Named for the water lilies (“bonnets” in 19th century Florida) that once flourished in the freshwater marsh in front of this grand home, the 35 acres of tropical forest on which the Bonnet House was built was a gift from industrialist Hugh Taylor Birch to his daughter Helen and son-in-law Fredric Clay Bartlett, a noted artist.
Location: Fort Lauderdale
Fees: $20 adult, $16 ages 6-12. Gardens only (no house tour) $10. Tram tour, $2. Additional behind-the-scenes tours are offered.
Open: Tue-Sun 9-4, closed major holidays
Surrounded by natural beauty, this 1920s retreat brings the outdoors in, encircling a courtyard with tropical flora. Outside the walls of the home are a desert garden with exotic succulents; a native tropical hammock with tall gumbo-limbo, sea grape, and paradise trees; and an orchid house featuring whatever is in bloom from the Bartlett collection of more than 3,000 plants.
Once you complete a tour of the home, you are welcome to roam the grounds at your leisure and relax in the garden spaces. Watch for the roaming bands of monkeys in the trees!