Because Miami is iconic for its oceanfront high-rises, bikini-clad models, and cosmopolitan lifestyle, visitors unfamiliar with the area are often surprised, delightfully may we add, by the lush, outdoor agricultural area known as Historic Redland Tropical Trail. Nestled between Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park, the historic Redland area offers the perfect self-guided tour for foodies, farmers, history buffs and more while on vacation.
Early South Florida pioneers saw opportunity in the balmy winters and generally perfect growing conditions. The vast farms were soon producing bushels of tropical delectables—kiwis, lychees, key limes, avocados, mangoes and more. As the farms flourished and grew, the growers and producers banded together to showcase their area via a self-guided trail they dubbed The Redland Tropical Trail.
The Redlands area offers food-centric day-trippers the chance for a mouth-watering excursion. The most famous might well be the large, strangely named fruit stand, Robert is Here, a fixture in Homestead since 1959. Besides fresh fruit and vegetables of both standard and exotic varieties, Robert in Here also is known for it jellies, jams and marmalades, and particularly for its fresh fruit milkshakes.
The Historic Redland Tropical Trail also takes you to Florida City and another family-owned operation, Richard Accursio’s Capri Restaurant, which has been in business even longer than Robert is Here. Opened in 1958, Capri Restaurant specializes in pizzas and pastas, plus steaks, pork, veal and seafood. The trail rewards beer and wine lovers, too. Schnebly Redland’s Winery & Brewery, which bills itself as the “Southernmost Winery and Brewery in the United States,” offers tastings every day, tours every hour and live musical entertainment every weekend. Come enjoy exotic wines such as Sweet Avocoado and Lychee Dolce or craft beers such as Big Rod Cocoanut Ale, and stay for farm-to-table lunch of dinner at The Redlander Restaurant.
But the Historic Redland Tropical Trail is not only about food. You’ll also get to visit a breathtaking orchid garden, RF Orchids in Homestead, and immaculate displays of bonsai trees at Miami Tropical Bonsai in Miami. You’ll also encounter several quirky South Florida attractions, from the Coral Castle Museum to Everglades Alligator Farm to Monkey Jungle. These stops are hardly your typical “Things to do in Miami,” and it probably will take more than one day to experience them all.
A little bit of research, planning and prioritizing pays off here, but driving the trail without a plan can work, too, if you value spontaneity and enjoy surprises on your vacations. Either approach works in the Redlands—so close to South Beach, and yet so far, far away.