Watch CBS News

Best Historical Parks In South Florida

Every once in a while it's good to take a break from the shopping, dancing and drinking and reconnect with nature and South Florida has plenty to offer in that department from the historical Vizcaya mansion to the Billie Swamp Safari -- a great place to see the Everglades and get an idea of what the area looked like more than a century ago.
Deering Estate At Cutler
(Source: Deering Estate At Cutler)

Deering Estate at Cutler

16701 SW 72nd Ave.
Miami, FL
( 305) 235-1668

The 444 acres that make up the estate are filled with nature hikes, canoe tours and two historic homes known as the Stone House and Richmond Cottage. The estate's namesake Charles Deering settled in South Florida after working as a harvesting executive in Maine. He built his Spanish style mansions and filled them with masterpieces with works from El Greco, Diego Velasquez and Rembrandt. There are plenty of activities including night hikes, canoe rides, tours and classes.

Vizcaya Gardens
(Source: Vizcaya)

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

3251 South Miami Ave.
Miami, FL 33129
(305) 350-9133

An old-world European mansion filled with decorations that date back to the 15th Century opens to visitors in a relatively young city where most architecture built in the 1940's is considered historical. The historic mansion that was once the summer home to a Miami pioneer features a 10-acre garden and a mansion that overlooks Biscayne Bay. Every year, it hosts several parties and serves a favorite backdrop for bridal wedding photos.

Pinecrest Gardens
(Source: Pinecrest Gardens)

Pinecrest Gardens

11000 Red Road
Pinecrest, FL 33156
(305) 669-6942

Pinecrest Gardens features natural sinkholes, caves, thousands of rare and exotic plants, and a great spot to set up a picnic. The park is the former site of Parrot Jungle, which opened in 1943 and continued until it moved in 2003. But the gardens continue to draw in thousands of exotic birds and many South Floridians continue to flock for a view.

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park
(Source: Hugh Taylor Birch State Park)

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park

3109 E. Sunrise Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33304
(954) 564-4521

Tropical hammocks surround the Hugh Taylor Birch state park – often referred to as an oasis for nature lovers. Two short hiking trails offer the opportunity to learn about native plants and wildlife. A paved road is also available for bicyclists and boaters can rent a canoe and paddle a freshwater lagoon. The visitor's center offers a lesson about the area's natural and cultural history.

Billie Swamp Safari
(Source: Billie Swamp Safari)

Billie Swamp Safari

Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation in the Florida Everglades
Off of I-75 (Alligator Alley) HC 61, Box 46
Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation
(863) 983-6101

The Seminole Tribe of Florida is known for its flashy and high-rolling casinos, but they also offer tours of the 2,200 acres of the "untamed" Everglades with Swamp Buggy Eco-Tours. Professional trainers also offer snake and alligator shows and for those who would rather explore solo there are boardwalk nature trails with animal and reptile exhibits. Tour prices range from $15 to $25 per person.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.