It is the immortal debate among those who know, or think they know, more than most about South Florida. Is the 150-square-mile rural area in South Miami-Dade the Redland, or is it the Redlands? Lexicographers have long sought a definitive answer, without luck. The style mavens at this newspaper decided on the Redland, but only for the sake of consistency. And although the organizers of the Historic Redland Tropical Trail delete the s in its name, they still refer to the place as the Redlands, with the s, in press materials. What really matters is that the Redland(s) is something of a secret treasure trove to many, and the point of the Tropical Trail is to change that, exposing the area's assets by connecting them via a circuit that includes signs, maps, and, obviously enough, publicity. The Trail comprises nine attractions: R.F. Orchids, Coral Castle, Everglades Alligator Farm, Schnebly Redlands Winery, Miami Tropical Bonsai, Robert Is Here Fruit Stand, Monkey Jungle, Capri Restaurant, and Fruit & Spice Park. Whatever you call it, the Redland is a wonderful place to visit and indulge, free of icky gimmickry and superficial hucksterism.
Starts: Dec. 8. Daily, 2006