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Bonnet House Museum and Gardens

Bonnet House Museum and Gardens


Bonnet House Museum and Gardens  – Is Fort Lauderdale’s little hidden secret that is definitely worth seeing.  If you’re visiting Fort Lauderdale, take a few hours out of your day and visit the Bonnet House Museum and Gardens.  It’s one of the oldest houses left standing in Ft Lauderdale.

The house was designed by Chicagoan Frederic Clay Bartlett (1873-1953), artist, art collector and one time son-in-law of Fort Lauderdale pioneer Hugh Taylor Birch.  It’s a 35 acre subtropical plantation estate build in 1920  right on the waterfront near Sunrise Blvd.  It takes you back in time to the early days before high rises and hotels took over the shoreline.   The surrounding gardens of the estate are wonderful, ranging from a mangrove swamp to a coastal hammock, providing habitat for a variety of fish, monkeys and other wildlife.  It’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Bonnet House Museum
Bonnet House, Fort Lauderdale
Bonnet House Museum and Gardens
If you’re lucky you’ll see the monkeys in the trees at Bonnet House, Fort Lauderdale
Bonnet House Museum and Gardens
Collection of Artwork at Bonnet House Museum and Gardens


The house is filled with historical artifacts and a collection of artwork with personal treasures of the Birch/Bartlett families. There are plenty of rooms to see and each room offered an eclectic collection of antiques and art gathered world wide. The art work was phenomenal and I recommend that visitors take their time to savor the paintings.

Bonnet House is available to rent.  It’s a perfect location to host a corporate event or wedding.  It’s  one of the best outdoor wedding venues in Fort Lauderdale.


Swan at Bonnet House and Museum, Fort Lauderdale
The pond in front of the main house is the home of two white swans, Bonnet House, Fort Lauderdale.


Evelyn Bartlett was a passionate orchid collector and the varieties of orchids she left to Bonnet House comprise one of the largest collections of orchids in the Southeast United States.


Orchids at Bonnet House, Fort Lauderdalae
Gardens at Bonnet House, Fort Lauderdale
Gardens at Bonnet House, Fort Lauderdale


So keep it a secret, but go see this fabulously preserved relic of life in early South Florida.

Public Tours are:  Tuesday – Sunday – 9:00am to 4:00pm
Closed: Mondays, New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

Adult:  $20.00
Children (ages 6 – 12):  $16.00


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The Bonnet House is one of Fort Lauderdale's little hidden secret that is definitely worth seeing. It is an old 35 acre subtropical plantation estate build in 1920.

About the author

Carmen Edelson is the Founder of Carmen's Luxury Travel. Carmen has been traveling the world for over a decade. Her travels allow her the opportunity to pursue her itch to travel to the best luxury destinations, and experience those first class tastes from around the world.


  1. Mrs. Chasing the Donkey
    January 13, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    Thanks for linking up again Carmen. This place is a step back in time. I agree that this would be a great place to get married BUT imagine if one of those monkeys decided to do something cheeky that day. Oh goodness! I’ll go and pin this now, so that more people can read about it.

    • Carmen
      January 14, 2014 at 2:49 am

      Not to worry the monkeys are kept in a separate part of the gardens. The wedding ceremony site is just magical and the reception area overlooking the pond with the swans couldn’t be more romantic. Thanks for the link-up 🙂

  2. noel morata
    January 13, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Thanks for taking us on a tour of this historic and gorgeous home and garden, I would love to visit and spend time here…Hope you can come and link up with us today with your post for Travel Photo Mondays, the link is live, thanks

    • Carmen
      January 14, 2014 at 9:52 pm

      Hi Noel,

      Glad to hear that you enjoyed my pictures. I will definitely link up to your Travel Photo Mondays. 🙂

  3. A Southern Gypsy
    January 13, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    I’ve been to Ft Lauderdale so many times I can’t count, but I’ve never heard of this place. It’s amazing how that happens haha…great post! Thanks for linking up to the #SundayTraveler again 🙂

    • Carmen
      January 14, 2014 at 2:53 am

      Hopefully, next time you’re in town you’ll go see it. It’s definitely worth the trip.

  4. Barbara
    January 14, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    Bonnet House looks very beautiful and interesting at the same time. We will be sure to look it up the next time we are in the Ft. Lauderdale area. Thanks!

    • Carmen
      January 16, 2014 at 1:50 am

      Hi Barbara, It’s a wonderful place to spend a few hours and wonder around the gardens.

  5. Adelina @ PackMeTo
    January 16, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    What an adorable looking house! It looks like you’re stepping back in time almost. Those paintings look pretty cool too. Thanks for linking up to the #SundayTraveler!

    • Carmen
      January 31, 2014 at 5:22 pm

      Hello Adelina, Thank you for allowing me to link up. It’s a fantastic plantation house in the middle of Fort Lauderdale that a lot of people aren’t aware that it’s there. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Jess
    January 18, 2014 at 10:53 am

    I would never have guessed there was a place in Florida where there were monkeys in the trees! It looks magical.

    • Carmen
      January 21, 2014 at 2:17 am

      Unfortunately, the money population has decreased over the years. They only have a few left.

  7. frankaboutcroatia
    January 18, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    Spent so much time in Fort Lauderdale, but have never visited Bonnet House Museum & Garden. Such a shame! Thanks for taking me on this tour.

    • Carmen
      January 31, 2014 at 5:24 pm

      Hopefully, next time you’re in town you have time to go visit it. It’s a great place to see.

  8. Inge
    June 27, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    I was in Ft Lauderdale last week and we visited Bonnet House. I went with a friend that has lived in Ft Lauderdale for 23 years and she had never heard of Bonnet House!
    We throughly enjoyed the tour of the house and gardens. The orchids are so beautiful! Photographs just don’t do them justice.
    My only regret was not being able to purchase prints of the artwork of Mr. Bartlett.
    Definitely worth the spending the afternoon touring the house and gardens!

    • Carmen
      June 29, 2015 at 11:32 am

      Hi Inge,

      I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed your visit. I have a few friends that have never visited either, I keep telling them to go. It’s such a great place to go and wonder around for a few hours. I agree photographs just don’t do it justice.

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