The Vizcaya Museum & Gardens

It’s taken me wayy to long to write about this place. It was actually one of the first places I was able to explore once I moved out to Florida. One of my good friends, Marina, came out for the weekend, which happened to be the first weekend my boyfriend was traveling. And thank God I had Marina with me! I was not prepared to spend a weekend solo and being one of the first weekends of the season, I hadn’t met any of the girls and been inducted into the “W.A.G.S.” squad just yet., lol.

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SO having my girl with me meant a lot and we had THE BEST girls weekend. Of course the first thing we did was hit the beach, Key Biscayne, the very same beach from a previous post, aka my favorite beach to date and where I will continue to take everyone who visits! We literally spent the whole day on the beach, catching up on each others lives and it was just so nice and peaceful.

Day 2 was our adventuring day. We visited the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, which is absolutely GORGEOUS! Although the entire home is basically outdoor, which for Florida, is like a death sentence, but then again it was built in 1914, so they didn’t have much of a choice.IMG_5044.JPG

The Vizcaya is the former estate and winter home of business man James Deering. The landscape and architecture were influenced by  Italian Renaissance and Mediterranean styles. It’s a pretty lavish estate, there are essentially 3 stories of bedrooms and guest rooms, large living rooms and dining halls, even the first elevator to be in a private residence (I, however, would have been very, very claustrophobic inside and it only held one person at a time).

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Around the back of the home, Deering had his own boat “launch” area and docks, which is also where he had a tea room built overlooking the ocean.

The gardens are huge, equally beautiful as the home, and happen to be the place I saw my first wild alligator and this not so little guy 🙂

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When Deering died in 1925 on his way back from Paris, the home was inherited by two of his nieces. They continued to take care of the home, throw parties, etc. But over the years, after hurricanes and increasing maintenance costs, along with a heist- 3 people form New York came in and stole approximately $1.5 million worth of art work and silver, of which only $250,000 was actually recovered, the nieces were unable to keep up and began selling the estates surrounding grounds and gardens.

In 1952 Miami- Dade County acquired the villa and remaining gardens (for $1 million) and opened it a year later as a museum. The family donated all antiquities and furnishings along with the sale of the property and in 1994 the Vizcaya  estate became a National Historic Landmark. Something it truly deserves.

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After touring the home, we headed out to Wynwood Walls (previously detailed in an older post) and then after a quick change, headed to dinner in a little town called Coconut Grove. I absolutely love Coconut Grove and will have to be sure to  give it it’s own post but for now I will talk about where we stopped for dinner!

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We spotted this cute, little Italian sidewalk cafe called “Strada.” And let me tell you, the food was absolutely delicious- as was the dessert! We totally fan girl-ed over our “fancy” meal and the perfect day we had.  Then it was off to the local pub to catch my man’s game on tv. Which was then followed by driving home in the absolute pouring rain (not fun at all).

Her third and final day, we spent having brunch in South Beach- amazing if not for the bachelor group of guys sitting next to us, and then walking along the coast before heading to the airport to drop her off. (I may or may not have cried the whole way home.)

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It was such a great girls weekend and I’ve basically already planned her return, much of which includes taking her to all the places I’ve previously highlighted 🙂

Marina, I love you! Thank you for visiting, we ARE doing this again soon!

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xoxo,

Amanda

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