Jorge Castillo: One of our favorite places to go in Miami is the Fairchild Tropical Gardens.
Glenn Lindgren: Here in one location you can experience just about the entire spectrum of plants and trees that are typical of the ones you'd find in the average Miami backyard.
Raúl Musibay: You'll also see many exotic and rare specimens here!
Jorge Castillo: The Fairchild Gardens first opened to the public in 1938. Robert H. Montgomery created the Gardens and named them in honor of his friend David Fairchild, a world-renowned botanist.
Glenn Lindgren: Every backyard fruit grower in Miami owes a debt of gratitude to Fairchild. He is credited with bringing the mango to cultivation in the United States.
Raúl Musibay: The Fairchild Gardens cover 83 acres of land and is located just off the Old Cutler Road in Coral Gables.
Jorge Castillo: One of the highlights of the collection is the 100 rare native plant species from South Florida and the Caribbean.
Glenn Lindgren: Many people enjoy visiting the gardens on weekends. However, if you are in town during the week on vacation, why not come on a weekday when the gardens are much less crowded?
Jorge Castillo: The only exception to this is the many festivals that the Fairchild Gardens holds each year. These weekend events do draw crowds, but they add another interesting element to your visit.
Raúl Musibay: Two of the most popular events of the season are the International Orchid Festival and the International Mango Festival.
Jorge Castillo: The Orchid festival features thousands of orchid plants that you can buy and take home.
Raúl Musibay: And the Mango Festival? Yes, there are plenty of mangos for sale here!
Glenn Lindgren: You might wonder why, in a city that is just overflowing with mangos in the summer, would any local person go to a place to see MORE mangos?
Raúl Musibay: The Mango Festival features many different varieties of mangos, many unusual and some exotic.
Jorge Castillo: So many people come just to try the different varieties. A mango auction is very popular.
Glenn Lindgren: You also can sample mango cuisine at a mango brunch.
Jorge Castillo: All of the events at Fairchild usually include food booths on the grounds, so you can enjoy a lunch or snack as you stroll around.
ADMISSION: Adults $15.00 | $12 Senior citizens 65 and older | Children 12 and under free
NOTE: The first Wednesday of each month is Contribution Day, when visitors set their own admission fee.
HOURS: Open seven days a week, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. | Closed Christmas
TRAM TOURS: Hourly
LENGTH OF VISIT: Allow 2 to 4 hours