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Staff Picks

At Trump International Beach Resort, we keep our finger on the pulse of Miami’s hottest happenings, attractions and must-have experiences. Check here to explore our top insider picks.

Visit Vizcaya for that 'Old Miami' Feel

You'll have to leave South Beach to visit this famous landmark of Miami, the Vizcaya house. The Vizcaya house has a long history, and in some sense is a throwback to the 'old' Miami. It is a popular spot for weddings and quinceaneras, and has also hosted major political events such as the meeting of Ronald Reagan and the Pope in 1981.

Villa Vizcaya, now the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, was built between 1914 and 1922, by the billionaire businessman James Deering. Deering, a conservationist, purchased 180 acres of mangrove shoreline along the Biscayne Bay for preservation. The estate became his winter home until he died in 1925.

Deering's favorite flower were orchids, which is prominently displayed throughout the property. Those who love orchids will want to check out the newly rebuilt orchidarium next to the Main House. Vizcaya's uniqueness is the blending of Mediterranean and Renaissance architecture with the native flora. Tropical plants are laid out in the traditional Italian Renaissance style. Low hedges geometrically arranged divide the Secret Garden, the Theatre Garden, and the playful Maze Garden.

Deering died in 1925 and the estate was inherited by his nieces, who had to sell portions of the property in an effort to pay for the estate's upkeep. Currently, the gardens occupy 10 acres, while 40 acres remain devoted to native 'hammock' jungle forest. In an effort to preserve what remains, city ordinances have been passed preventing high rises from being built in the surrounding area. The house itself has 70 rooms and an impressive collection of art. Some pieces are literally priceless, such as a silver bowl once owned by Napoleon Bonaparte. That piece, in fact, was stolen and recovered in 1971, when three Manhattan art thieves were caught in connection with other similar heists.

The museum is located 3251 South Miami Avenue in Coconut Grove. It is open to the public and now owned by Miami-Dade county. It is closed on Tuesdays.

Take a day trip to Villa Vizcaya, an historic home with European gardens, art, and nature preserve.

Address: 3251 S Miami Ave, Miami

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