Cauley Square Historic Village

Cauley Square Historic Village

A visit to Cauley Square Historic Railroad Village in South Dade’s Goulds area is like traveling back in time to Old Florida. Situated less than an hour’s drive south of Downtown Miami, Cauley Square is a 10-acre village dating back to the turn of the 20th century. Explore its winding pathways and tropical gardens that lead visitors to antique shops, art galleries, wellness spas, restaurants and even an aviary.

Cauley Square's History

Cauley Square Historic Railroad Village dates back to the early 1900s when Henry Flagler built his East Coast Railway connecting Miami to the Florida Keys. During this time, William Cauley owned 10 acres of land along the railroad where he built a two-story warehouse, a packinghouse and an office for shipping agricultural products. Cauley Square swiftly developed into a flourishing village with wooden homes where railroad workers lived, as well as the saloons and small businesses that they frequented.

In 1926, a powerful hurricane destroyed Flagler’s railroad and eventually Cauley Square also fell into decline. In 1949, preservationist Mary Anne Ballard moved to South Dade and purchased Cauley Square with a mission to restore it to its former glory. She opened the Tea Room in 1979 and built more pioneer cottages to house new businesses. However, the village was badly damaged once more during the devastating Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

In 2001, Frances Varela purchased Cauley Square and spent a decade beautifying the grounds with the lovely gardens, fountains and walkways you see today. She also restored 25 buildings that are now home to shops and restaurants.

The Shops at Cauley Square

The Aviary

Make The Aviary your first stop at Cauley Square. This two-story building anchors the village, with a collection of exotic birds including squawking cockatoos, macaws, parakeets, lovebirds and many more. Nearby, you’ll notice a replica of a bright red train car, a nod to Flagler’s railroad that once ran through the village.

Art & Décor

For one-of-a-kind home goods, swing by Jimmy’s Bright Ideas for creative and eclectic décor repurposed from vintage finds, or Karol’s Antiques with its collection of both new and antique fine china and linens. Stop by the Children’s Gallery for contemporary portrait art. You can commission work or take an art class here. Dora Gabay Studio is another wonderful gallery showcasing sculptures, paintings, jewelry and accessories.

Spirituality & Healing

Esmeralda’s Earth, Wind & Fire Boutique is home to Miami’s spiritual community and holds workshops and monthly drum circles. Her Salty Aire Retreat is a natural salt cave where you can lounge and breathe in the cleansing salt air. Tree of Life Holistics offers reiki, yoga and meditation classes, and a variety of workshops.

You’ll also find beauty salons, a photography studio and other charming shops during your visit.

Cauley Square Restaurants

The Tea Room Restaurant

Cauley Square’s Tea Room is a destination for high tea in a lovely Victorian setting. With six rooms, each outfitted in its own distinct décor and style, the Tea Room is an homage to the English tradition. It offers everything from soups to salads and larger entrees, however, the tea service is the highlight. Choose from Afternoon, Royal or High Tea, which include everything from mini quiche, assorted scones, cookies, banana breads and finger sandwiches in a three-tiered platter, along with a pot of your choice of tea.

Village Chalet

Enjoy an afternoon or early evening meal at The Village Chalet, set inside a charming cottage. Relax on a covered wraparound patio tucked into a garden, or in the dining room with white tablecloths and a 1920s-inspired bar. There’s occasional live music on the weekends and a menu featuring pasta, steaks and Latin-inspired cuisine.

Latin Corner

For a casual bite while exploring Cauley Square, head to the inviting Latin Corner gazebo for Cuban coffee, empanadas, sandwiches, hot dogs and milkshakes. The setting amid the garden’s lush foliage is one of the prettiest in the village.

Events & Weddings

Check out Cauley Square’s events calendar to time your visit with an outdoor art class, campfire with s’mores and a history lesson, a dance performance or art walk. On select Saturdays, it also hosts Florida Living History Tours with historian and storyteller Cesar Becerra dressed as a railroad conductor. He leads an entertaining walking tour of Cauley Square and narrates its fascinating history.

Cauley Square houses a chapel, making it a popular destination for weddings. Many options are available to customize your special day.

By: Shayne Benowitz | March 8, 2022

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