Imagine entering a magical world festooned with tropical plants and inhabited by what seems like a million butterflies. Visiting the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory is like visiting another planet, full of brightly colored plants, birds and, of course, butterflies. With between 50 – 60 species of butterflies from around the world and more than 20 exotic bird species, a visit to the Conservatory is a memorable experience in sight and sound. Tread carefully, keep your eyes open and you might find a butterfly perched on your shoulder as you wander along.
The Butterfly and Nature Conservatory is entirely enclosed in glass and kept at a temperature of approximately 80° F (27° C); it’s also very humid, which is how the butterflies prefer it. Paths meander through tropical plants, past feeding platforms for the butterflies and alongside waterfalls. Visitors can learn about what butterflies eat, how and when they mate and migratory patterns. Stop into the Learning Center for a 15-minute film that gives a helpful overview of the life cycle, basic facts and other details of the butterfly. The Gallery displays the work of Sam Trophia, an artist whose work captures and preserves butterflies as art.
The Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory is located at 1361 Duval Street, near the Southernmost Point. The Conservatory is open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily, with the last ticket sold at 4:30 p.m. Ticket prices are $12 for adults; $9 for seniors and military; $8.50 for children ages 4 – 12; free for children under 4.