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Pinecrest Gardens

Pinecrest Gardens I honestly can't believe that I haven't written about Pinecrest Gardens before! I was there many times when it was Parrot Jungle (founded in 1936!), and the gardens themselves were just as interesting as the birds. Parrot Jungle (now Jungle Island) moved to an Watson Island on the MacArthur Causeway in 2002, leaving the historic gardens behind. The property was soon purchased by the Village of Pinecrest, and turned into a public park.

The grounds of Pinecrest Gardens are truly amazing, with varied and beautiful plants all around the nature paths carved through the original coral. Solution holes filled with water and fish are scattered throughout the park. The trees and plants are native and astounding. There are still remnants of the old Parrot Jungle, and that's part of the fun, trying to remember what animals and birds were housed where. Also, there are now signs at some chosen sites, with QR codes to scan for an audio description of the area.

Originally, admission to the gardens was free of charge, and there were no amenities aside from restrooms. Now, there is a splash park for the kids, a petting zoo (wasn't real impressed with the condition of the animals, sadly), and snack stands. I'll be honest, I preferred it when it was still just a plain botanic garden, but I do understand the need to attract guests. A visit won't take a full day, but it's definitely worth a stop if you're in the area - we went after visiting Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. There was a farmer's market happening in the parking lot on the day we visited - it's a weekly Sunday event - and there are other events and entertainment throughout the year.

Pinecrest Gardens is open from 10AM to 5PM Monday through Friday, and 9AM to 5PM on weekends, with hours extended until 6PM during the spring and summer. General admission is $5, seniors get in for $3, and members of the military visit free.

Approximate price: $5.00 per person

Location:

11000 Red Rd
Pinecrest FL
305-669-6990
20 acres

Web site:

www.pinecrest-fl.gov/index.aspx?page=34


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