Bonnet House Museum and Gardens

Bonnet House Museum and Gardens

Bonnet House Museum and Gardens
4.5
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Wednesday
11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Thursday
11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Friday
11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Saturday
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
Accredited by the American Association of Museums and listed on the national Register of Historic Places, this 35-acre historic estate on Fort Lauderdale Beach is an extraordinary blend of art, history and nature. The whimsically-designed house was built in 1920 and was home to artists Frederic and Evelyn Bartlett. Bonnet House was the romantic, whimsical winter getaway of wealthy Chicago-born artist Frederic Clay Bartlett and his wife, Evelyn Fortune Bartlett, an artist in her own right. But unlike lavish show-palaces of the era, Bonnet House was a very personal, intimate creation intended just for family and close friends. It's been perfectly preserved in its 1930's and 40's period of significance, full of delightful surprises.
Duration: 2-3 hours
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  • frodo66
    England, United Kingdom267 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Definitely worth a visit
    On reading previous reviews, we went with tredidation. Hence we were pleasantly surprised. Every member of staff were friendly and helpful. The whole experience was extremely enjoyable in spite of pouring rain - we were lent umbrellas. I think having a cafe where you could sit inside would be an advantage.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written June 6, 2023
  • kristaPGHPA
    Pennsylvania372 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Stunningly beautiful property
    We did the full tour on a whim while killing time waiting for a flight. We were blown away by the beauty of this property and it’s proximity to Central Beach. The museum staff do an excellent job guiding you and ensuring that you see the entire property. It’s kept in pristine condition and you can really envision what life was like at the turn of the century in this opulent home. I would highly recommend this tour, the pictures don’t even do it justice.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written June 10, 2023
  • Kristen K
    Henderson, Nevada1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A must-see!
    I'd give it ten stars if I could. It's an amazing, quirky place full of cool items like the orchid house, wooden carousel animals that are larger than life, artwork, and old daily items from the 20's. Definitely take the time to walk around the property for the incredible plants and wildlife. And take the guided tour! Definitely one of the highlights of our trip!
    Visited February 2023
    Written June 11, 2023
  • michael t
    6 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful grounds and house
    This was my second time visiting Bonnet House. I had a different tour guide this time and learned a ton of new information about the property. Each person has their own unique take on the place, so it's nice to get multiple guides. We also did the guided grounds tour which is as beautiful as always.
    Visited July 2023
    Written July 5, 2023
  • PollyK006
    New York City, New York6 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fabulous guided tour of the house and grounds. Also loved the history and the art.
    Wonderful guided tour with Sid who was a wealth of information. Really enjoyed the history, the house, the art and collections and the grounds. Definitely worth doing, especially if you are a local, to learn more about the history and development of Fort Lauderdale, as well as one of its prominent families.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 22, 2023
  • Kelly B
    Iowa5,157 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    I’m glad I saw this BEFORE Vizcaya
    We visited Vizcaya down by Miami (about a 40 minute drive) two days after seeing Bonnet House. I’m so glad we saw this one first, as it would have been disappointing seeing it after the much more impressive Vizcaya. Bonnet House is unique in that the decor is a bit quirky, whimsical, and exotic. The house is not that big, and only the downstairs is open for viewing. It ends up being only 6 or 7 rooms you can actually see. The music room was my favorite. There was a docent in each room to answer questions, and talk about the history of the house. They were very knowledgeable! The big draw of the yard and gardens is of course the pond. The view of the house from the other side of the pond really is stunning. There’s also an atmospheric bridge you can sit on. The grounds are not very big. We didn’t see any monkeys, and there wasn’t any mention or sign of them. Maybe they were removed? There were plenty of iguanas, birds, and a few raccoons roaming about during the day.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 5, 2023
  • Isabel B
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A MUST SEE PLACE
    The Bonnet House Museum is a "must see place" in Fort Lauderdale. It's a calm, relaxing, beautiful place surrounded by gardens and water with an enchanting history and incredible works of art. However all this would be worthless to the visitor if it wasn't for the amazing people who work there, they are all most hospitable and welcoming. Starting with the driver who takes you from the parking lot to the museum, the workers you meet along the tour, the lady at the shop and most of all our wonderful guide SID, he was like a wikipedia of facts making the tour most interesting and fun. I have no doubt in recommending the tour to all Florida visitors and residents. I visited with my mom who was visiting from Spain and we enjoyed it very much. Arturo Fernandez and Isabel Berrendero
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written October 30, 2023
  • Candyce C
    Boston, Massachusetts18 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lovely museum and former home of artists. Definitely recommend.
    Very relaxed tour of this beautiful museum. A former summer residence of the Bartletts, it is evident that they lived their art. The home is filled with their own creations but art collected on travels. I enjoyed the brief DVD before walking through the museum. The volunteer docents were very friendly and knowledgeable. I definitely recommend. You could spend less than a couple of hours perusing the home but there are grounds to see too.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written November 3, 2023
  • The Pidge
    Wayne, New Jersey593 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    There's real history here, but not much to keep one's attention
    Unlike other historic mansions in the Fort Lauderdale/Miami area (like Vizcaya Museum and Gardens), this one is more eclectic and artsy owing to the personalities of its designers/inhabitants. This alone makes it a unique experience, and worth the time if you're into history. That said, there isn't as much here as other historic buildings and gardens. The boat house is something to see, not tour, and the grounds have been kept in a natural state and are therefore somewhat rough around the edges. After an hour, I had toured the bottom floor of Bonnet House (the top floor is off-limits) and took a lap around the property and its two bodies of water (I wanted to get some photos of the house from across one of them, but a huge tent had been set up for an event and blocked the view that's featured in this listing's main photo). Everything is interesting, but there isn't much to keep one's attention after the first glance.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written November 11, 2023
  • LilacFairy
    Glasgow, United Kingdom10 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Highlight of Fort Lauderdale
    The visit to Bonnet House with my daughter was the highlight of our visit to Fort Lauderdale. We loved hearing about the history of the house and about the Birch and Bartlett families. It has prompted me to do some further research on the area and the families myself. The volunteers in each room were full of fascinating information and we wish we could have stayed longer to chat with these lovely people. We don’t remember all of their names (they were all fantastic) but Owen and Ginger were stand outs for us. Thank you to everyone involved who allows this house to be enjoyed as it was intended by its owner.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written November 25, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles1,793 reviews
Excellent
1,155
Very good
475
Average
123
Poor
23
Terrible
17

