Last weekend we went to go visit Vizcaya museum and gardens in Miami. Vizcaya Is the former villa and estate of businessman James Deering on Biscayne Bay. The villa was built primarily between 1914 and 1922, while the construction of the elaborate italian renaissance gardens and the village continued into 1923. Deering used Vizcaya as his winter residence from 1916 until his death in 1925. After his death, Vizcaya was inherited by his two nieces, Marion Chauncey Deering McCormick and Ely Deering McCormick Danielson. Over the decades, after hurricanes and increasing maintenance costs, they began selling the estate's surrounding land parcels and outer gardens. In 1952 Miami-Dade county acquired the villa and formal Italian gardens, needing significant restoration for $1 million. The village and remaining property were acquired by the county during the mid-1950's.
The estate is now known officially as the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, which consists of 50 acres with the villa and the gardens, and the remaining native forest. The villa's museum contains more than seventy rooms of distinctive architectural interiors decorated with numerous antiques, with an emphasis on 15th through early 19th century European decorative art and furnishings.
To get there we decided to take the tri-rail for the first time from Deerfield Beach and then get on the metro rail transfer. We thought it would be a nice little adventure and it wasn't bad, but it ended up taking us 2 hours to get there waiting for both trains and then the ride. That day was also really hot! Before entering the grounds we slathered up on sunscreen and then headed right to the bathrooms. With several littles, bathrooms are always a must. They were clean and well maintained so that was a plus for me. We arrived hungry so the first thing we did was head to the cafe. Their cafe/gift shop is charming with outdoor and indoor seating. There was no room indoors so we ate outside which had a nice view of the bay. The girls had chicken nuggets and fries and H and I split a tapas plate and a small pitcher of sangria. Both were really good. After everyone was fed we started to explore. It was so beautiful. The grounds, the villa, just gorgeous. You're not allowed to take pictures inside the villa so I don't have any to share, but you can find some online. I definitely want to go back, but I wouldn't take the kids. They behaved (except for Mariam in the villa), but they weren't really interested in looking at gardens and architecture--especially since they had to keep their hands to themselves.
Have a great Monday.