Explore The Redland

fruit

Fresh fruit at Robert Is Here

Fruit & Spice Park

Fruit & Spice Park

Monkey Jungle

Monkey Jungle

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By: Lori Kahn

Beaches, sports and bars make up Miami’s most well known attractions, but many visitors aren’t aware of what lies in our backyard – the Redland. Miami’s countryside is a historic and plentiful agricultural hub, filled with off-the-beaten-path activities and rare sights. While you may not be able to cover all of Miami’s natural wonders in one day, the following highlights will jumpstart your journey through the Redland.

Squirrel Monkey at Monkey Jungle
Squirrel Monkey at Monkey Jungle

A Monkey Sanctuary

Monkey Jungle

Monkey Jungle is nature’s ultimate role reversal, as humans traverse through a wire tunnel, enveloped by exotic monkeys of all shapes, sizes and species. Originally created as a free-ranging monkey colony for research, the 30-acre biopark still holds true to its mantra: “Where humans are caged, and monkeys run wild!”

With over 300 primates, hailing from South America, Asia and Africa, Monkey Jungle is an enlightening and entertaining venue where you can interact with these intelligent creatures like never before. Visitors are afforded the opportunity to feed the primates as they suspend from the tunnel ceiling, and marvel as monkeys retrieve the treats with amazing dexterity and coordination. Educational presentations, directed by expert guides, will make you laugh and cry as you’re blown a kiss from an orangutan and reminded how endangered these apes are around the world. In 1994, archaeologists unearthed 10,000-year-old fossil specimens (including teeth and bones from animals such as the American lion, dire wolf, Pleistocene horse and camel) in a sinkhole on the premises, making it one of the largest archeological discoveries in South Florida.

The DuMond Conservancy for Primates & Tropical Forests is the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit science and education affiliate of Monkey Jungle. It is comprised of a team of staff, volunteers and students working with professional affiliates from academic institutions and conservation organizations interested in primatological study, their welfare and conservation, and the sustainability of the environments in which they live.

There’s plenty of primate paraphernalia to go around in the gift shop, so save room in your suitcase for monkey lamps, ape apparel and cuddly monkey friends. Monkey Jungle is an ideal activity for kids and scientifically stimulating for more sophisticated patrons, making it a killer kick-off to your excursion on the Redland Tropical Trail.

Robert is Here
Robert is Here

An Agricultural Oasis

Knaus Berry Farm

Next up is Knaus Berry Farm: Homestead’s haven for the freshest baked goods and locally grown fruits and veggies. A legacy started in 1956, Knaus is still known for their gooey cinnamon rolls, creamy milkshakes, pepper preserves, crisp produce and more succulent snacks. If your timing is right, you may be able to pick your own strawberries and tomatoes straight from the farm. But if you’re planning to make a purchase, be sure to bring some green to this cash-only shack. The farm is open every November through mid-April, during the Redland farming season of Miami-Dade County, Monday – Saturday 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. and is closed Sundays. The Farm is closed is during summer months.

Burr’s Berry Farm

Burr’s Berry Farm is another must-stop for insanely fresh strawberry milkshakes, fruits, vegetables and flowers. This farm has been family owned and operated since 1965. Burr’s Berry Farm also offers the option to “U-Pick” for the industrious. Other items for purchase (which may or may not make it home before getting devoured) include chocolate-dipped strawberries, homemade jams, ice cream, freshly steamed hot dogs and fresh produce. Robert Burr, one of the Burr descendants and a local historian, has created a helpful online guide to the Redland’s many wonderful attractions. The The Redland Riot Road Rallye is an easy to follow, self-guided automobile tour of all of the Redland’s attractions.

Robert is Here

Robert is Here is a must stop on the Redland Tropical Trail. At this family owned fruit stand that specializes in rare and exotic fruits and vegetables mostly grown onsite, you’ll discover the juiciest bounty of seasonal fruits and vegetables, mouth-watering marinades and dry rubs, sauces, salsas, spreads, honeys, hot sauces, nuts, chutneys, jellies, jams, mustards and milkshakes. Anyone who loves cooking will flip when they see the culinary innovations Robert brings to life with his irresistible products.

