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By: Shayne Benowitz

Often referred to as Miami’s heartland, South Dade is home to farms and parks that grow exotic fruit and vegetables—and one that even produces its own wine from this tropical bounty. Cushioned by the Everglades to the west, Biscayne Bay to the east and the bustling city to the north, South Dade is where Miami unfurls for a more relaxed pace with the big blue open sky above you. There’s a wide world of discovery where you’ll find everything from NASCAR Championship racetracks to cultural arts centers and animal attractions. Get a taste for a different side of Miami in South Dade with our insider’s guide.

Try the tropical wines at Schnebly

Schnebly Redlands Winery & Brewery

In the heart of South Dade’s farmland Schnebly Redlands Winery & Brewery stands as a massive estate with a novel, subtropical approach to winemaking. Instead of producing wines with grapes, Peter Schnebly, a farmer and packager, who founded the winery in 2004, creates wines out of native tropical fruit, like mangos, lychee, passion fruit, guava, star fruit, coconut and even avocado. A few years later in 2012, he added brewmaster to his to his list of accomplishments when he founded Miami Brewing Company. Today, you can enjoy the lush tropical grounds, the taproom, tasting room and tours of the winery and brewery. They also host parties on the weekend with live music.

Celebrate the arts at South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center

South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center

The South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center opened its doors in October 2011 and ushered in a new era for South Dade. The state-of-the-art venue designed by award-winning architectural firm Arquitectonica is home to a 961-seat main stage theater, as well as a black box theater, lab theater and backyard concert lawn. Dedicated to multi-disciplinary cultural arts, the center stages everything from opera to film, musicals, live music, dance and stand-up comedy, while also acting as a community gathering place with education and outreach at the core of its mission. Check the calendar on your next visit to South Dade and join in the fun.

A tropical fruit paradise at Robert Is Here

Farms & Fruit Stands

South Dade is known for is sprawling farms and countryside and many are open to the public seasonally. Robert is Here is a family-owned fruit stand passed down through generations. With a small farm, petting zoo and splash park, this roadside attraction is a staple in the area. You’ll find the freshest and most unusual tropical fruit here, like dragon fruit, lychees, mangos, passion fruit and more. They also whip up frothy frozen shakes and smoothies using their fresh fruit, a perfect antidote to a hot Miami afternoon.

Both Knaus Berry and Burrs Berry Farms are home to acres of strawberry fields, which you can explore to pick your own strawberries. They also specialize in sweet treats like strawberry milkshakes and strawberry shortcake. The cinnamon buns at Knaus Berry Farm have a cult following that city dwellers make a pilgrimage for annually—they’re not to be missed!

Interact with the animals at Zoo Miami

Zoo Miami

Spanning 340-acres in South Dade with more than 3,000 animals on view, Zoo Miami is a wildly fun attraction. Open-air exhibitions are dedicated to animal habitats from around the world, including Florida’s Everglades, the Amazon, Africa, Australia and Asia. You’ll watch amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles roam freely in a habitat that mimics their native lands and have the opportunity to feed the animals, watch a wildlife show and ride through the zoo on a monorail or tram. It’s a wonderful way for a family to spend an afternoon in South Dade.

Nature trails & butterfly walks at Deering Estate

Deering Estate

Set on 444 sprawling acres on Biscayne Bay, the Deering Estate is a nature preserve and historic estate once owned by wealthy industrialist Charles Deering in 1913. But the property’s historical and archeological significance dates back 50,000 years with fossils and bones revealing remains of Paleo-Indians, Tequestas, Seminoles and Afro-Bahamians. In 1986, Deering Estate was added to the National Register of Historic Places and today, it’s lovingly maintained and operated by the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department on behalf of the State of Florida. Take a tour through the art collection in the main house or embark on a nature walk through hardwood hammocks on your visit.

Taqueria Morelia

Taqueria Morelia is a hidden gem tucked away in a strip mall in South Dade serving some of the most delicious tacos this side of Mexico City. It’s all about the authentic Mexican flavors inside the no frills dining room. Burritos, quesadillas and other specialties are on the menu, but it’s all about the tacos here. Choose from shredded pork, beef, chorizo, chicken and more served inside warm, homemade corn tortillas. There’s also a bar for toppings ranging from diced onion, salsa, jalapeños and fresh lime to add to the flavor.

The adrenaline rush at Homestead Miami Speedway

Homestead Miami Speedway

While the Homestead Miami Speedway hosts the NASCAR Championships in November, the racetrack in South Dade is an action-packed venue year round. Fast Lane Fridays are held once a month where drag racing is legal and open to anyone 18 years and older with a valid driver’s license and proof of registration and insurance. You’ll have the chance to race down the 1,760-foot straight away as many times as you like. Consult the track’s calendar where you’ll find a variety of other events and races, including high performance driver education and coaching, concerts and other fun events.

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