The Bonnet House is owned by the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation, is a designated Fort Lauderdale landmark, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. (Courtesy Florida Trust for Historic Preservation)
This Fort Lauderdale property was bought in the 19th century by Hugh Taylor Birch (the lush state park just south of Bonnet House bears his name). Birch bequeathed the property to his artsy daughter and son-in-law who designed a Mediterranean-style plantation house and decorated it with a shell museum, aviary and tropical courtyard. The bright hues are a feast for the eyes. The house is preserved and maintained in its original state, with original furnishings and artwork. The surrounding grounds are home to one of the largest orchid collections in the southeast United States. Closed Mondays.