The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is an amazing museum and gardens that is located in the Coconut Grove section of Miami, Florida that is a absolute must to see when visiting the South Florida area.
Originally known as Villa Vizcaya, this amazing estate was built by businessman James Deering of the Deering McCormick-International Harvester company. The villa itself was built between 1914 and 1922 at a cost of around $15 million and consists of a 45,225 square foot Mediterranean Revival style main house features 54 individual rooms (34 rooms are decorated and open to the public).
Initially situated on 180 acres of forest land, the current site includes 10 acres featuring the main house and formal gardens with another 40 acres of heavily forested land. After Mr. Deering’s death in 1925, the home was inherited by his two nieces who sold off large portions of the property for the development of Miami’s Mercy Hospital.
Since 1952 the main house and the Italian gardens has been owned from by Miami-Dade County which opened the property as a museum the following year. In 1994 it was designed as a National Historic Landmark and today the Vizcaya welcomes approximately 300,000 visitors a year.
Vizcaya located at 3251 South Miami Avenue just minutes from downtown Miami and one-quarter mile off Interstate 95. Visitors staying on Miami’s South Beach can take the MacArthur Causeway west to Interstate 95 (approximately 10 to 15 minutes). There is a Metrorail public transportation stop (Vizcaya Station) which is less than a 10 minute walk to the entrance.
During our most recent visit to Vizcaya in April 2021 the facility was operating with a number of COVID protocols which include the wearing of masks when indoors and the purchasing of admission tickets using the online web site. In addition, renovations are in process to the Boat Landing, Barge, Tea House and the second floor of the main house.
Frequently Asked Questions – Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
What does it cost to visit Vizcaya?
Vizcaya costs $18 per adult ages 12 and above. Children ages six to 12 are $8 each (kids ages 5 and under are free along with US military active duty and veterans). In addition, visitors using wheelchairs are $8 per person. At this time tickets are not sold on-site and must be purchased in advance online.
What are the hours of operation at Vizcaya?
Vizcaya is open for public visits every Thursday through Monday starting at 9:30 am with the last admission at 4:30 pm. The museum remains open until 5:00 pm while the gardens are available until 5:30 pm. With the exception of Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, Vizcaya is open on holidays.
Is there on site parking at Vizcaya?
There is parking on site at Vizcaya as well as directly across the street (the west side of South Miami Avenue). Parking is completely free when visiting Vizcaya.
Are there any places to eat in Vizcaya?
There is a Cafe’ and Shop on the ground floor of the main house across from the David A. Klein Orchidarium. This quick service dining establishment serves a variety of salads, hot & cold sandwiches and daily specials. A kids menu is also offered and there seating just outside the cafe.
Can I rent Vizcaya for a private event?
Vizcaya is available for rental including the Courtyard and Loggia areas of the Main House as well as the East Terrace, South Terrace, the waterfront near the Barge as well as the Garden Mound.
The Vizcaya museum itself is a Mediterranean Revival style villa that consists of 54 individual rooms in a central courtyard type setting. Most home itself is in remarkable shape considering its age along with the number of hurricanes it has been thorough.
The Main House
The Main House itself was originally designed to look as it if was built hundreds of years ago. However, it features the latest in conveniences and technology as of its time in the early 1900’s.
The first floor features a grand entrance opening into a spacious two-story courtyard. The rooms on this floor include the entrance hall, library, reception room, living room, east loggia, music room, dining room, flower room and serving pantry.
The second floor consists of the Deering’s bedroom, bathroom, & sitting room, a breakfast room, pantry and kitchen as well as additional rooms for staff. There are additional rooms leading to the north and south towers which offer spectacular views of Biscayne Bay.
The Swimming Pool
The swimming pool at Vizcaya is partially located under the living room and has a very unique indoor / outdoor design. The indoor area gives the feeling of a traditional grotto. There is a ceiling mural designed by American artist Robert Winthrop Chandler which features an underwater scene including fish, seashells, marine life and coral.
The Barge at Villa Vizcaya is truly a work of art featuring a replica of a boat that serves as a breakwater that was originally constructed to protect the house and ground from the water. Constructed of limestone from local quarries, the Barge features a number of sculptures designed by American Artist Alexander Stirling Calder.
Due to the fragile nature of the barge, it is no longer open to visitors.
The 10-acres of Italian Renaissance gardens are one of the main reasons to visit Vizcaya. These formal gardens were designed by landscape architect Diego Suarez share a resemblance to the gardens of the the Palace of Versailles in France and visitors are known to spend hours just walking the grounds.
There are a number of individual gardens and features including the Secret Garden, the Maze Garden, the Theater Garden, the Fountain Garden, the Center Island, the Garden Mount & Casino and the Oval Plaza.
One of our favorite spots is on the south side of the Center Island which allows you to look across the gardens to the Main House as well as up the Garden Mount to the Casino.
Vizcaya and the Movies
Due to its vast size, picturesque scenery and extensive gardens, Vizcaya has been its share of movies.
- Tony Rome
- Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
- Any Given Sunday
- Bad Boys II
- Airport ’77
- Haunts of the Very Rich
- The Money Pit
- The Champ
- This Things is Ours
- Caring Game
- Iron Man 3
Other productions that had scenes filmed at Vizcaya include the daytime soap opera Days of Our Lives, the wedding realty show, Four Weddings and a number of music videos.
Hotels Near Vizcaya
Since Vizcaya is located just south of downtown Miami, there are dozens of high quality hotels within a very short distance. Following are some of our recommended hotels.
Coral Gables / Coconut Grove
- The Ritz Carlton Coconut Grove
- Hotel Colonnade Coral Gables
- The Biltmore Hotel Miami Coral Gables
- Hyatt Regency Coral Gables
Downtown Miami / Brickell
Other Popular Things to Do in Miami
In addition to visiting the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, there are a number of amazing things to do on your next visit to Miami. Here are some of our favorites:
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