The quirky name “Robert is Here” was a marketing tactic created by Robert’s father, who instructed him to sell the family crop of cucumbers when he was six-years-old on the same corner where the shop stands today. What started as a chore for a young boy in 1959 has blossomed into a booming business as seen on NBC’s Today Show, World News Tonight and on media outlets across the globe. There’s even a petting zoo for the kids while you complete the grocery-shopping trip of a lifetime. Robert Is Here was honored to be the first Florida-based entry into the National Culinary Heritage Register, as well as a founding member of the Florida Agritourism Association, which helps people recognize the value that farms and other agricultural areas provide to tourism and the economy. No Redland journey is complete without a detour to Robert is Here!

Fruit and Spice Park
Fruit and Spice Park

Exotic Plants, Fruits and Flowers

Fruit and Spice Park

You may never find jackfruit, sapote or cas in your local produce isle; that’s why the Fruit and Spice Park lends to a truly unique and once-in-a-lifetime experience. This 37-acre park bears fruit from Asia, Africa, Australia, Central and South America and allows visitors to taste their way through the exotic groves. However, picking is forbidden so you may only indulge in fallen fruits if you can identify the fruit as an edible variety. If you’re not sure if the fruit is safe to eat, bring it to the Welcome Center or ask one of the park’s helpful staff. Also keep in mind, carving trees is not permitted.

The Fruit and Spice Park has guided tours throughout the day, but a less-involved visit to the gift shop may prove just as fruitful. The store provides samples of several remarkably rare fruits, ranging from super sour to sweet and slimy. The Fruit and Spice Park is also home to enriching festivals throughout the year like the Redland Heritage Festival, the Annual Asian Cultural Festival and the Blues, Brews and Barbeque Festival. Plan your trip accordingly and you’ve got a ripe recipe that will broaden your cultural horizons and awaken your tropical taste buds.

RF Orchids

Orchid fanatics, amateur gardeners and nature lovers alike will all find something to rave about at RF Orchids. Prestigious is an understatement when describing this 40-year-old purveyor of exotic orchids and winner of more than 1,200 orchid awards. It’s free to enter the serene garden, where visitors can browse the extensive nursery of vibrant Vandas and thriving hybrids. The knowledgeable staff is available for guided garden tours and to answer any questions from novice orchid cultivators. RF Orchids is not only an environment for orchid lovers to plug into a celebrated orchid community, but also a place to purchase plants from their vast catalogue of orchid varieties.

Schnebly Redland’s Winery
Schnebly Redland’s Winery

A Tropical Fruit Winery

Schnebly Redland’s Winery

The owners of Schnebly Redland’s Winery set out to create an adult oasis and their mission has clearly been accomplished. Prepare to be stunned when you first set foot inside Schnebly’s Polynesian paradise and even more so once you taste their wines, made only from tropical fruits. Peter and Denisse Schnebly first ventured into agriculture with their produce and packing company Fresh King. After experimenting with fruit fermentation in their garage, word of their tasty tropical wine spread throughout the neighborhood and a winery was born. Each lychee, guava, carambola, coconut and avocado is grown to perfection and hand picked for the fermentation process. Try all the flavors in their tasting room, then head outside to explore their Edenic escape. Schnebly’s added beer from their own brewery, Miami Brewing Company, which is also brewed with South Florida’s best tropical fruits, to their menu. If looking to party, visit Schnebly’s on a Friday or Saturday night for a packed house, live music and, of course, plenty of beer and wine. A Schnebly’s visit is a must for a big kid’s trip out in the Redlands.

Read More:

17 Must-Visit Historic Treasures In Homestead And Florida City
Homestead Miami Speedway: Start Your Engines!
Taste The Tropics – Exploring Miami’s Tropical Fruit Paradise
A Day At Schnebly: Miami's Best Winery

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