One of south Florida's natural jewels, this 83-acre garden, named after renowned botanist and Miami resident David Fairchild, is filled with tropical splendour: a lush rainforest with a stream, sunken garden, dramatic vistas, an enormous vine pergola and a museum of plant exploration. A must-see is the exquisite rare plant conservatory, a stunning showcase of palms, bromeliads, orchids and ferns. Narrated tram rides (on the hour from 10am to 3pm) give visitors a close-up look at the resident flora.
The Richard H Simons Rainforest, a two-acre site dominated by a 500ft gurgling waterfall, opened in 2001. In addition to Fairchild's annual events, among them July's International Mango Festival, every five years the garden is home to a rare plant phenomenon: the blooming of the amorphophallus titan, a gigantic single bloom as large as a person, which emits the powerful stench of rotting flesh to attract insects for pollination. Fairchild recently underwent a renovation and, as a result, is grander than ever, sporting a fun gift shop and associations with well-known artists (sculptures by Dale Chihuly and Roy Lichtenstein have both been displayed here among the greenery).