Big Cypress National Preserve

Big Cypress National Preserve

Big Cypress National Preserve: Exploring Florida’s Subtropical Wilderness

Immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring beauty of Big Cypress National Preserve, a sprawling subtropical wilderness that beckons nature lovers, adventure seekers, and anyone captivated by the wild wonders of Florida. This remarkable preserve spans an area larger than the state of Rhode Island, protecting 729,000 acres of diverse ecosystems that seamlessly connect mangrove-lined shores, oak and maple woodlands, and towering cypress forests. Whether you’re a budding naturalist, an outdoors enthusiast, a photographer, or an adventure seeker, Big Cypress offers endless opportunities for exploration and discovery.

Unveiling Nature’s Treasures

Ecosystems in Harmony: Dive into the harmonious coexistence of five different ecosystems within Big Cypress National Preserve. From the serene beauty of mangrove-lined shores to the enchanting world of oak and maple woodlands, each ecosystem reveals its unique character, captivating visitors with its vibrant flora and abundant wildlife.

Rare Encounters: Prepare to be mesmerized by the rare and elusive treasures found only within the boundaries of Big Cypress. The preserve is home to an extraordinary array of plants and animals, including the renowned ghost orchid and the majestic Florida panther. Spotting alligators, black bears, white-tailed deer, and over 200 species of birds is not uncommon. Reptile enthusiasts will be enthralled by the preserve’s 51 reptile species, which include the Florida scarlet snake, pygmy rattlesnake, and Florida cottonmouth.

A Journey Through Time

Rich Cultural Heritage: Uncover the captivating history of Big Cypress National Preserve, which reveals evidence of human settlement dating back over two thousand years. The Calusa people and various Native American cultures inhabited the area before the arrival of Europeans. Today, the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida and the Seminole Tribe of Florida, descendants of the last Native American inhabitants, maintain a strong presence in the preserve.

Legacy of Conservation: Witness the triumph of conservation efforts that saved Big Cypress from various threats. Early European-American settlers hunted herons and egrets for their feathers, pushing these species to the brink of extinction. The timber industry ravaged the cypress ecosystem, depleting its old-growth trees. However, the persistence of Native Americans, hunters, and conservationists halted the construction of the Miami Jetport in the 1970s, ensuring the preservation of this natural wonder.

Big Cypress National Preserve


Nathaniel P. Reed Visitor Center

33000 Tamiami Trail East
Ochopee, Florida 34141

Oasis Visitor Center
52105 Tamiami Trail East
Ochopee, Florida 34141

Big Cypress National Preserve Headquarters
33100 Tamiami Trail East
Ochopee, FL 34141

Preserve is located along (US 41 and I-75 in southern Florida. The preserve’s two visitor centers are located along Tamiami Trail East.

Hours of Operation:
Open 24 hours a day 365 days a year. The visitor centers are closed on December 25th.

Prices and Fees:
Preserve does not charge an entrance fee. Backcountry hiking and camping require permits, but there is no fee. Campgrounds in the Preserve do charge fees for overnight stays.

The Nathaniel P. Reed Visitor Center has free public wifi. The Oasis Visitor Center does not offer public wifi. Cellular access is spotty and unreliable along U.S. 41 (the Tamiami Trail). The rest of the preserve lacks towers- do not expect service.


A Rainforest Adventure

Venture into the only rainforest in the continental United States nestled within Fairchild Garden. Step into a world of cascading waterfalls and lush vegetation, transporting you to the depths of the Amazon. Experience the misting system that recreates an authentic rainforest atmosphere, making your visit a truly immersive adventure.

Conservation and Research Efforts

At Fairchild Garden, conservation and research take center stage. Scientists work tirelessly to protect tropical plants from extinction and preserve their habitats. The garden partners with esteemed universities to train graduate and postdoctoral students, ensuring the next generation of experts is equipped to tackle the challenges of biodiversity conservation.

Educational Delights for All Ages

Fairchild Garden is not just a place for admiration; it’s also a hub of educational opportunities. From horticultural studies to art workshops, photography classes to culinary courses, there’s something for everyone. Kids can participate in engaging programs like the Explorer Program, Discovery Program, and Adventure Program, while adults can dive deeper into botany and nature through guided tours and specialized workshops.

Wings of the Tropics

A visit to Fairchild Garden wouldn’t be complete without a trip to “Wings of the Tropics,” a butterfly house that will leave you mesmerized. Encounter exotic butterflies from Central and South America, as well as Southeast Asia, as they flutter freely in the 25,000 square foot (2,300 m2) Clinton Family Conservatory. Walk among these magnificent creatures and witness their delicate beauty up close.

Practical Tips for Your Visit

To make the most of your Fairchild Garden experience, keep these tips in mind:

Take a tram tour

Hop on a free guided tram tour to explore the garden and learn fascinating insights from knowledgeable guides.

Pack a picnic

Enjoy a leisurely lunch amidst nature by bringing your own food or visit the Glasshouse Cafe or Lakeside Cafe for a delightful meal.

Capture the magic

Don’t forget your camera to capture Instagram-worthy moments and breathtaking natural backdrops.

Check for discounts

Visit Fairchild Garden’s website to find available discounts and special offers.

Respect the environment

Help protect this precious ecosystem by following the garden’s guidelines and staying on designated paths.

Plan Your Visit

Location: 10901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables, Florida 33156
Prices: $24.95 for adults; $11.95 for kids aged 6-17; free for kids 5 and younger
Hours of Operation: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
Type: Parks and Gardens, Sightseeing
Time to Spend: 2 hours to Half Day

Experience the beauty and serenity of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden firsthand! Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, Fairchild Garden promises an unforgettable experience for tourists exploring Miami. Book your tickets online, pack your camera, and get ready to immerse yourself in the wonders of this tropical paradise. Don’t miss out on this botanical treasure—plan your visit to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden today!

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