Since 1938, the keepers of the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden have cultivated more than 85 acres of floral displays with a mixture of science and art. The gardens are lush with plants valuable to scientists and educators, and the tropical landscapes designed by William Lyman Phillips are like ever-evolving canvases, blooming and fading as the seasons change. Most of the palms, cycads, flowering trees, and vines were collected from the wild, but the grounds also harbor endangered plant species.
Guides give English and Spanish tram tours as well as walking tours through specific parts of the gardens, or visitors can explore the displays at their leisure, wandering through the 16,428-square foot two-level Tropical Plant Conservatory exhibit, which blooms with orchids, fruit trees, and rare palms. Cascading waterfalls punctuate the stream flowing through the 2-acre Richard H. Simons Rainforest, where visitors admire the diverse plant life and reflect on the worldwide threat of rapidly vanishing rainforests. The Wings of the Tropics exhibit features thousands of exotic butterflies with tropical fish and rare plant life. Butterflies are released twice daily and the Butterfly Metamorphosis Lab lets kids experience them up close. The water gardens combine tranquility pools with waterfalls, sculpture, and lily pads to evoke a sense of calm.
At South Miami Physical Therapy and Pilates, founder Michele Gust and her staff of instructors help clients combat pain and strive for healthy living with a program that combines Pilates and physical therapy. Michele Gust helps improve guests' bodies and minds with the expertise she has displayed as a physical therapist for professional basketball and tennis players, and the butlers who carry them around their mansions. Whether clients are recovering from an injury or simply getting into shape, the classes seek to strengthen core muscles, improve flexibility, and alleviate any pain lingering since Firefly was cancelled.
Mind Therapy Group’s highly educated staff challenges unconscious obstacles to weight loss in 30-minute hypnotherapy sessions. To drift into a state of hypnosis, patients recline as a therapist's words or ocean noises guide them into a relaxed state of focused attention. As conscious and unconscious minds connect, clients learn to approach food differently, developing healthier dispositions toward eating. Therapists may repeat affirmations, cultivate therapeutic mental images, or help clients address false, unconscious beliefs about themselves. Each session aims to curtail negative behaviors and promote lifestyle patterns that benefit the weight-loss process.
Founded as a sanctuary for flowers, birds, and their admirers, Pinecrest Gardens has flourished into a family-friendly retreat that entertains visitors with horticultural exhibits and artistic events in a scenic setting. Spanning 4.3 acres of forested wetland, the gardens harbor more than 1,000 rare and exotic plants, including a 100-year-old coco plum tree, orchids, and a banyan tree that spreads across three-fourths of an acre. Waterways full of fish snake through these plants, their inhabitants impatiently pursing their lips at visitors for handfuls of food.
Pinecrest Gardens offers other entertainment opportunities for youngsters, who can splash around in the water playground, spot wildlife at Swan Lake, or play with potbellied pigs at the petting zoo. In addition, the 500-seat outdoor Banyan Bowl offers concertgoers pristine acoustics and cool evening breezes along with complimentary views of the stars.
Pinecrest Community Center fosters community engagement with fitness classes, social events, and educational opportunities, all held in supportive group settings. Here, guests will find a fitness center with all the weights, core training equipment, and cardio workouts they need to slim down and squeeze back into their favorite childhood car seat. Classes are a main component of the center's mission, and the course topics here range from health and wellness to arts and education. Some examples include yoga and Pilates classes, modern dance and ballet, a Chinese-speaking course, and a mommy-and-me arts class. Additionally, the center also hosts lectures and seminars as well as informal game nights, so that members of the community can come together to socialize and engage in friendly competition.
Understanding that rock stars aren’t made overnight, Music Depot shepherds along aspiring golden gods with brand-name gear and detailed training. Their sprawling space boasts shiny electronic and acoustic axes from Fender and Ibanez as well as name-brand speakers, gear, and music software. Private lessons teach basic musicianship, and the Depot’s ensemble programs let performers develop essential professional skills such as timing, collaboration, and who gets stuck playing the thimble in Monopoly.