One of my Miami adventures (which I’ve been missing a number of the past weekends) took me pretty far south to the Deering Estate at Cutler in Palmetto Bay. It had been on my bucket list mostly just from keeping track of different sights around Miami that are mentioned on travel websites or information. I knew there was an artist village there, as well as a house and grounds, but didn’t know much much else and wasn’t expecting anything special. I feel like it’s not talked about as much as Vizcaya for its mansion and Fairchild Gardens for its grounds so I figured it’d be pretty standard. I was very surprised and impressed by the Deering Estate and consider it one of my favorite places in Miami now. My friend Jess said she has seen it shown in some wedding magazines and it definitely makes sense as to why.
We walked up to the main entrance of the estate and the entrance was pretty breathtaking. I remember going “wow” to my friend as we came around the corner. There is a long lane framed in tall banyan trees leading down to the ocean. Along the way are a number of colorful plants that also complement the overall view. I don’t feel like my pictures do it justice compared to how much I loved the view. When you get down the lane to the house it opens up onto an expansive lawn with long views of the ocean.
We explored the Stone House/main house first. This house was built in 1922 by industrialist heir Charles Deering as his family’s winter home. His brother James built Vizcaya as his winter home. What I enjoyed was that it didn’t have much furniture so you were able to appreciate the house more for its architectural features. I also liked the intricate details of the architecture from various light fixtures to treatment of the wood and stone to little colored flowers on an iron gate leading to the ballroom. There also were a lot of pieces of art and historical/archaeological objects from a variety of periods on the wall or displayed, so it was cool to also get some art and history action in. Also in the basement is a pretty cool room with a cool story. Charles Deering was a passionate collector of wine and liquor, but unfortunately he was living in the Prohibition-era of the United States. So when he was designing the Stone House he planned for a wine cellar in the basement that was secured by a vault door and hidden by the bookcase. After a hurricane in 1945 slammed the door shut and the combination was lost it remained sealed for 40 years until the combination was broken.
Next to the Stone House is the Richmond Cottage, which existed on the property before Deering purchased it, and was once described as the southernmost hostelry in the nation.
After a quick sweep past the artist village, which unfortunately no artists were in at the time, we headed back down to the water to take in the sweeping views of the ocean. What I enjoyed about the Deering Estate was how isolated and untouched it appeared. You really don’t get many places in Miami where you can stare out at the ocean and be surrounded by heavily forest islands and shoreline. The estate is considered one of the largest pieces of virgin coastal tropical hammock forest in the continental US. There is a half mile boardwalk called the Mangrove Boardwalk from the stone mansion that we walked on to finish our trip. It took me back to the outdoor boardwalks in the Redwood Forest and other forests on the West Coast and I liked being reminded of it.
The Deering Estate is beautiful and peaceful property with sweeping views of the ocean and I’d highly recommend taking a visit down south to enjoy it.
For more photos of the Deering Estate, especially some really cool ones, check out an awesome Miami photography blog that I follow- Art X Nuallality
The Deering Estate at Cutler- 16701 SW 72nd Ave Miami, FL