AvaE27
Bradenton, FL428 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020
We really enjoyed our visit to the Bonnet house with it's lovely natural setting. It's under $20 and all the CDC guidelines are being observed during COVID. It's kind of a charming and secluded little spot amid Ft. Lauderdale's hustle and bustle. The home was owned by artist Frederick Bartlett and his wives, the final one Evelyn deeded it to use as a museum after her death. They painted the ceilings, the floors and decorated with natural shells from the nearby beach. Walking through you can enjoy the whimsical collection of treasures from around the world including some lovely artworks, funky carved animals and kitschy collections. It's an easy way to enjoy a slow walking afternoon. There is a great gift shop also where you can get a cold drink.
Written November 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Judithann
Pittsburgh71 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
We needed something to do before leaving Ft Lauderdale on our Saturday afternoon flight and chose to tour the Bonnet House. Price of admission was $20 per person and an additional $5 per person to tour the grounds by golf cart. The personnel were all very knowledgeable and the narrated house tour was interesting and informative. The house is unique and well maintained. Time did not permit us to take the grounds tour, but we could easily see much of the landscaping. It was enjoyable.
Written February 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Christena I
Spruce Grove71 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
We love engaging in learning the history of the area, so the Bonnet House Museum was interesting for us. The tours by the volunteers were excellent and we were the only couple so we had lots of time to chat about the venue with the guide. We LOVED the tour guide and his wealth of information.
Written February 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

www.DinedThereSippedThat.com
Montreal, Canada1,512 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Friends
I’m 32 and I was able to appreciate this tour, but anyone who’s younger and not into art, architecture or history will be bored. Not to mention the hefty 20$ price tag on a tour ticket! The grounds and the home are very nice. We were on the 2 o’clock tour and the guide (bald man, I forget his name) was very good, knew answers to questions and had a lot of insights. Despite him speaking very quickly the tour is still over 90minutes which resulted in the South Gate being closed when we got their- they should really mention this to everyone who purchases their tickets at the South Gate. Good activity, I would recommend it if you’re into the things I mentioned above. Money making idea- they should figure out a way to charge for that custom cocktail recipe eat the tiki bar. I would have definitely gone for that!
Written January 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

