At Flamingo Gardens Botanical Collection & Wildlife Gallery, visitors can walk through a bit of Florida history at the botanical gardens, citrus groves and nature reserve. Of course, you can expect to see the namesake picturesque birds with long necks and orange-pink feathers, roaming the grounds. But there is so much more to see and do at this elegant and historic South Florida attraction.
The 60 acres of lush gardens showcase rare, exotic, and native plants in a majestic setting just outside the Florida Everglades. Located in Davie—northwest of Miami, one-half hour off the coast and just minutes west of Fort Lauderdale International Airport—they present a window not only into the natural beauty of undeveloped Florida but also a window into a time when agriculture was still a key driver in the state’s economy.
About The Flamingo Gardens
You can explore Flamingo Gardens independently on foot or pay a small fee and hop on a narrated 30-minute tram tour that departs every half hour from late morning through late afternoon. The property is home to the Wray Botanical Collection, 3,000 species of tropical and subtropical plants, including orchids and ferns, along with 200-year-old oak trees, and 300 plus species of palm trees.
In addition to the rare tropical plants, Flamingo Gardens also boasts an impressive collection of Florida birds and other tropical animals native to the area. Nature lovers flock to this attraction to view wading birds, river otters and bobcats and crocodiles. In fact, the 25,000-square-foot Everglades Wildlife Sanctuary houses the largest collection of wading birds in the country.
Flamingo Gardens is one of Florida’s oldest tourist attractions. The land, which had been reclaimed from the Everglades, belonged to Frank L. Wray and Jane Wray, two Michigan horticulturalists who came to Florida in 1925. Floyd L. Wray opened “Flamingo Groves” in association with Frank Stirling. Wray and Stirling planted a lone citrus tree in February 1927 and soon were operating a large-scale citrus laboratory and experimenting with more exotic plants in partnership with the federal government.
The Wrays and Stirling also opened parts of their property to the public, conscious of increasing role tourism was playing in the state economy. The Wrays also built a home on the grounds which today is a museum and popular attraction.
The location of the 320 acres of land was considered at that time the edge of the Florida Everglades. Flamingo Gardens houses endangered plant and bird species and cares for permanently injured native South Florida birds and animals. It functions as a nonprofit wildlife sanctuary, and all moneys donated or expended during visits to the grounds go towards helping preserve and maintain the lives of these special creatures. The serene setting in the South Florida outdoors lends itself to a completely peaceful experience with nature, and one that you will not soon forget.