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Butterfly Rainforest, Gainesville

Categories: Wildlife Areas, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4.8/5 based on 700+ reviews on the web
Perfectly mimicking a lush, tropical ecosystem, Butterfly Rainforest is one of the main attractions of the Florida Museum of Natural History. The large outdoor enclosure is adjacent to the main building and houses hundreds of butterflies from around the world, as well as tropical birds, fish, and turtles. Admire the free-flying butterflies as you wander the habitat, featuring trees, flowering plants, waterfalls, and a pond. You might have the pleasant surprise of a butterfly landing on you. The releases of newly-hatched butterflies occurs daily, weather permitting. While general admission to the museum is free, you have to purchase a ticket to enter the rainforest. Plan your Butterfly Rainforest visit and explore what else you can see and do in Gainesville using our Gainesville itinerary builder.
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  • We happened to be in town on the same day (Oct. 1) as the annual Butterfly Fest. Lots going on, lots of fun. The butterfly rain forest does not disappoint. Great for all ages. 
  • While in gainesville my family and I visited the butterfly rain forest, my kids loved it. It makes a nice family day. 
  • Must see attraction for all ages in Gainesville. Stop in at the Museum of Natural History for free and pay a small fee for the butterfly encounter. Excellent stop for photographers. 
  • You’ll see more butterflies during your visit here than most people will see in a lifetime. The Butterfly Rainforest at the Florida Museum of Natural History is a great family outing. Not only will you see thousands of live butterflies, but there’s also thousands more on display before you enter the exhibit. You’ll be greeted by many unique patterns and colors as the butterflies glide past you, looking to feast on some banana or other nectar. The paths are small, but luckily it wasn’t too crowded when we visited. It’s not a huge area, but you could spend about an hour in here if you’re looking to see many different types of butterflies. Keep in mind there is an extra cost, that we felt was worth it. This is a cool adventure if you’re up in the Gainesville, FL area or willing to travel a bit and make a day of this and the art museum next door.
  • This place is awesome! Beautifully maintained gardens and an astounding number of butterflies to watch and photograph. The staff is very friendly and helpful. Everyday they release the newly hatched butterflies and the staff member gives information about each type as they are released! Don't forget your camera with a macro lens because there are beautiful tropical flowers too!!
  • Wonderful stop on our travels through the area. Great visit with the butterflies and talking with the lepidopterist staff. It was also interesting to see some of the University of Florida. Only wish they had more convenient parking for those with campers or anything larger than a passenger vehicle.
  • Incredibly beautiful oasis and the best part is that it's free for UF students! I was so excited when a butterfly landed on me.
  • The butterfly enclosure is the obvious star of the show here. Filled with trees and plants, it provides the ideal environment for some great photo opportunities. There are also birds and turtles in the area to provide a bit of variety. Before you get to the enclosure there are enough displays to teach you anything you could ever want to know about the butterflies.
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