Best Place to Take Out-of-Towners - 2012
When Aunt Hazel and Uncle Joe visit, the last thing they want to do is hit trendy SoBe clubs. Since when does paying 20 bucks for a rum and Coke equal Miami fun? We have a better suggestion: Take them to the Redland. Start at Coral Castle. This strange moonscape of a structure on South Dixie Highway in Homestead was once the home of Edward Leedskalnin, a Latvian immigrant who spent nearly 30 years building the shrine as a honeymoon palace for his child bride and their potential offspring. There were a couple of small problems with that idea: (1) Coral furniture (including a bed and rocking chairs) is not comfortable, and (2) the child bride jilted his crazy ass, which also means they never had kids. Be that as it may, Coral Castle has a creepy and cool vibe. For $15, it's probably the world's best monument to ADD. Then head down the road for a strawberry shake at Robert Is Here, Dade's best fruit stand, or at least the only one with a petting zoo out back and local honey and gator jerky for sale. Shake in hand, zip over to Everglades Alligator Farm, where 2,000 alligators sun themselves and airboats venture out into the swamps. Finally, end the afternoon at Schnebly Redland's Winery, where $10 will get you a winetasting of sweet elixirs that aren't made with grapes. Instead, the winery uses fermented tropical fruits such as lychee, mango, guava, and carambola. Avocado wine! Believe it. As the sun sets on the sun-drenched farmlands and your visitors nap on the ride back to Miami, you can rest easy having shown them Florida the way it was before iPads and Pubbelly — kitschy, buggy, and a little sweet.