Just 35 miles southwest of Miami, you’ll find a spacious suburb known as Homestead, Florida. Despite its distance from the downtown Miami core, there are plenty of things to do in Homestead, including some of the region’s most cherished landmarks.
Sandwiched between the Florida Everglades and the Atlantic Ocean, it’s the perfect opportunity for a day trip from Miami when you need a break from the city’s urban congestion.
In 1898, the South Dade area was populated by homesteaders, and farming became a way of life. Thanks to Henry Flagler’s extension of the railroad from Miami to Key West, in 1904, farmers once constricted to traveling by way of the Homesteader’s Trail were now able to transport their produce throughout Southern Florida.
Many of those who’d helped build the railroad stuck around and built a life for themselves, and in 1913 they founded the city of Homestead, making it the second-oldest city in Miami-Dade County.
Now, Homestead is a bustling community of families with a multitude of things to see and do, including Biscayne National Park and the Everglades National Park.
What is there to see in the area? You might be surprised.
Please keep in mind these details are subject to change. Due to COVID-19, social distancing and face coverings may be required. Be sure to check local health officials’ safety regulations and each establishment’s website for updated information before making final plans.
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Things to Do in Homestead and Redland, Florida
One can’t discuss Homestead without including Redland, the rural, mostly agricultural area just north of Homestead named for its rich copper red soil, and also where you’ll find many of the area’s points of interest.
Redland is not just any farming community but the bread and basket of South Florida with working farms and nurseries with exotic fruit trees, herb growers, ornamentals, and more.
In addition to agriculture, you will find products from the lush farms almost anywhere you look, including specialty stores, roadside stands with jellies, bakeries, open-air restaurants, and even filling stations.
Be sure to include Redland in the mix and take in local wonders like Cauley Square, Knaus Berry Farm, and Redland’s Schnebly Winery, all of which I’ll touch upon later.
Top tours and activities to add to your Homestead itinerary
Action, Adventure, and Alligators
Biscayne National Park
If nature and adventure are more your style, then Biscayne National Park is your ideal destination. The park is home to coral reefs, islands, and mangroves that blend, creating a diverse wildlife ecosystem.
At Biscayne National Park-Dante Fascell Visitor Center, you’ll find maps, wildlife exhibits, educational films, and walking paths along the water’s edge with stunning views of Biscayne Bay and the mangrove coastline.
Snorkeling, boating, and walks along the boardwalk are just a few activities available at Biscayne National Park, and one of the amazing ways to experience South Florida outdoors.
There are no entrance fees for Biscayne National Park. Tours are available, but as a national park, you have the opportunity to explore on your own as well.
Address: 9700 SW 328th St, Homestead, FL 33033
Everglades National Park
Visiting Homestead allows you to see the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Everglades National Park. The protected natural habitat is home to an incredible number of wildlife featuring shallow bays, mangroves, and swamps.
At the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center, you’ll find information about the park, educational displays, and films, along with a series of walking trails just a short drive from the visitor center.
Local Tip: If visiting Homestead in the winter, the city offers the free Homestead National Parks Trolley with service to the Everglades National Park, Biscayne National Park, and Homestead Bayfront. The best part? The park admission fees are waived for those on the trolley!
- The free National Park Trolley service is available every Saturday and Sunday (from December through April, at Losner Park in Downtown Homestead. Located: 104 N. Krome Ave., Homestead, FL 33030.
- If driving your own vehicle, free parking is available near the Homestead National Park Trolley stop at 1 Washington Avenue, Homestead, FL 33030. You can park there and join the trolley to the parks.
Everglades Alligator Farm
A trip to the Everglades wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Everglades Alligator Farm. South Florida’s oldest alligator farm, it’s the perfect place to learn about alligators, watch feeding demonstrations, and catch your first airboat ride exploring the River of Grass.
