PINECREST, FLORIDA, USA: Water lily garden at Pinecrest Gardens a lush exotic botanical garden as seen on May 23, 2021.

Jillian Cain Photography/Shutterstock

Pinecrest Gardens


When Parrot Jungle – now Jungle Island – flew the coop for the big city, the village of Pinecrest purchased the property in order to keep it as a municipal park. It’s now a quiet oasis with some of the best tropical gardens this side of the Gulf of Mexico, topped off by a gorgeous centerpiece banyan tree. Outdoor movies and jazz concerts are held here, and all in all this is a total gem that is utterly off the tourism trail.

There's lots of fun for kids to be had, with a petting zoo, a playground, a splashy water play area (don't forget to bring towels) and giant games of chess or checkers.

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