Mounts Botanical Garden of Palm Beach County#9 in Best Things To Do in West Palm Beach
With 18 gardens and landscaped spaces that include everything from jacaranda trees and rose bushes to various herb plants and fruit trees, Mounts Botanical Garden of Palm Beach County offers all sorts of flora to explore. Themed areas include a butterfly garden, a Mediterranean garden and a tropical forest. There's even a trial garden, where plants are grown to see how well they'll perform for the average gardener. A nursery that sells various herbs, butterfly plants and unusual shrubs is also located on the property grounds.
While many previous visitors praised the garden's variety of flora and special events like a Lego exhibit and a tropical fruit tasting, several caution that airplane traffic from the nearby Palm Beach International Airport can be a bit noisy and unpleasant. Mounts' gardening and photography classes are also recommended, though keep in mind that each class costs extra to attend.
Open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mounts Botanical Garden requires a $10 entrance fee for adults and a $5 fare for children between 3 and 12. Children 2 and younger get in for free, while seniors, veterans and students with a valid ID can take advantage of a discounted admission rate. However, the nursery guild is only open on Mondays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., so travelers hoping to buy a plant should plan their visit accordingly. Free on-site parking is provided, and all garden tickets include access to each of the property's gardens, restroom facilities and a gift shop. Various tours designed for groups, seniors and families with young children are also offered for a fee (between $5 and $15 per ticket depending on the tour and participant's age). And for visitors without a car, Palm Tran's No. 3 bus stops within walking distance of the property along Military Trail.
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#1 McCarthy's Wildlife Sanctuary
Featuring more than 170 animals, including lions, tigers, panthers and lemurs, McCarthy's Wildlife Sanctuary is an ideal attraction for animal lovers. Unlike Lion Country Safari and the Palm Beach Zoo, McCarthy's Wildlife Sanctuary affords visitors an up close view of various animals, as well as interactive opportunities with many of the property's smaller species. In fact, travelers can hold everything from baby alligators to pythons during each tour.
Overall, past visitors appreciated McCarthy's mission to rehabilitate injured or abandoned wild animals. Not only are the grounds well-maintained, but the tour guides are also informative, polite and engaging, according to reviewers. Remember, though, to make arrangements for this attraction well in advance since appointments are required. Another note: Children younger than 5 are not permitted.
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