 150 different classes were offered. Other education programs included teachers, children’s, professional, botanical lectures and university courses.

Restaurant A snack shop, the Garden Café, adjacent to the nursery offered light lunches, cold drinks and snacks. The gift shop at the north gate sold cold drinks and snacks

Souvenir Shop A new souvenir shop was established in the north gate main building. Filled with tropical plant, fruit and flower books in English and Spanish, the souvenir shop also sold t-shirts, sc ented candles, fine and costume jewelry, home furnishings, Garden posters and snacks.

Tours: Free Tram Tours were offered on the hour. Free guided walking tours were offered mid-November through April.

Other Fairchild, accredited by the American Association of Museums since 1981, was a member of the Botanic Gardens Conservation International, the Center for Plant Conservation, and the American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta.

Visit August 2004

Would You Visit This Attraction Again? Yes

Contact Information

  • Address:
    • 10901 Old Cutler Road
    • Coral Gables (Miami), Florida 33156-4233 U.S.A.
  • Phone:
    • +1 305.667.1651
  • Fax:
    • +1 305.661.8953
  • Website:
  • Email: