History and heritage still echo through The Grove, as you discover when strolling beside the bay at Peacock Park; or by visiting Ralph Munroe’s former home The Barnacle, which dates back to 1891. Surrounded by subtropical foliage, The Barnacle is one of the few places where you can still see the dense tropical hardwood hammock that used to cover much of coastal Miami.
Keep your eyes peeled for the Trapp Homestead, constructed in 1887 and privately owned today; the Ransom School Pagoda, built in 1902 and now part of the Ransom Everglades School campus; and The Kampong, where you can admire 2,000 rare and unusual varieties of tropical and subtropical fruits, palms, vines and flowering trees.
Another early home still surrounded by luxuriant grounds is now a museum: Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, winter residence of industrialist James Deering from 1916 to 1925. Despite its location near the tropics, Vizcaya was designed to resemble a 17th century Italian villa and is known for having one of the most significant collections of Italian furniture in the United States.
The Barnacle Historic State Park, built in 1891, has beautiful gardens, awesome waterfront views, well-preserved houses and boats.
The Kampong, with its exotic plant life and botanical gardens, is often overlooked. It shouldn’t be. This is one of Miami’s best-kept secrets.
Kennedy Park is the place to go to work out the extra calories or bring Spot for an off-leash run. There’s also a sand pit for volleyball, not to mention a darn good view of Biscayne Bay.
Peacock Park has playing fields and an outdoor playground with view of the bay..
Sailing on your own or with someone who knows ranks so Coconut Grove. At Dinner Key Marina, businesses offer a variety of day cruises to sunset sails, paddleboards and kayaks.
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens’ Italian Renaissance-style architecture offers a peek into how the wealthy lived in early Miami. Built in 1916 for snowbird/industrialist James Deering, it is a favorite spot for photo shoots.
Built by one of the early families of settlers to Coconut Grove, Trapp Homestead is anchored by the Trapp House. It was built by Caleb and Harlan Trapp of limestone and wood from junked boats. The Trapp House, designated a historic site more than a decade ago, was one of very few stone structures during its time — a testament to Caleb Trapp’s skill as a stone mason, according to city documents.
One of only two enduring buildings on the historic campus of Pine Knot Camp and the Adirondack-Florida School, the Ransom School Pagoda is indicative of a Miami architectural style from the early 20th century. Adirondack-Florida School, founded by Paul Ransom, was the country’s first duo-campus school with classes in New York and Florida. Historians say the building is an example of design adaptations to South Florida’s climate, city documents show.