Forget what you think you know of botanical gardens – Miami‘s Fruit and Spice Park is literally one-of-a-kind in the country. Veggies, herbs, nuts, and, of course, fruits and spices – 500 of them in total – are spread over 37 acres. 150 different types of mangoes? ‘Nuff said.
Picnic facilities abound, or you can take one of the guided tours that run three times daily. If you enjoy your visit, consider donating something on their wishlist, like a saw, bench, or ceramic pot.
The Redland Heritage Festival will take place from January 21-22, 2012. Over thirty years old, the festival has a reasonable admission price ($8) and has arts and crafts, a petting zoo, a magic show, and an “Everglades reptile show.” Other upcoming events include an Asian culture festival with music, dancing, and food in March; a catch-and-release children’s bamboo fishing tournament (ages 4-8) in April; and the Redland Summer Festival with wine tasting and rare fruit in June.
The Mango Cafe has plenty of snacks to complement the “fruit sampler” of surrounding flavors: wraps, salads, shrimp tacos, Cuban paninis, specialty personal pizzas, kettle-cooked potato chips, and cheesecake… to name a few.
At the time of writing, juicy munchies that are in season include starfruit, dragonfruit, avocados, guava, papaya, and pumpkins.