Admission Costs and Operating Hours: The all-inclusive package price is $28 per adult and $21 per child. They are open daily from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Address: 40351 SW 192nd Ave, Homestead, FL 33034
Homestead Bayfront Park
And, of course, another great reason for a day trip to Homestead is to get away from the crowd. Away from the throngs of tourists, experience a local beach at Homestead Bayfront Park.
Relax and explore the natural atoll pool adjacent to the bay, take a boat out, or linger over a long picnic.
Admission Costs: There is a per car entrance fee of $5 during the week and $7 on the weekend, a boat ramp access fee of $13 on weekdays, and $17 on weekends. It is important to note that the park does not allow flotation devices at these beaches.
Address: 9698 SW 328th St, Homestead, FL 33033
Family Fun, Farm Animals and Fresh Food
Homestead offers families several places to explore and see unique creations, as you’ll find at Coral Castle. There’s a bit of mystery behind its construction, and the awe-inspiring work will leave you amazed.
- Built by Edward Leedkalnin, the sculpture garden is constructed entirely out of coral limestone.
- The stones are held together without mortar.
- The weight of each one sitting atop another keeps the structure together.
- It is so skillful that no light passes through the joints.
- The stones have not shifted even over the decades.
- The objects made from single pieces of stone that weigh, on average, 14 tons each.
The mystery is how Mr. Leedkalnin accomplished this feat without the use of any heavy machinery?
Admission Costs and Operating Hours: Coral Castle museum is open daily. Admission is $18 for ages 13 and up, and children ages 7-12 are admitted for $8. Tours are available Sunday – Thursday from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Address: 28655 S Dixie Hwy, Homestead, FL 33033
Fruit & Spice Park
Located in Redland, Fruit & Spice Park is a lush sub-tropical garden with over 500 varieties of exotic fruits, herbs, spices, and nuts from all parts of the globe.
The recreational and educational park arranged by regions, including Africa, Australia, and the Mediterranean, offers a better understanding of the relationships between people and plants.
The only public garden of its type in the United States, it offers year-round tours guided by experts, as well as classes and workshops.
Expect a fair amount of walking when exploring this park. Strollers are permitted, and tour vehicles are accessible to those with disabilities.
Admission Costs and Operating Hours: Park admission is $10 per adult and $3 for children ages 6-11, and it’s open seven days a week, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day).
Address: 24801 SW 187th Ave, Homestead, FL 33031
Cauley Square Historic Village
In the early part of the 20th Century, this area began as a shipping area connected to the railroad. It expanded to incorporate warehouses and housing for workers in the area.
Rescued from disaster more than once, Cauley Square Historic Village has survived hurricanes and economic downturns but thrives in Redland today.
With creative interest, the area was developed into a shopping area, restaurants, and acres of lush tropical gardens. It now serves not only as a commercial location but is a popular venue for weddings, conferences, and social events.
Stroll through the tiny streets, visit the enticing shops, select a restaurant particularly the popular Tea Room, and absorb the scenic pleasures of the quaint Cauley Square Historic Village.
Check their calendar for special programs for holidays like Christmas, Easter, and Valentine’s Day and expos for antique cars, fashion, and live music.
Address: 22400 Old Dixie Hwy, Miami, FL 33170
Knaus Berry Farm
Another popular stop among visitors to Homestead and Redland area is the famous Knaus Berry Farm.
What started as a small roadside stand selling strawberries has grown to a world-class bakery, produce garden, and ice cream shop featuring cinnamon rolls, cookies, and shakes.
While closed for the summer, Knaus Berry Farm is a great place to find delicious sweets alongside fresh vegetables and, of course, their delectable strawberries throughout the fall, winter, and spring months.
Join the line of shoppers and chat for only a few minutes, and you will find yourself among locals and visitors alike. Make it your new tradition to line up for the indescribably delicious cinnamon rolls that people are willing to wait hours for. You can thank me later.
Operating hours during the season: Knaus Berry Farm is open Monday to Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. They are closed on Sunday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.
