Replace the terminal grays of the New York winter with the vibrant purples and oranges of Cuba in bloom. You need not travel to the tropics. Just hop on the Bronx River Parkway to Exit 7W, where the New York Botanical Garden's annual Orchid Show awaits.
The charm of old Havana greets you as you enter the garden's Victorian glass-domed conservatory. Lush palms line the gallery where landscape architect Jorge Sanchez has recreated two of the Cuban city's landmarks—the sixteenth-century Castillo de la Real Fuerza and its female watch-guard, La Giraldilla. Nestled amidst the monuments are Dancing Lady orchids in yellow, purple, and white.
Follow the winding paths under a tunnel of palm trees to the Cuban countryside. Purple and pink cane, slipper, and Dancing Lady orchids warm a ruined sugar mill in a romantic montage sure to transport you to the luxuriance of the tropics.
Learn more about the island nation's 300 different species of orchids and the work the garden does to study and conserve tropical flora in the Orchid Rotunda, or dial in to the show's cell phone tour.