Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, Fort Lauderdale

(4.3/5 based on 1,100+ reviews on the web)
Built in 1920, Bonnet House Museum & Gardens centers around a plantation-style building featured on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Once the winter home of Frederic Clay Bartlett and his wife Helen, it is now the residence of two American artists, but it remains open to the public. Inside you'll find the art collection and personal items from the original owners. The gardens feature five different ecosystems. Look for exotic parrots, cockatiels, and swans in the aviary, while the grounds showcase wild squirrel monkeys, gopher tortoises, and manatees. It couldn't be easier to arrange your visit to Bonnet House Museum & Gardens and many more Fort Lauderdale attractions: make an itinerary online using Inspirock's Fort Lauderdale trip builder.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • A house where the tour lasts 1.30 pm and costs $80 per person. I thought it was too expensive for what it offers. If you want to walk alone in the garden you won't find on the worthy view.
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  • A very nice representation of life in Florida way back when. Great gardens, and a nice historic home to look around and walk the grounds. If you're near the beach and need a few hours of more relaxati...  more »
  • The Bonnet House Museum and Garden do very well considering the limited attraction of what is Ft Lauderdales oldest building. But they handle their limited resources very well and the House tour is ve...  more »
Google
  • Curiosities and creativity abound in this early 20th-century South Florida winter home. Owned and decorated by artists Frederic and Evelyn Bartlett, the courtyard and inner rooms are unique: Look for paintings on indoor and outdoor walls, black and realistic (OK, scary-looking) statues of monkey servants, and -- last but not least -- a very cool bust of a veiled woman (my favorite of the pieces). (Hint: Watch what happens when a tour guide shines a light on the bust.) Our tour guide was knowledgable though did skip around a bit in telling the history. Strong point: He was good at including the kids in our group in the tour, asking them questions and having them be on the lookout for pairs of items and for certain colors. He also provided a scavenger hunt to the kids to help keep them from dying of boredom. This place is not for everyone, and one member of my group did leave before the tour was over. A little seems to go a long way for some people of this place. We went into about 5 rooms -- kitchen (old hand mixer was cool), gallery (incredible pencil drawings), breakfast room (skeletons of sea turtles on the walls BUT also quirky ceramic tiles surrounding the doorway) among them. The courtyard boasted palm trees and a cage that once housed birds. Very cool were the figures of assorted animals — lion, camel, ostrich, giraffe, elephant — posing on the perimeter of the courtyard. Orchids were hanging in abundance, and the gardens (rocky and sandy paths -- closed-toe shoes are a good choice) were a beautiful example of Florida wilderness. One path leads to the beach (it's gated, so no access to the water). I'd avoid visiting in the summer and not when it's raining. It can get awfully hot and sticky when you're walking around outdoors in Florida, even when you're surrounded by trees.
  • I am a volunteer here. It is the best attraction in Fort Lauderdale and one of the oldest. The Bonnet house has been around since 1893 and is one of the last remaining vestiges of Old Fort Lauderdale. The volunteer staff has been there for over 20 years. You cannot spend a better amount of $20 to see an incredible place. Excellent hands down.
  • 🔆 Charming little park where you feel the untouched native Floridian nature, right by the beach in Fort Lauderdale. There is a haunting atmosphere of everything being "old". Oh, and there are thousands of gigantic spiders hanging on their webs all over the trees!
  • What a surprise! Loved it. I learned a lot about South Florida history. I loved the house and artwork. This is a must-visit place.
  • The grounds and house are beautiful. Our tour was slightly affected by a wedding being set up but it was very worth visiting.