It was all by chance that we found Everglades Wonder Gardens located in Bonita Springs, FL. Our hotel had a local weekly newspaper publication with a flamingo on the cover that caught my eye. I read about how this aging Old Florida attraction had closed after 77 years. Now it is reopening under new management and undergoing renovations. The admission price is currently reduced to $10.00 as the renovations are just beginning.
What fun! We made it our first stop of the day!
We were greeted upon entering by one of the new owners. She had lots of stories about the renovation and upcoming plans. I know we will be making a return trip.
It has only been in renovation for a month and most of the work has been done on the original building. It is now an art gallery, museum and gift shop.
The Gift Shop
There are wonderful items to purchase. The baskets and hats are crafted in Africa and purchased through Fair Trade. I found the prices very reasonable.
The Art Gallery
The gallery displays beautiful landscape photographs of Florida.
The photographer is
A descendent of the famous Civil War Photographer, Matthew Brady.
The antiques and relics on display in the gallery really draw you back into Old Florida
Wonderful old cases full of interesting artifacts and rows of bottles where unusual specimens float.
A delightful place for the curious.
These are old slides mounted on a vintage wheel. It wasn't really on display, just located in a corner where there were many old signs stacked. Perhaps originally they projected images on a screen of the attraction in yesteryear, an early version of the videos many museums have today.
I really enjoyed this area, fully air conditioned and spacious. I can see that this attraction in Bonita Springs Florida, when fully renovated, will be first class all the way.
But wait! There is more to come!
I want to show you the outdoors next. The Brady's plan to take it from a roadside zoo attraction to a botanical gardens setting featuring a smaller amount of native Florida animals.
Click Here to read my Part II post!