Butterfly World#15 in Best Things To Do in Fort Lauderdale
Butterfly World, the largest butterfly house on earth and the first of its kind in the United States, has been in business since 1986 and is home to more than 20,000 live butterflies. The 3-acre attraction was the brainchild of Ronald Boender, a former electrical engineer with a fascination for raising butterflies. He is also known for starting the "Bring Butterflies Back" campaign in 1988, which led to the creation of thousands of new butterfly habitats and an increase in butterfly populations across North America. Today, visitors of Butterfly World can not only interact with more than 50 butterfly species at any one time, but also admire tropical birds and feed lorikeets.
This Coconut Creek attraction, located about 15 miles north of downtown Fort Lauderdale, is a great place to bring children. Recent patrons said it was a beautiful and unique place to spend an afternoon, and they were amazed to see the butterflies flying all around them. Another highlight was feeding the birds in the lorikeet enclosure (though some reviewers warn that the birds will perch right on your arm, which may frighten some visitors). No outside food is permitted at Butterfly World, but you can bring lunch to eat at designated picnic benches outside of the entrance. There are also two outdoor cafes on the premises that sell snacks and drinks.
Butterfly World is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Final admission every day is at 4 p.m., and the butterfly flight area and lorikeet encounter close at 4:30 p.m. General admission tickets cost $29.95 for adults and senior citizens and $21.95 for children between the ages of 3 and 11. Admission is free for kids 2 and younger. Butterfly World is a part of the greater Tradewinds Park complex, so there may also be a small gate fee to enter the property. Some recent guests were put off by the high admission costs. To save a little money, check Butterfly World's website for a discount coupon, which can take up to $3 off each general admission ticket. You may also want to consider purchasing a flat-fee South Florida Adventure Pass ($50 for adults and $40 for children), which will get you into several other South Florida attractions – like Flamingo Gardens and Sawgrass Recreation Park – as well.
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#1 Fort Lauderdale Beach
Want a beautiful Florida beach without a crazy party scene? Fort Lauderdale Beach may be just what you're looking for. Here you'll find a calmer and less chaotic version of Miami Beach – but with the same sugary sands and crystal clear water. There are still parties, but you're more likely to find families relaxing or leisurely walking the waterline than raucous groups of college kids. Backing the shoreline, the palm tree-lined promenade bustles with visitors looking to shop and dine in the many establishments along it. There are also beach chair and water sports equipment rentals near the shore.
Recent visitors loved Fort Lauderdale Beach for its wide, expansive shoreline, with some noting that even when there were a lot of people, it didn't feel crowded. Many were also impressed with how clean the beach is, adding that its calm waters make it a great place to bring kids.
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