went here during my 4 night stay in Florida City. Decided to go after reading about it in guide books. I read it had walks and nature and history which I enjoy. It is open 7 days a week from 10am to 5pm. Adults are $12 and children are $7. So we paid $24 at the ticket booth( 2 adults). Parking was easy and we just parked on the road outside. The ticket booth stops selling tickets 1 hour before the place shuts. There are daily tours of the 2 homes at 10.30am and 3.00pm and they last about 45 minutes. We did not do the tours as we arrived after 10.30am and had just before 3pm. There are also tours of the Natural Hammock at 12.30pm which last about 1 hour. They run from Oct 1st to May 31st.
We bought our tickets from the booth and walked down a long path lined with trees and then came to 2 large houses. There was an amazing view of the ocean which was breathtaking. The place had stunning gardens and tall palm trees and you could see over to Miami, skyscrapers in the distance. There were picnic tables and seats and different signs that were the start to various walks and nature trails. We then walked out to the boat turning basin which went out to sea and had seats along it and overlooked the calm sea. We sat here and saw birds and fish and you could hear a pin drop. Very peaceful. You could see the 2 houses looking back at you from here. What amazing views they had. We then decided to look at the 2 houses.
Dr Samuel Richmond built his home in 1896 and then opened a Hotel up . Charles Deering then bought Richmond Cottage in 1916 as a winter holiday home and then added extra things to it. After a few years he decided to live there full time so built another house, The Stone House , to keep his art and books and furniture in. When he passed away in 1927 his family kept the estate for a while until they had all passed away too. The estate was then put up for sale and in 1989 The Deering Estate Foundation was born. It is a non profit foundation who look after the estate and volunteers help run and maintain the place and care about education and cultural things and art and nature preservation.
We looked at The Stone House first which is built in a Mediterranean style which was very in fashion in the 1920's. The celler of this house has a huge wine celler which was actually flooded out in a 1945 hurricane and the door rusted shut for 40 years. I was blown away by this. Of course most of the contents was ruined. This house also had a massive Ball Room and an elevator and library and pantry and various bedrooms and bathrooms. I was impressed how swish and luxury it was. The house also had art on the walls and things were labeled up. I saw pictures here and there of the family and thought it was very interesting. We spent about 40 minutes looking round the first house.
We then went to the second house, Richmond Cottage. This house was built in 1896 and is the last building left of the town of Cutler. The town of Cutler was once a thriving town with it's amazing beach side position and boats could come and go with ease with freight and passengers. What killed the town off was Florida East Coast Railway which passed by the town in 1904 and families moved away where the work was. Richmond Cottage closed in 1915 and then Charles Deering bought it as his home in 1916.
The house had many rooms and bathrooms and bedrooms and a lovely kitchen and we saw many pictures on the walls. The kitchen had art in it too. I was surprised how many bathrooms these 2 houses had. Every other room seemed it was a bathroom. I was also surprised what luxury people lived in. The houses were plush in my eyes. We spent about 30 minutes looking round this house. I enjoyed reading about the families history and also how the houses were destroyed by hurricanes and then rebuilt again.
We then decided to have lunch and had our picnic on a bench overlooking the sea. There were not many other people around and it was very quiet. After our lunch we decided to do a walk. The Mangrove Boardwalk sounded good so we went for that. It was a lovely walk on a decked area through the trees and mangrove swamp next to the water. We really enjoyed it. Very scenic. Took about 20 minutes there and back. We then done the self guided nature trails which went around the grounds and then walked around the area where plants used to be grown on the estate years ago . We then walked to the visitor centre and down to People's Dock which overlooks the sea and people were fishing here. Stayed here about 15 minutes.
Our total visit lasted about 4 hours. We really enjoyed it. I think the entrance fee was worth it and it is also for a great cause. The place had good parking and toilets and a picnic area and plenty of places to sit and relax. The nature here is very good with over 40 different types of trees and foxes, snakes, butterflies birds, manatees and crocodiles and many other different animals and plants too. The estate has many other things going on too through out the year. Art exhibits and tours and eco tours, lectures and workshops, education programs, live music such as jazz concerts, art and health classes, kids camps and rentals and private parties. The list goes on and on. I also saw canoes there which you can hire and go on a tour in. The location is amazing too. Cannot get over the views out to sea and how calm it was there. This area is in a nature reserve so everything is protected and we never saw one boat or heard any noise.
I highly rec this place and would go back again as it feels like another planet compared to busy Miami up the road. And the $12 per person( £8 ) is good value for a 4 hour visit. I have paid the same fee for other attractions that last half as long.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC