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  • Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in Miami

Miami Beach Hisoric Estate: Tours, Photoshoots, and Events

Inspired by Italian and Spanish architecture, Vizcaya Museum & Gardens draws daily crowds for self and guided tours of the former winter home of James Deering of the Deering McCormick-International Harvester fortune. Located in Coconut Grove, Miami, this 180-acre estate was built in 1916 and is comprised of an Italian Renaissance garden, a historic village outbuildings compound, and native woodland landscaping. Tour the villa, the grounds, and the Edenic gardens for a glimpse at the impressive craftsmanship and lavish design that lives within the walls. From carved mantels and fresco ceilings to the sleek marble floors, admire every detail of the estate.  Stroll through the sturdy columns, lush mazes, and grandiose fountains that lend to its European aesthetic with a Mediterranean twist. After significant restoration projects, the estate was designated a National Historic landmark in 1994 and has played host to star-studded events from Popes to pop stars and is one of the most sought-after locations for photo shoots, weddings, and celebrations.

The Villa

The stunning 38,000 square foot home, previously called Villa Vizcaya, was inspired by Italian Renaissance villas. Building began in 1914 with approximately 1,000 local laborers and European artisans working on it and continued for another seven years. The east side of the home was chosen as the focal point for the bay, with doors opening to a wide terrace ushering the eyes to the water beyond the property, while the west side remained surprisingly simple in contrast to the ornate interior. The north side showcases Deering's invention of a swimming pool emerging from the lower level of the home beneath vaulted arches, with the south side featuring the gardens.


The Property

James Deering chose to locate the home on a 180-acre plot in Coconut Grove because of the lush local habitat containing two critically endangered forest ecosystems. The subtropical forest lining Biscayne Bay was of particular interest, and Deering, a known conservationist, wanted to ensure that the delicate habitat would be protected for future generations.


The Furnishings

This breathtaking Mediterranean marvel still contains much of the original furnishings and artwork. Deering and his artistic director Paul Chalfin traveled extensively in Europe to purchase unique furniture and art like the gilded panels, intricately carved mantels, and fresco ceilings sourced in Italy and France. The villa features 34 rooms of priceless antique furniture, art, and collectibles dating back to the 15th century. Marble floors and colorful stained glass complement the opulence of the furnishings.


The Innovative Features

Though Baroque in appearance, the villa surprisingly featured many modern innovations. It was designed with practicality, to withstand the inevitable hurricanes that occur on coastal properties using the most current technology available in its time. Reinforced concrete, generators, and a water filtration system made it a safe haven during extreme weather. Central vacuum systems, refrigerators, a semi-automated laundry room, and heat and ventilation, along with elevators and an automated telephone switchboard, were just some of the modern conveniences of this early 1900's gem.


The Gardens

The sculptured, formal gardens of Vizcaya Museum, cover an impressive 11 acres. Though they are reminiscent of Versailles in France, the gardens are a carefully constructed amalgam of the many gardens Deering and Chalfin visited in their travels. The gardens were designed by the Columbian born Diego Suarez, who studied in Florence, Italy. He was able to adapt the classical European designs to the subtropical climate of Miami by using native soils and plants to recreate the same look and feel.


The Events

Besides being featured in multiple films and photoshoots, Vizcaya Museum has been the site of notable dignitary visits. Then-President Ronald Reagen received Pope John Paul II in 1987 on the pope's first visit to Miami. In 1994, the same year it was named a National Historic Landmark, 34 global leaders met with former President Bill Clinton for the First Summit of the Americas at Vizcaya. It remains a popular location for weddings and events to this day.

Since opening to the public in 1953, it has been an essential part of the Miami culture, welcoming 320,000 visitors each year. This eco-friendly museum is also tech-friendly and pet-friendly, as long as the pets don't exceed 25 pounds. No one under the age of 21 is admitted, so if you have children, plan on getting a sitter before visiting this home, gardens, and historic village outbuildings.
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in Flordia



Adult (18+): $22, Teens (13-17): $15, Child (6-12): $10, Children (5 and under): Free, Seniors (65 ): $16


Open Wednesday - Monday from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm, Closed Tuesdays


  • Gardens By Moonlight
  • The Family Dinner Project
  • Vizcaya and the Environment


  • Tours
  • Groups
  • Dining
  • Private Events
  • Photography
  • Fundraising Events


  • Was Vizcaya moved from Italy to Miami?

    Although inspired by Italian and Spanish architecture, Vizcaya Museum & Gardens was built in Miami, Florida by local workers and European craftsmen.  Several antique elements and objects are in the Main House and garden that were purchased from other countries, including Italy and Spain.
  • Does Vizcaya offer free admission days?

    Vizcaya Museum & Gardens does not offer free general admission; however, visitors can receive reduced admission rates through third-party sites. Check out the museum’s current promotions like the Golden Ticket and Museum Pass or sites like Groupon and

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