By Jennifer Agress and Yours Truly
With so many neighborhoods in South Florida, it’s hard to know where to go when you have a free day… and of course, what to do when you get there. That’s why we’ve started a new series! Join us as we discover “How to Have the Best Day in…” some of our favorite neighborhoods in the Greater Miami area. First up was a Day in Overtown. And now, our picks of the best things to do in Homestead.
Spend a beautiful morning at Fruit & Spice Park.
Nestled in the heart of Redland, Fruit & Spice Park is a 37-acre subtropical paradise with more than 500 varieties of exotic fruits, herbs, spices and nuts from around the world; over 180 varieties of mangoes; 70 kinds of bamboo; 40 types of bananas; 15 kinds of jackfruit trees; and more. Wander through and sample the fallen fruit, take a horticultural class, visit the herb and vegetable garden, stroll through banana groves, or hop on a guided tram tour and see it all at once. Spend an hour there or stay all morning—either way, you’re sure to be enchanted. Fruit & Spice Park is located at 24801 SW 187th Avenue.
Meditate at a Buddhist temple.
Morning meditation makes any day a good one! As you explore Homestead, don’t miss a trip to Wat Buddharangsi Buddhist Temple. Spread across five acres, this temple stands out from its rural surroundings with Thai wood carvings, a 23-foot temple, colorful Bonsai trees and gold, horn-shaped structures. Phrasiridhammavidhet, who is the original abbot, and three monks live onsite all year round, offering Buddhist sermons and weekly meditation classes in both English and Spanish. Stop by for just 30 minutes and do your own personal meditation in front of the five-ton, gold-leaf Buddha statue. Not only is entry free, but trust us: it’s the relaxation you never knew you needed. Wat Buddharangsi Buddhist Temple is located at 15200 SW 240th Street.
Do a wine tasting at Schnebly Redland’s Winery & Brewery.
Enter the grandiose tasting room at Schnebly Redland’s Winery & Brewery and belly up to its striking bar to try a bevy of red, white and pink wines and local beers made from Florida fruit: like lychee, guava and mango. Once you’ve found a varietal you like, buy a bottle, head outside to the lush courtyard and tiki hut, grab a seat at the communal picnic table and enjoy it. On a beautiful day, the surrounding coral waterfalls, colorful gardens and idyllic lagoon make for a stunning view. Schnebly Redland’s Winery & Brewery is located at 30205 SW 217th Avenue. Tastings are priced at $12.95 per person and include tastings of five different wines and a souvenir wine glass.
Go on an airboat ride at Homestead’s oldest alligator farm.
Everglades Alligator Farm sits right near the entrance to Everglades National Park and is home to 2,000+ alligators. You can get up close and personal with these alligators on guided, daily airboat rides—they’re a must-do activity in South Florida! When you’re done, you can also see an alligator show, a snake show and even an alligator feeding demonstration. Everglades Alligator Farm is located at 40351 SW 192nd Avenue. Airboat rides are priced at $25 per adult and $19 per child.
Fly a plane!
Fly up to 5,000 feet above Homestead with Miami Gliders. Here’s how it works: you’ll sit in the pilot’s seat of a glider plane, with a certified pilot right next to you. A townplane will launch you to your designated altitude (2,000 feet, 3,000 feet or 5,000 feet), and with the pilot’s instruction, you’ll actually get to fly the glider back down to your starting point. How’s that for a little adventure? Prices start at $120 per flight. Miami Gliders is located at 28790 SW 217th Avenue.
Visit Miami’s own NASCAR track.
At Homestead-Miami Speedway, you’re always in for a roaring good time! (We mean that literally—those racing engines are no joke.) This track plays host to a series of events throughout the year, from weekly “Fast Lane Fridays” to the Ford EcoBoost 400, Monster Jam and more. When there are no events happening, book a Kart-racing experience at the onsite Florida AMR Motorplex. If you like to get your heart pumping, this is where you want to be. Homestead-Miami Speedway is located at One Ralph Sanchez Speedway Boulevard. Tickets vary per event.
Enjoy a Mexican feast at Casita Tejas Mexican Restaurant.
You can’t go to Homestead without trying Mexican food! It’s a low-key staple there, and Casita Tejas Mexican Restaurant has some of the best. Here, get authentic Mexican food like the Guadalajara Platter with a tamale, cheese chile relleno, beef taco, chicken quesadilla and bean tostada; Fajita Bite Nachos, which loads a skillet with chips, refried beans, melted cheese, fajita strips, fresh roasted pepper, sour cream and jalapeno slices; or “Mexican Bullets” with roasted jalapeno peppers, chicken, ranchera sauce and monterey jack cheese. The best part? Even with a margarita or a beer, your feast won’t break the bank. Casita Tejas Mexican Restaurant is located at 27 North Krome Avenue.