Feb 23, 2020 10:00 PM EST
Buy Direct For: $40
Indulge your senses, taste the tropics, experience your unique tropical garden oasis at the Preston B. Bird and Mary Heinlein Fruit and Spice Park.
THE PARK TODAY
Today, the Fruit & Spice Park is a 37-acre subtropical paradise nestled in the heart of the historic Redland community just 35 miles south of Miami. Surrounded by thousands of acres of tropical agriculture, the Park is a jewel in South Florida’s agricultural community attracting over 50,000 visitors a year to its gardens and festivals. More than 500 varieties of exotic fruits, herbs, spices and nuts from around the world; 180 varieties of mangos; 70 varieties of bamboo; 40 varieties of bananas; 15 varieties of jackfruit trees and numerous other exotic edibles are grown and maintained here.
The only public garden of its kind in the United States, the park continues to be operated by the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department. Visitors can sample fallen fruit (no above-aground harvesting is permitted) and arrangements can be made with the management for collecting seeds and cuttings suitable for planting. A staff of experts conducts classes, workshops and botanical tours on a year-round basis.
Visit our herb and vegetable garden, stroll through the shady banana groves and wonder at the majesty of the African Baobab trees. Spend an hour or an entire day at the Fruit & Spice Park for a tastefully exotic experience.
In addition to the gardens, the Park also maintained and showcased two original historic structures: the original one-room Redland Schoolhouse built in 1906; and a coral rock building built around 1913 as a laboratory for citrus canker research. In 1982, Redland resident Fran Mitchell donated another historic home to the Park. Due in large part to the efforts of Redland resident Robert Jensen, the 1902 historic structure was moved to the Park from its location eight miles away. Named the Bauer-Neill Mitchell House, it was preserved as an example of a typical Redland Pioneer home. The home was landscaped with archetypical plants and fruit varieties and is now home to the Mango Café.
The Redland area’s significance as a South Dade pioneer settlement was officially recognized in 1981 and the Park, the Redland Community United Methodist Church and several surrounding homes were designated as the Redland Historic District.
In 1992, Hurricane Andrew caused extensive damage to the Park garden and the historic buildings. The storm destroyed tree canopy, planting beds, irrigation, fencing, the nursery and two of the historic buildings. Only the coral rock building survived the storm despite broken windows and roof damage. The Redland Schoolhouse and the Bauer-Neill-Mitchell House were completely destroyed.
Using funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, facsimile reconstruction of both buildings was completed in 2002. The new park store and Welcome Center moved into the schoolhouse and the Mango Café in the Bauer-Neill-Mitchell House was reopened.
- Includes General Admission for 4 Adults.
- TOURS - Guided tours are conducted every day at 11 am, 1:30 pm and 3 pm, weather permitting. Private tours for schools, clubs and any special interest group can be arranged at convenient times.
- PLAN TO BE OUTDOORS - The Park is open in all weather conditions (although tram tours will be suspended due to lightning). A visit can include extensive walking, so plan your attire accordingly.
- HOURS OF OPERATION - Open seven (7) days a week, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. The Park is open in all weather conditions (although tram tours will be suspended due to lightning). A visit can include extensive walking, so plan your attire accordingly.
Redeemable between Mar. 1, 2020
and May. 30, 2020