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more of the waterfront and the boat basin
Photo Credit: guyonthego

Deering Estate at Cutler

16701 SW 72nd Avenue Miami, FL 33157
Open 10:00am-5:00pm, the last ticket is sold at 4:00pm
305-235-1668 2 hours
December 2011 All year
$10-29 Miami Florida
Website Historical Homes
First review
The Deering Estate at Cutler is 444 acres and fronts Biscayne Bay. It's about 30 minutes south of downtown Miami. Most of the property is managed as a local park and nature reserve but it also includes two historic homes, a boat basin, and artist studios. A variety of classes and events are held here at different times of year, including exercise classes, lectures, summer camps, music performances as well as canoe tours. It’s also a popular venue for private events.

International Harvester was the Deering family business, and it made Charles Deering (1852-1927) a very wealthy man. In 1915 he purchased what was then known as Richmond Cottage as a winter home. Deering upgraded the structure, added support buildings and enlarged the property. In 1922 he built a more lavish and massive stone house next to the original wooden cottage as his permanent home. After his death, the Deering family continued to own the property till 1985 when it was sold to Florida and the local county.

Guided tours of the historic homes are offered or you can visit on your own. The tour is more informative and so is a better option. In December 2011, the homes were fairly bereft of furniture, but as of June 2014 additional furniture and art for the homes have been donated by the Deering family and are now on display. The stone house was the more interesting of the two buildings and was better decorated. It also has a secret wine cellar in the basement which was installed during Prohibition and is worth checking out. It should be noted that Hurricane Andrew leveled the former Richmond Cottage in 1992, and so it was completely rebuilt. Aside from the homes, which can be seen in an hour or less, the estate has a great view of Biscayne Bay. Also, there were both manatee and grouper in the boat basin. A mangrove boardwalk was a quiet and relaxing way to see more of the property, but mosquitoes can extend an extended and extensive personal welcome on it in summer. Guided walking tours of the natural areas are offered in cooler months. An evening canoe tour to a nearby key in the bay is an interesting recreational option. The main draws of Deering are a beautiful bayfront setting, the mangrove nature walk and the rare native habitat that escaped the ravages of development. The stone house is distictive, but it lacks the opulence and elegance of nearby Villa Vizcaya.
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