For a city that's relatively young, geographically challenged, and sitting at sea level, Miami should be grateful to have even one dignified place to bury its dead. It does. This is the only cemetery with the age and landscaping and, most important, notable permanent residents to make it worth visiting just to visit. And on those terms, this landmark delivers in a big way. Fat old oaks and floppy palms mix with bright bougainvillea and about a dozen other types of trees to provide shade and beauty to the burial ground, which dates from 1897, one year after Miami declared itself a city. Civic pioneer Julia Tuttle may be the most famous of the interred, but there are many other personages who played important roles in Miami's history. The fascination and revelation, though, comes in seeing how the cemetery was divided into sections for "colored," Jewish, and "other" (white) people, then trying to imagine how these folks lived together back in their time. The city's first and greatest cemetery is a moving place to visit, but note the access times. The imposing arched gate is open from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on weekdays and 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekends. Check it out while you still can.
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