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Travel Blog

Exploring Vizcaya - Learning Part of Miami's History

Shawna Miller

So you guys already know I am trying to get out and see more of South Florida. And if you didn't know, now you know (in my Notorious BIG voice) lol. Anyways, I've been doing a lot of researching and as I research my area I'm realizing there are places I've never been. Some I've passed several times but just never made the effort to investigate and other places I just never knew existed. 

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens was one place I passed so many times while going to school at the University of Miami and just never made the effort to explore. Until the other day. 

The other day I decided I needed to go check it out. I bought the kids along because I knew it would be a great history lesson.

Some History - Businessman James Deering built Vizcaya as his winter estate in the early 1900's. Currently it is a National Historic Landmark and accredited museum. The property use to consist of 180 acres but over the years pieces have been sold and it is now only 50 acres. The estate is named after the northern Spanish province Vizcaya which lies along the east Atlantic's Bay of Biscay,  just like 'Vizcaya' is on the west Atlantic's Biscayne Bay. See what they did there?  The estate was created based on the Italian and French influences from Deering's travels and research. The property is now owned by Miami Dade County and the upkeep is funded by admission fees and general donations.

Fun For The Kids - The main house is set up with antiques that show just how people lived back in the early 1900's. My kids were fascinated by the décor of that era. They spent the entire time trying to imagine what it would be like to live during that time. They learned that not everyone had direct line to line dialing at that time and that Mr. Deering was the first one in Dade County to have that phone feature. Of course that would be the most interesting fact they learned that day. Especially since most kids live on their phones 24/7 now a days.

They also said they loved the gardens and all it's dimensions. They were all over the place exploring all the different sections. I could barely keep up. I don't blame them really. What kid wouldn't love all that space? 

Great Photo Ops - This place is great for photos. While we were there we saw quite a few family photo shoots going on. I've also heard that they accommodate wedding photo shoots quite frequently.

Basically there wasn't one person there that didn't have a camera in their hand.

Here are some of our photos. 


   
There are no cameras in the main house. Being the rebel I am I did capture a couple of images but I will keep those for my own viewing pleasure.

It's a great outing no matter how old you are. Definitely something to put on your list if you haven't been.