Founded in 1988 by Ronald Boender, Butterfly World is the first butterfly house in the US and one of the world’s largest. The 3-acres (1.2-hectare) site includes butterfly aviaries, botanical gardens, and a working butterfly farm and research center, plus two aviaries for tropical birds and an interactive lorikeet encounter. There are at least 10,000 butterflies on display at any time at Butterfly World. Boender also created the “Bring Back the Butterflies” campaign, which supplies free butterfly gardening materials. Another major attraction is the hummingbird aviary, where you can sit and observe the tiny birds.
Things to know before you go
- Remember to bring a camera to capture photos of the butterflies.
- Butterfly World is wheelchair accessible; wheelchairs are available for rent for a nominal fee for up to two hours.
- You’re not allowed to bring food inside the park and water is the only beverage allowed inside the aviaries.
- There are two outdoor cafés selling snacks, beverages, ice cream, and lunch items.
- Prepare to spend about 2–3 hours exploring the park at a leisurely pace.
How to get there
Butterfly World is a short drive north from Fort Lauderdale: about 10 miles (16 kilometers) on Interstate 95 or on the Florida Turnpike via Sample Road in Coconut Creek. The park is located on the south side of Sample Road. It’s about a 30-minute drive from the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
When to get there
Visit the park on a sunny day when the butterflies are most active. Since there are thousands of butterflies and hundreds of birds on display, you’re guaranteed to spot some year round. Keep in mind, the Butterfly Flight area and the Lorikeet Encounter close at 4:30pm daily, and the park is closed on Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
Another popular attraction for animal and nature lovers, Flamingo Gardens, located in Davie, Florida, about 30 minutes south of Butterfly World, is home to more than 3,000 plant and flower species. The family-friendly attraction includes an animal rehabilitation center, aviary, and on-site museum, and celebrates the native Florida wilderness.
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