A (pretty) good deal
I've lived in South Florida for 10 years, but somehow never made time for a trip to Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens.
I was missing out.
While Sunday was a scorcher, it was worth braving the sun for a free trip to the 83 acres of palms, cycads, lakes, and dozens of reasons to be in more awe of Mother Nature than I already was. (One of the lilies our tram guide pointed out puts out a flower that draws in beetles, then changes its sex overnight and sends the beetles on their way.) Plus, plenty of the pathways lead to shade, and a ride on the tram brings out the breeze.
The visit was particularly appealing because every Sunday this month, admission is free. Adult tickets are usually $20, so this made the gardens seem a little greener. On these Sundays, membership is half-price.
The significant other and I strolled under yards and yards of vine-covered pergola, got tips on how to tell a palm from a cycad, and now feel compelled to visit a tree in Fort Myers that covers an acre, thanks to our superinformative tram guide. (The beautiful banyans at Fairchild are much smaller, though still beautiful. And the largest one of these trees apparently covers several acres.)
We learned about another type of tree that hollows itself out over time, counting on its bark to hold it up. In some places, whole pubs have been built inside baobabs.
Let me stop before I give away all the fascinating stuff I learned.
We did shell out for a kiwi soda, veggie wrap and dropped $10 in the donation box, but still, the day was a bargain. Trust me, it's worth a visit. Especially at this price.
This is the flower of the cannonball tree, which is in bloom this month. Photo from www.fairchildgarden.org.