Discovering South Florida – Deering Estate

Maybe you have or haven’t read my post on the Vizcaya Museum and Garden in Miami. In it I spoke about this grand piece of history located in South Miami and about the former owner James Deering. In this post I will be talking about the Deering Estate owned by the brother of James, Charles Deering.

A Picture of the Stone House and the Richmond House partially hidden behind it

A Little Background

The Deering Estate is another great place for history buffs to visit. It is located in the Cutler Bay area of Miami, just about 12 miles south of the Vizcaya Museum. The Deering Estate was the home of Charles Deering, who was a businessman, artist, and philanthropist. Like James, Charles made his winter home in Miami and was also a part of the family’s business as Chairman of the Board.

On the Estate

Upon entering the Estate my first thought was, this is not what I was expecting. We were greeted by a lot of vegetation once we entered through those large wooden gates. On one side you will see the mango orchard, it’s a part of the land where you can find a large amount of mango trees. At the time we went there were no mangoes or blossoms on the trees. Hmmm  I wonder what they do with the mangoes when they are in season. On the opposite side there is a mixture of other trees.

As we continue to walk along the paved path just to the left were a few buildings, the first one we came upon was the pump house. This is where we are able to find the restrooms. Just behind that was the artist studios and the Carriage house. To the right of it was the Richmond Cottage and The Stone House.

While exploring you will notice that the buildings there are surrounded by a lot of vegetation. If you are wanting to explore the vegetation you can walk along the trails that takes you deeper into those areas. Nothing to worry about you won’t get lost that easily. You will notice as you walk along the trails that some of the plants has the names attached so that you can learn about them.

After coming out of the bushes we walked along the trail that lead us to the back of the Richmond and Stone houses. For me this was the highlight of the estate, this was where the beauty of it all lies. Well mowed lawn with beautiful palm trees accentuating the land, and the waters of Biscayne bay all met in this one place.

View of the Boat Basin that runs out to Biscayne Bay

There were picnic benches around where you can sit and take a breath of fresh air while basking in the sun or if you choose to you can bring a blanket and just enjoy sitting around on the grass.

As we explored other places on the property we could see oysters, fishes, and crabs in the boat basin area, we also saw kayaks and the mangrove boardwalk. The boardwalk looked as though it was derailed and the path leading to it blocked off so were not able to go through this area. There was also a campfire pit on site. Unfortunately the People’s Dock was closed off for new construction.

10 Things to do at the Deering Estate

  • Rent a kayak and go kayaking
  • Walk the trails and personally explore
  • Take part in a tour activity
  • Family and friends can get together and have a picnic or just go for a stroll
  • Tour the houses on the Estate
  • Take Photographs
  • Night Hiking and Campfire
  • Take a cruise
  • Take dance classes
  • Participate in yoga

In addition to the things to do at Deering Estate it can be used as a venue for weddings, corporate events and other celebrations. occasionally concerts are held on site, as well as art exhibits, and camps for kids. They do charge a fee for taking certain photographs, for example, if you are interested in moonrise photography there is a fee of $20 and booking in advance is required. Sunset Photography also $20, and Nature photography is $25. The Cruises are offered at different times throughout the year. You can check their site by clicking here for upcoming events dates, times, and prices.

At the time we visited we were not able to go into the Artist Studio or the Carriage house but we were able to visit the Richmond House and the Stone House.

The Richmond House was one of the first hotels in the area of Cutler bay built in 1896. After closing for business in 1915, it was later bought by Charles who renovated it and used it for his winter home. The pump house, power house, and carriage house were built not long after. The last one built was the Stone House, which holds fine artwork and showcases the rooms of Charles and his wife Marion Deering and if you ever get the chance to visit don’t forget to check out the lower level of this house.

Touring through both houses you will see where the Deerings ate, where they slept, wine cellars, wheel chair, rocking chairs. Even in one of the rooms there was a ouija board where one visitor was using it trying to speak to the dead.

Dining Room

There is an entry fee to get on the property, $15 for adults and $7 for children. You can purchase tickets online or in person. To purchase online was a bit of a hassle for me because it took me to the Miami-Dade parks website and I had to create an account and add each person on .

Overall, it was a fun day out for me to discover another piece of history in Miami that I did not know existed.

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