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By: Shayne Benowitz

Homestead is considered Miami’s heartland, and once you see the miles of produce and farms, you’ll understand why. Named for Miami’s early homesteaders who settled on the land, the area is ripe for exploration, especially when it comes to farms, fruit stands, historic villages and other family-friendly attractions. You’ll also enjoy plenty of dining options, ranging from authentic Mexican cuisine to farm-to-table fare.

Try the lychee wine or avocado wine at Schnebly's

Schnebly Redland’s Winery & Miami Brewing Company

Peter Schnebly began as a quixotic winemaker, transforming Florida’s subtropical fruits, like lychee, carambola and avocado, into wine at his longstanding Schnebly Redland’s Winery in Homestead. It was only natural that this passion dovetail into craft beer, and so Miami Brewing Company was founded on the same principal, creating one-of-a-kind beer with a true taste of South Florida. Think, Little Havana Cafe Con Leche Milk Stout, Miami Vice IPA and Shark Bait Mango Wheat Ale. Set among lush farmland and vineyards that feel like a tropical oasis, Schnebly Redland’s encourages visitors to enjoy wine and beer tastings in the main house and then meander outside towards the picnic pavilions, which host live music on the weekends. The winery is also home to Redlander, a farm-to-table restaurant.

The amazing selection of tropical fruit at Robert Is Here

Robert Is Here

What do you get when you combine a fruit stand, farm, animal area, picnic tables and splash park? A must-stop destination in Homestead for both locals and tourists in the know. First established by farmer Robert Moehling in 1959, Robert Is Here boasts an amazing selection of tropical fruit, including lychee, Asian guavas, jackfruit, dragon fruit and tamarind, all of which can be blended into a delicious tropical fruit smoothie. You’ll also find a variety of goods, like dips, jams, and spreads to bring back to your kitchen. Plan your visit for a weekend when you can enjoy live music for the full Robert Is Here experience.

Chefs on the Run

Chefs on the Run is a creative Caribbean-American gastropub helmed by Puerto Rican-born Chef Jodrick Ujaque. His extensive menu includes more tempting dishes than you can stomach in one sitting, so it bears returning to time and again. Their award-winning Ño Burger is a good place to start, made with Irish cheddar, pickled red onions and sweet BBQ sauce. They also have an extensive mofongo menu, a Puerto Rican specialty made with oxtail broth, pork rinds and rice. Add to that your choice of churrasco steak, chicken, pork or shrimp and you’re pretty much in heaven.

Knaus Berry Farm

In 1956, brothers Ray and Russell Knaus started raising strawberries. They’ve since created a booming berry business and the popular Knaus Berry Farm selling baked goods, like their iconic cinnamon rolls that make the drive south well worth it. You can also enjoy ice cream sundaes and strawberry milkshakes, and pick up farm fresh vegetables during your visit. For those who want to get their hands dirty, the farm’s “U-pick” option allows you to pick your own bundle of strawberries fresh from the vine.

Cottage stores & winding paths at Cauley Square Historical Railroad Village

Cauley Square Historic Railroad Village

Cauley Square Historical Railroad Village was built in 1903 by pioneer William H. Cauley during the time when Henry Flagler built his East Coast Railway through Miami and the Florida Keys. Today, it’s a quaint 10-acre village composed of winding paths and tropical gardens that lead visitors to cottages, restaurants, shops, galleries, a wellness spa and even an aviary. A visit here is like going back in time and you’ll find whimsical offerings, including an aromatherapy shop, a crystal boutique and an old-fashioned tearoom.

Taqueria Morelia

Taqueria Morelia is a hidden gem tucked away in a strip mall in Homestead 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 start with the tacos. 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, jalapenos and fresh lime to add to the flavor.

Discover the love story behind Coral Castle

Coral Castle

What could inspire one man to build a castle by himself? As the story goes with Miami’s Coral Castle Museum, it was unrequited love. From 1923 to 1951, Edward Leedskalnin, originally from Latvia, secretly carved over 1,100 tons of coral rock into a castle. To this day, nobody knows how the Latvia native managed the feat—according to him, he knew “the secret of the pyramids”—which is part of the fun and mystery of visiting this experience. More than just a sculpture garden, the Coral Castle features a nine-ton gate that moves with the touch of a finger, rocking chairs and a Polaris telescope, all made of stone.

So many ways to interact with the animals at Zoo Miami

Zoo Miami

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

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