A treat for all visitors to southern Florida is the 83-acre Fairchild Tropical Gardens, one of the world's preeminent botanic gardens. Fairchild has an extensive collection of rare tropical plants, and is home to botanical science programs (which focus on research and species and habitat conservation projects aimed at understanding and preserving tropical plant biodiversity).
Fairchild is located at 10901 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables, Miami, Florida 33156, and is next door to Matheson Hammock Park; both are roughly a 20 minute ride by car from downtown Miami.
I have visited both parks countless times during family visits to the area, and always manage to find something new and interesting that catches the eye.
Fairchild, in particular, is a wonderful place to seek refuge from the hectic pace of the outside world, and just meditate on the plush environs, filled with luscious vines, palms, cycads, and a wide variety of flowering trees.
Lucky visitors will, no doubt, be joined in their meditation of the park's splendors by other, smaller, residents...birds, turtles, lizards, and - of course - alligators. All photographers who find themselves in the Coral Gable area of Florida should plan on spending at least half a day at this mini Shangri-La!
The images appearing here were all shot during a Thanksgiving retreat to Florida's warmth.