Beat the Heat: Cool Cultural Attractions


Though we can’t control the climate of the place we choose to live, buyers often want to know if a prospective neighborhood has amenities and cultural offerings to help keep busy when the weather is less than perfect. I previously wrote about some of the area’s best pools—but some days you need a break from swimming, or boating, in the sun. Luckily, Miami has plenty of other ways to beat the heat, whether it’s spending the afternoon at a museum or strolling the shady perimeters of a historic estate.


The Coral Gables Museum

Coral Gabales Museum  Source:

Coral Gabales Museum

This neighborhood cultural hub, which also serves as the City Beautiful’s official visitors’ center, puts on a full roster of events both on the museum grounds and off, from historic downtown walking tours to fitness programs including a canoe tour of the Coral Gables Waterway and free evening yoga on the complex’s covered patio. With an average of five exhibits on display at any given time, the museum is a great place to spend a few air-conditioned hours indoors during summer’s hottest days. Families should check out the current “Mini-Golf 2015: International Edition,” an interactive, playable 9-hole exhibit themed on landmarks from around the globe and designed by local architects, engineers, design firms, and students.


Vizcaya Museum & Gardens

The preserved home of industrial executive and art collector James Deering, perched on Biscayne Bay in Coconut Grove, is a historical treasure. Built in the 1910s, the National Historic Landmark consists of 34 decorated rooms studded with European antiquities and American artworks and grounds featuring ten acres of formal gardens and century-old plants. Spend the day playing with your children in the Maze Garden or, for shutterbugs and interior design buffs, attend “Inside Vizcaya: Photography After Hours,” a rare opportunity for 40 people to take pictures of the home’s exquisite interior architecture, furniture, and collectibles, which are usually protected under a photo ban.


The Deering Estate at Cutler

This 368-acre estate on Biscayne Bay was the home James Deerings’s older brother, Charles, a successful businessman and enthusiastic arts patron. Part of the county’s parks and rec system, the environmental, archaeological, and historical preserve has something for everyone, from free art exhibits, concerts, and a lecture series to pontoon boat tours and kayak rentals. Daily guided tours of Richmond Cottage, the first hotel between Coconut Grove and Key West, and the Stone House, a tiny piece of Deering’s beloved Barcelona recreated on Biscayne Bay, continue through the summer, while Summer Butterfly Walks (August 22, and September 26) seek out the nearly 40 species of beautiful winged creatures that live on-site.

The greater Miami area is full of winning attractions, restaurants, and more. To explore the best of these neighborhoods or for updated listings, contact me today.