Sight, the workhorse of the five senses, puts in too many hours keeping man from falling in manholes. Reward the most overworked sense with today's visually stimulating Groupon: for $10, you get one individual ticket (a $20 value) to the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens on North Birch Road.
A 90-year-old sanctuary of natural and man-made beauty, the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens provides visitors with a decadent visual buffet comprising numerous artistic media and floral features. Wander the art-filled, ghost-free rooms of the Caribbean-plantation-style house and study the rich collection of easel art, murals, and more. Paintings—including numerous works by the house's former residents, artists Frederic Clay Bartlett and Evelyn Fortune Bartlett—as well as sculpture, furniture, and tableware make the house a pirate-proof aesthetic treasure trove, while five separate ecosystems have shaped the surrounding property into a delicious stew of biodiversity. Stroll nature trails to enjoy the flora and naturally occurring discotheques of mangrove wetlands and a maritime forest, or stop by the orchid showroom to swaddle nature's most needy flower in a comforting blanket of compliments and adoring stares.
In addition to its abundant plant life, the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens also plays host to numerous exotic animals, including squirrel monkeys, Amazon parrots, and the art critics of the sea, manatees. The property is part of the National Register of Historic Places and an official historic landmark of the City of Fort Lauderdale. Taken together, a visit to this whimsical wonderland makes an ideal trip for solo art lovers, full families with curious children, and temporally displaced Victorian British explorers with penchants for exotic pets.
TripAdvisors name Bonnet House Museum & Gardens the #5 attraction in Fort Lauderdale. The New York Times featured the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, and MarthaStewart.com mentioned it as well. Frommer’s gives it three stars, the highest rating:
- Fort Lauderdale, Fla., may not be the first place one expects to find some of the most avant-garde early-20th-century art, design and architecture. But there it is, hidden behind a cluster of pedestrian high-rises, in the Bonnet House, an astonishing — albeit bizarre — museum and gardens created by two great visionary collectors of the last century. – Geraldine Fabrikant, New York Times
- This historic 35-acre plantation home and estate, accessible by guided tour only, will provide you with a fantastic glimpse of Old Florida. Built in 1921, the sprawling two-story waterfront home (surrounded by formal tropical gardens) is really the backdrop of a love story, which the very chatty volunteer guides will share with you if you ask. Some have actually lunched with the former resident of the house, the late Evelyn Bartlett, wife of world-acclaimed artist Frederic Clay Bartlett. The worthwhile 1 1/4-hour tour introduces you to quirky people, whimsical artwork, lush grounds, and interesting design. – Frommer’s
900 N Birch Rd.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33304Get Directions