Vizcaya Museum & Gardens
Miami Beach

Come fall in Miami, cooler weather sweeps in (we hope), but our foliage remains a vibrant green. That makes it the perfect time to explore the outdoors and discover Miami’s hidden gems — from tropical parks and gardens, to South Florida farmland.

Here are a few of our favorite outdoor spots that are sure to have you dreaming of a fall in Florida.

Historic Estates & Buildings

Vizcaya Museum & Gardens

Vizcaya Museum & Gardens | Photo by @jaheilman

Vizcaya Museum in Coconut Grove and the Deering Estate further south in Palmetto Bay are two of Miami’s most beautiful historic and cultural assets. Both were built in the 1920s by members of the prominent Deering family and sit on the edge of Biscayne Bay – about 15 miles apart. While Deering Estate offers 444 acres of environmental, archaeological and historical preserve, Vizcaya is beloved for its lush, manicured gardens that look like something out of a fairy tale.

For a historical building that dates even further back (older than Miami is!), visit the Ancient Spanish Monastery in North Miami. The 12th century cloister was originally built in the town of Segovia, Spain, and then dismantled after it was purchased by William Randolph Hurst to be reassembled in the United States. The project was put on hold when the famed publisher’s media empire began to collapse during the Great Depression, and later revived in the 1950s by two entrepreneurs who wanted to turn it into a tourist attraction. It’s a wonder to see the church cloister in person – knowing it was once shipped in crates across the Atlantic Ocean, and re-built from the ground up, brick by brick. (Note: Check the Spanish Monastery’s website in advance, as it’s become a popular wedding venue and can sometimes be closed for private events.)

Ancient Spanish Monastery

Ancient Spanish Monastery | Photo by @hallemorganphoto

Miami Parks & Gardens

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden | Photo by @prplmonkeyman

With 83 acres of tropical plants, palm trees, oaks and vibrant flora, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is easily one of the most stunning parks in Miami. Fairchild features its own Palmetum (an arboretum of palms), butterfly conservatory and colorful art by glass sculptor Chihuly. The garden is known for hosting year-round festivals celebrating products of the Earth, from mangoes to chocolate. In fact, the Fall Garden Festival at Fairchild is coming up on Nov. 9–11.

For a quiet destination right in the middle of bustling Downtown Miami (literally next to the Frost and PAMM, our city’s two most popular museums), Museum Park supplies plenty of green space with bayfront views. You can also go kayaking among the mangroves at Oleta River State Park in North Miami Beach and feel like you’ve embarked on a true outdoor adventure.

Outdoor Venues

A scenic outdoor destination for live music, outdoor fitness classes, innovative food concepts, and event pop-ups, Wynwood Yard has become a favorite local hangout spot for the past three years. But what The Yard is to urban Wynwood, The Wharf is to the Miami River. For a similarly chill scene but with a waterfront view, head to The Wharf and enjoy a breezy afternoon in this nautical setting with stationary food trucks, a central bar, and dockside seating.

A lesser-known hidden gem, Miami Ironside is an eclectic art and design community in Miami’s Upper Eastside featuring dozens of designer showrooms, galleries, pop-up shops and cafes. Visit and explore its public piazza featuring an arboretum with lush foliage, a bocce court and permanent sculptures from the Berlin Wall.

 Homestead – Miami’s Farmland

Picture vacation in Miami and you think beaches, not rows of tropical farmland. But a day trip down south to Homestead (the last stop before you hit the Keys) is the closest we get to a real fall in Miami, and my favorite seasonal activity. Celebrate the cooler weather amid South Florida’s farms, picking fresh strawberries and eating hot-out-of-the-oven cinnamon sticky buns from cash-only Knaus Berry Farm when it reopens in November, or sipping tropical fruit wines from Schnebly Redland’s Winery. Schnebly is known for making award-winning wines out of Florida’s harvest, like avocado, lychee, mango, and coconut. Take a weekend tour of the winery or, better yet, visit the Tasting Room so you can sip and sample.

On the way back, stop at Robert Is Here to pick up a milkshake for the road. The fruit stand is known for selling exotic fruits, jams, jellies and sauces, and those flavors have found their way into creamy tropical fruit milkshakes and smoothies. Choose from specialties like guava, papaya, passion fruit, mamey and guanabana, or my personal favorite combination, mango key lime.

Where will your fall trip to Miami take you? Tag us at @LoewsMiami to show us what hidden gems you discover!

Lyssa