Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

This isn’t your typical vacation house. Built in the early 1910s as a winter home for influential businessman, James Deering, Vizcaya today is now a subtropical wonderland with an interesting history and breathtaking views.

The history of the place dates back to the early 1900s when agricultural industrialist, James Deering, decided to build his winter home under the sunny skies of Florida. What made Deering interesting when opting to build his home was the location and who he decided to have build it. At the time, the popular choice for winter homes was in Palm Beach but Deering opted to go with Miami as the destination in hopes that he could not only spend his winters in warmth but also for health purposes. He set aside 130 of what would be 180 acres and chose three inexperienced men to take on the project. His choices were Diego Suarez for landscape design, Paul Chalfin for artistic oversight and Francis Burrall Hoffman, Jr. as the main architect. As a trio the started construction that lasted for 12 years with the hopes of having the look and feel of an old style Italian country villa. With old and modern design, Deering brought together the timeless appeal of European artifacts and furniture with the natural beauty of Miami.

With the magnificent grounds requiring constant upkeep and James Deering passing sometime later, it was decided the Vizcaya would become a museum for the people of Dade County. In 1953, the estate was opened as a park and museum. Each year, more than 200,000 people visit the property to see the old furnishings and artwork that has remained largely unchanged since the early 1900s.

It is now one of the most popular tourist destinations for history buffs, art enthusiasts and residents of Miami. With it’s unmatched appeal and interest from all around the country, Vizcaya Museum & Gardens was made a National Historic Landmark in 1995.