Exploring Florida: Vizcaya Museum & Gardens

Hello and welcome BACK my friends! It has been a bit since I have posted anything on here and I hate to say it, but time has gotten the best of me. I started a new full-time job in March and I definitely had to get adjusted to that schedule. It’s been a long road, but I am absolutely loving every moment of it and am just so thankful to be where I am at today! Now that I have begun to get back on track, I need to catch up on some things that I have been meaning to talk about so here I am beginning with the beautiful and majestic Vizcaya Museum and Gardens!

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Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is located in Miami, Florida and is designated as a National Historic Landmark by the United States Government, due to its cultural and architectural importance to the area. In 1910, this subtropical paradise was built to be the winter home of James Deering, a successful agriculturist and retired millionaire. Deering converted the 180 acre island covered in lush greenery into the large mansion and sprawling gardens looking right onto Biscayne Bay that we see today. With the mansion being built in a Mediterranean Revival architectural style, the estate is truly a sight to be seen and with an $18 entrance fee it is well worth the price! We spent almost half of our day exploring through the gardens because there is just so much to see! From blossoming succulents to hidden alcoves to several small hedge mazes, this place really had it all!

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Daniel and I always love finding the hidden magic throughout Florida. From well-known theme parks to road-side attractions to places well off the beaten path, Daniel has always been the mastermind behind finding the best places. However, photographically documenting them all has been my favorite thing to do. The Sunshine State has so many beautiful and unique places to explore besides just the main entertainment draws in Orlando and Tampa.

One of my most favorite things about Vizcaya was the wildlife that roamed throughout the gardens. South Florida is well known for having large lizards and even larger iguanas and Vizcaya was no exception. These babies were absolutely everywhere and had no problem staking their claim to the land. Always remember to be cautious with any wild animal you encounter and never try to touch or disturb them.  Watching them from a safe distance and admiring them is completely okay, just respect their space and be aware of your surroundings! I personally LOVE iguanas and found them to add even more excitement to this already enchanting atmosphere! That being said, Daniel does NOT agree and these creatures had him running really at every turn… which was hilarious!

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The lizard with the yellow head is actually the West African Rainbow lizard which is an invasive species to South Florida! When they are breeding their bodies change colors and the male’s head turns very orange (pictured above). How cool is that?!

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As with any National Historic Landmark, there is a lot of time and effort that is put into preserving such a beautiful place. Because the estate is situated directly on Biscayne Bay, a hurricane or the storm surge that is associated with it, can easily do serious damage to the original features of the estate. Thankfully with the help from the resident Restoration and Preservation team, mostly everything remains intact and in its original state! Due to the overwhelming sense of grandeur the property exudes, combined with the pristine grounds and rows and rows of perfectly manicured flora, Vizcaya becomes the perfect backdrop for any type of photoshoot. It is completely okay to take photos while at Vizcaya, but if you have more professional equipment like lighting or if you wanted to shoot a part of a film, you would have to apply for and acquire a rental time. So, for photos like I did, we encountered no problems because it really was just point, shoot and go. We even played around with a little videography (which isn’t the best quality sadly… I didn’t bring the right camera for it. But I still loved putting it together so you will see it at the end of this post)!

For more information on professional photography shoots as well as rental rates, click here!

A fun fact for you that i did not find out until after leaving was that a small part of Iron Man 3 was filmed at Vizcaya Gardens! So exciting?!

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South Florida during the summer is HOT, so my outfit of choice was definitely one that could withstand the heat, but also fit in with the colors and fun of the area around me. Daniel surprised me with a visit to this place so I had no idea what to wear at first, but he told me, “dress cute” so I went with some recent purchases that I had made at my local Target and I was so happy with the outcome! I am really not one to wear longer skirts, but as I was passing by this beautiful rainbow asymmetrical ruffle skirt, I HAD TO HAVE IT! I thought it gave the perfect pop of color and it was so different from anything I had in my closet. I paired it with a white ruffled top, bright yellow sandals and of course, my favorite bag from Shop Harveys, the Little Mermaid Park Hopper. This bag is perfect for hopping from theme park to theme park, as well as exploring and adventuring to new places. Despite its’ size, this bag held everything I needed with me and let me tell you, I brought a lot! I was able to comfortably fit my Canon Rebel T5i camera, makeup wipes, a small hairbrush, a charger, a rain jacket, umbrella and even more with no problems at all! The park hopper style is popular because it is a shape shifter than can change from backpack to cross body purse to handbag in one easy motion! It is a jack of all trades accessory and truly one of my most favorites I own!

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Skirt: I was unable to find an online link for the same skirt, but I found another that is adorable so I linked that here!

Top: VERY similar top linked here and its on sale!

Shoes: Click here for the sandals!

Bag: The Little Mermaid collection is closed at the moment, but click here to see other styles from Shop Harveys. Check them out on Instagram: @shopharveys

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Every single turn, every single little corner has something beautiful to offer here at Vizcaya Gardens and Museums and I will DEFINITELY be back to enjoy more of this gorgeous place! Enjoy a short highlight reel from the day we spent there! It is not the best quality, but was fun to shoot and it makes for wonderful memories!

 

 

Have a magical rest of your day, my friends!

Keep dreaming,

Allyson

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