James W
bostonwake29 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
All 5 of us (2 in 70's, 1 in 60's, 2 in 30's) were rapt during our visit. The guide brought to life the house, its occupants, and its contents. And what interesting occupants and contents. Every room was filled with items to be carefully admired, whether paintings done by the family or acquired pieces. The walk around the grounds was useful to get a sense of the property and the outbuildings (yes we did see the monkeys!) but the foliage was similar to other walks in Fort Lauderdale.
Written January 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Robin B
Phoenix, AZ1,415 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2022
This is an interesting house and a very pretty garden. We arrived early for our guided tour, so we had time to stroll through the garden. You can scan a self-guided tour on your phone. We spent about 45 minutes in the garden. We paid for a guided tour of the home, but the group was very large (around 25 people), so we left the group. I wish we had just done the self-guided at the outset instead of waiting for the guided tour to begin, for which there is also a narrative you can listen to on your phone. There are a number of art works; you only are allowed into the lower level—the studio, kitchen, butler’s pantry, dining room and office are. I gave this four stars because the guided tour group was so large. If you have more than ten people, add another tour.
Written March 5, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

washpa
Winston Salem, NC88 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
I can't say how much I enjoyed this special historic property in the heart of Fort Lauderdale. Celebrating 100 years in 2020, Bonnet House has a really, really interesting backstory, combining art and the artists, the joining of fortunes made in the Midwest more than a century ago, the early development of Florida, tracking the railroad down the coast, and the daily lives of the wealthy, talented, and well-traveled owners and their staff. My brief review cannot give this rather incredible story justice, but do not miss this very special place. Our volunteer tour guide was absolutely outstanding - as good as I've experienced anywhere around the world in prominent museums and historic properties. Likewise, I took advantage of a tram tour of the lovely grounds that boast an impressive array of botanical trees and specimens. My guide on that tour was a courtly and charming older gentleman who shared a wealth of information about the gardens. Plan on about three hours to throughly enjoy touring the home and gardens. There is a small gift shop and cafe where you can find light refreshments and outdoor seating. When you are on the grounds, it is almost impossible to realize that you are in the middle of Ft. Lauderdale!
Written March 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

HolySmokes
Los Angeles, CA76 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
I love historic dwellings of all sorts so when I visit a city I like to see what's around. I don't have a strong knowledge of artists (though I'm slowly learning and appreciating!) so the Bartlett/Birch family wasn't one that I was familiar with. When my itinerary was open for the Bonnet House, I hesitated. "Will it even matter to me if I'm not familiar with the artist?" which I knew in my heart wasn't true, I was just feeling lazy. Boy, am I happy I went!

What fantastic grounds. My guide, Brad, was so knowledgeable and passionate about the family that built and dwelled on the grounds and answered every wild question that I had.

If I was affluent in the 1930s Frederic Bartlett and I would have been enemies - fighting over the same antiques at auction since our sense of style is so similar. I loved every corner and detail.

I don't want to spoil the surprises, but if you're on the fence I encourage you to go. You will absolutely NOT be disappointed!
Written January 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mark
Glen Williams, Canada56 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Couples
From the house design to the rooms with a theme, Bonnet House is a romp through early 20th century art styles and interpretations! The history is fascinating, the artifacts are eclectic with art on the floor, ceilings and walls. The gardens ate just as varied and attractive. A relaxing well-informed guide lead the group through the history of Bonnet House -once on the edge of Florida's wilderness, now surrounded by roads and condos.
Written March 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TheCovertCritic
Apex, North Carolina416 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2020
This is a weird place. Strange colors and architecture styled as rooms around an open courtyard dominate the plan. The builder-artist's early pen and ink portraits are more to my taste than his later works which are more interpretive than realistic. There were few orchids blooming in the orchid house and not a lot of natural flower color in the courtyard area of the main house either. A video presents an intro to the house and its occupants. Docents in various rooms explain the property. Although I can understand the importance of retaining this landmark, I can't agree that the buildings are a particularly admirable piece of work in the first place. In any case there are issues with humidity and mold here that may not allow for successful long term preservation. But, it can be an interesting visit though the entry fee is a little more expensive than its value.
Written November 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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