Before the subdivisions encroached, South Dade was known as "the garden capital of the world." Rich farmlands, hacked out of... more » oolite rock and watered by the Biscayne Aquifer, stretched to the horizon. About 35 miles south of downtown Miami, it seems worlds away in time and space once you travel west of US 1 across the wild open flatlands.
The landscape is still dotted with white clapboard houses, fruit stands, nurseries and fields worked by migrant workers, many of them Mexican. Here, too, you can find old-timey Florida attractions like the Coral Castle and Monkey Jungle with roots in the early 20th century.
No way to see all South Dade offers in just one day. Pick and choose from the points of interest on this tour according to your family's interests. With kids, we've found it's better to have options.
With an early start, you could see the Monkey Jungle and Coral Castle in the morning, stop in Homestead for a quick bite and then head to Robert is Here for a shake before spending the early afternoon at the Everglades Alligator Park. Then swing north again to relax at R.F. Orchids before heading back towards the beach. West of US 1, traffic is light and stop lights few.
You might also squeeze in the Anhinga and Gumbo Limbo Trails at Royal Palm Center, just inside Everglades National Park for a good overview of the Glades. less «