Best Museum Miami 2014 - Vizcaya Museum & Gardens
3251 S. Miami Ave.
Miami, FL 33129
Yeah, we know Miami is the only urban metropolis wedged next to two national parks (that's Biscayne and the Everglades, you rube). But that doesn't mean it's easy to find a jewel of urban quietude amid that concrete jungle. That's why Vizcaya is such a miracle in the Magic City. Nested in the heart of Coconut Grove, the estate was built by agricultural magnate James Deering in the years after World War I and modeled on an Italian Renaissance villa. Elaborate gardens spill through mangroves to the edge of Biscayne Bay, while the house itself is a stunning faux-European masterpiece. Yet the place exudes pure Miami charm, from the local limestone and native subtropical foliage to the regular stream of weekend quinceañera photo shoots along the water's edge. Next time your urban fervor spikes, there's no need to flee an hour and a half into the midst of the Glades — simply head to the mystical respite in downtown Miami's backyard.