My family just spent a few days at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia and the hit of the visit was the Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center. Everybody loves butterflies, they’re Mother Nature’s most enchanting decorative accent. It’s interesting to realize that as recently as the mid eighties there were no butterfly breeders or attractions in the United States.
My first experience with a butterfly facility was in 1989 when I lived in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. There was an article in the paper about a commercial business in town breeding butterflies. It was founded in 1988 by Ronald Boender, and Butterfly World is the first butterfly house in the US and one of the world’s largest. The 3-acre site includes butterfly aviaries, a working butterfly farm and research center. Today the facility is a popular attraction located in a Broward County Park at 3600 W. Sample Road, Coconut Creek, Florida
North America’s largest butterfly exhibit is The Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory. The Niagara Falls Butterfly Conservatory is home to over 2,000 butterflies, made up of 45 different species. Located on the grounds of the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens, visitors to the Butterfly Conservatory are transported to a tropical paradise full of lush vegetation, trickling waterfalls and thousands of vibrantly colored butterflies.It opened in 1996 and remarkably is a $15 million facility. The conservatory can accommodate up to 300 visitors per hour. The glass dome that contains the conservatory is 11,000 sq ft in size with 590 ft of paths inside the greenhouse.
Today there are probably butterfly facilities near to you. In addition to the three mentioned above some of the larger ones include:
- Butterfly Pavilion 900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90007
- Chattanooga Aquarium – Butterfly Pavilion One Broad Street, Chattanooga, TN. 37402
- Butterfly Pavilion 6252 W. 104th Avenue, Westminster, CO 80020
- The Butterfly Place 120 Tyngsboro Road, Westford, MA 01886
- Butterfly House 313 Hudson Ave, Tenafly, NJ 07670
- Hershey Gardens 170 Hotel Road, Hershey, PA 17033
If you haven’t visited one of these remarkable facilities, what are you waiting for? I guarantee it will be some of the best time you’ve had recently.