Architecture & Design

Miami Icons: Vizcaya Voted Your Favorite Local Landmark

All month long, Cultist has highlighted Miami's most deserving landmarks, from Ocean Drive's Art Deco beacon the Colony Hotel to downtown's early Cuban-American sanctuary the Freedom Tower. We asked readers to choose their favorite of 15 local haunts last Friday. The competition was steep but the votes are in: Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is your most beloved Miami Icon.

See also: Miami Icons: Vizcaya, Birthplace of Magic City Luxury

After the famed Coconut Grove destination, the Freedom Tower, Arsht Center, Miami Tower, and the Biltmore Hotel rounded out readers' top five picks.

Conceived by industrialist James Deering, Villa Vizcaya, as it was known, was constructed between 1914 and 1922 with French and Italian architectural influences. The sprawling opulence of both the mansion's interior and its 10-acre gardens make it one of the most visited spots in Miami today.

The grounds have hosted important figures for years since its inception, from presidents, to popes, to dignitaries from around the world. Outsiders may have glimpsed Vizcaya in one of its many film appearances, which oddly enough include Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Bad Boys II, and Iron Man 3.

Though it may not carry the same historic influence as other landmarks, Vizcaya is often the most recommended place to take out-of-towners. The combination of European structure, local tropical vegetation, and shoreline views offers a bit of romanticism not easily found in this party town.

And it certainly makes one hell of a quince spot.

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Shelly Davidov