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.
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.
The newly renovated Holiday Inn Miami Coral Gables across from University of Miami is centrally located in the heart of the upscale city of Coral Gables, on South Dixie Highway (US 1) across from the University of Miami and just ten minutes from Miami International Airport.
Though Marilyn Scavo is more than secure behind the camera, it?s her job to make clients comfortable in front of it. That?s why she goes to great pains to foster a convivial, positive environment during boudoir photo shoots where women can relax and have fun while flaunting their sensuality. Luckily, the shutterbug has the chops to pull it off with her 23 combined years of photography and teaching experience. Since she?s versed in Photoshop, Marilyn expertly retouches photos, and can package images on a CD or in an album, which will give a client?s bunkmate a much more stimulating picture book to read before bed than Curious George Renews His License at the DMV.
Signature service: Ikebana Class - Japanese Art of Flowers
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Average Duration of Services: 1?2 hours
Pro Tip: More than just buying a flower bucket, we teach how fun and pleasurable it is to make one
Located in the newly restored historic Coral Gables Country Club, Liberty Caffe serves freshly baked pastries, crisp salads, and local Florida orange juice. Behind a lit glass case stuffed with crisp salads and buttery croissants, baristas pour foamy cappuccinos at the coffee bar and scoop cups of house-made gelato made from traditional Italian recipes and garnished with fresh strawberries and hazelnuts. Diners can slide into tables facing a row of open, arched windows overlooking the country club's manicured landscape of green grass, swaying palm trees, and fist-shaking groundskeepers.