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.
When a first-time visitor steps into Sale Rack, she rolls up her sleeves, beelines to the well-organized racks, and rummages through a trove of eclectic designer dresses, jeans, and shirts marked down 60%–80% off retail prices. This ritual—what the recycled-clothing-boutique owner calls "a modern day treasure hunt"—may take a bit more patience than the average store experience, but the bounty can be glorious: vintage Louis Vuitton bags, Citizens of Humanity denim, Miu Miu blouses, a never-been-worn Marc Jacobs dress, and anti-gravity space wear by NASA. Though labels often bear big names, staff members scrutinize every item to ensure its fresh, bold style and prime condition. The resulting apparel, accessories, and home-décor items have wowed even professional eyes, grabbing a Boutique of the Week title from College Fashionista and mentions on Miami Fashion Blog and DailyCandy.
For 11 years, the instructors and trainers have helped clients achieve their fitness and weight loss goals. Now the workout institution has reopened its doors as Red Zone Fitness, where at this boutique style gym, in a relaxed environment, clients choose their workout duration, even in group classes. With 30-minute one-on-one or group personal-training sessions or 40- to 45-minute group fitness classes, the fitness studio follows the FITT principle: Frequency, Intensity, Time, and Type. Sessions depend on various factors that include strength aerobics, performance goal focus, exercise biomechanics, and effort. Experienced instructors lead students through group fitness classes that include Red Zone training, a group class for women that provides a heart-rate-monitored, full-body workout and strengthens the cardiovascular system in just 40- to 45- minutes with resistance and cardio training.
For close to two decades, photographer Carlos Osorio has been preserving family memories at Miami Photo. He has documented more than 400 weddings, and his laid-back, journalistic style has been published in numerous media. Assisted by his wife Sandra, Osorio earned one of WeddingWire.com's Bride's Choice awards in 2009, 2010, and 2011. He turns brides' special days into prints at his own professional lab and converts images into products such as coffee-table albums, canvas prints, or high-resolution vinyl siding. Osorio also captures family portraits, parties, and quinceaňeras, and restores precious photos damaged by the passage of time.
The Miami branch of the Società Dante Alighieri was founded in 1997, more than a century after the society was founded in Rome. Its aim is to celebrate Italian culture and serve as a social hub for Italians. Working in tandem with its principle partner, the Consulate General of Italy in Miami, the society hosts language courses—including Italian, Portuguese, and Latin—and doles out PLIDA Italian proficiency exams and certificates. In addition, they offer cooking and wine classes that teach students how to concoct regional Italian specialties and appreciate the differences between Italian wine and tomato sauce served in wineglasses.
At a professional studio flooded with natural light, professional photographers Marilyn Scavo and Carlos Osorio teach budding shutterbugs how to advance their picture-snapping skills during private lessons and beginner workshops. From composing compelling daytime shots to clearly capturing your boss screaming into a pillow, Photo Workshops Studios' instructors use their backgrounds in wedding, boudoir, and family photography to assist students in achieving portfolio-ready images.