Vizcaya Museum & Gardens

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Historic Design at Vixcaya Museum & Gardens
Before the high-rise condos of Brickell, Sunny Isles, and Miami Beach, there was a different way to make yourself at home when wintering in Florida—by building your own full-fledged estate. This bygone lifestyle is on prime display at Vizcaya, an Italian-inspired villa that was the retreat of early 20th-century industrialist James Deering. The décor mixes period pieces with notable Italian antiques. But perhaps the most spectacular collection is the more than 2,000 varieties of orchids thriving in the renovated greenhouse. Subtropical trees and royal palms are among the other plant life beautifully maintained in the gardens. Also keep an eye out for “the barge,” a massive, ornamental stone feature in the harbor. It protects the house from any incoming storms—and was also the scene of some pretty fabulous parties Deering hosted in his heyday.
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