Address: 15980 SW 248th St, Homestead, FL 33031
Robert is Here
Another local fave is Robert is Here fruit stand. At this family-owned business, you’ll find rare and exotic fruits and vegetables, most of which are grown on their farms.
Fun for the younger crowd featuring farm animals, a playground, and picnic areas. It has expanded to include a petting area that includes cows, pigs, and emus. They even have a koi pond and aviary.
Try a range of fresh tropical fruit, along with unique treats like key lime pie and milkshakes. Packaged products include jams, jellies, marmalades, sauces, salsas, dips, relishes, mustards, seasonings, etc.
Their milkshakes and smoothies are made to order free of artificial colors or preservatives. My go-to’s are the mango-passionfruit and the guanabana smoothies.
Robert is Here is the perfect pit-stop on the road to Key West, or elsewhere within the Florida Keys.
Operating Hours: Open seven days a week, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day). On weekends and holidays, Robert is Here hosts live musicians to entertain you while you shop.
Address: 19200 SW 344th St, Homestead, FL 33034
Exotic Flowers, Wine, and Hidden Gems
RF Orchids have been growing their lush tropical garden of flowering orchids at their nursery in Homestead for over 50 years. They are the experts on caring for this breathtaking plant. Vibrant colors and tantalizing scents make each species of orchid unique.
Operating Hours: Open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Tuesday – Sunday and closed on Mondays
Address: 28100 SW 182nd Ave, Homestead, FL 33030
Schnebly Redland’s Winery and Brewery
Schnebly Redland’s Winery offers wine enthusiasts the opportunity to taste the tropics surrounded by paradise. Sit and relax as you listen to the waterfall cascading down the rock wall as you sip a summertime favorite, sparkling lychee.
The wines are made from local fruits, as are the beers. For brewskies, try Jack O’Spades or Miami Winter Ale. They offer tasting events and tours of both facilities.
They also offer online purchases of both wine and beer products and ancillary items like tap handles.
To make it even better, they have a restaurant that serves both lunch and dinner. Sundays mean brunch with a special offer of only $25 per person for unlimited mimosas and beermosas through the dining experience.
Address: 30205 SW 217th Ave, Homestead, FL 33030
Homestead History, Shopping, and Culture
Historic Town Hall of Homestead
The Historic Homestead Town Hall Museum was created to honor the memory of Thomas Alexander Campbell, for whom Campbell Drive is named.
Built-in 1917 served as Homestead’s town hall and now houses videos, historical pieces, and photographs tracing Homestead’s history.
Admission and Operating Hours: The museum is free to the public and is open Wednesday through Saturday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and hours during Homestead’s special events.
Address: 41 North Krome Avenue, Homestead, Florida 33030
Redland Market Village
Every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, you can catch the Redland Market Village, which combines both a flea market and farmers’ market for a range of cool items. And, speaking of cool, if you find you just need a little AC while you’re shopping, you can head into the market’s indoor section to find produce and fish.
Even if you’re not shopping for food, you’ll find clothing, jewelry, automotive items, gifts, and even pets. It all stretches across nearly 30 acres and also includes a kids play area, live music, and more than 20 food trucks.
Address: 24420 S Dixie Hwy., Redland, FL 33032
Florida Keys Outlet Marketplace
Homestead is home to the Florida Keys Outlet Marketplace, where you’ll find all your designer favorites. This open-air mall offers the best in clothing stores, shoes and fashion, and kids apparel.
There are five restaurants to choose from and an outdoor playground making this a fun, family-friendly place to visit in Homestead.
Address: 250 E Palm Dr, Florida City, FL 33034
Homestead Station is a welcome addition to the revitalization of downtown Homestead. This family entertainment complex contains a movie theatre, bowling alley, and arcade in addition to the much-needed transit center and parking garage connecting Homestead to Greater Miami via the metro train system.
Address: 4 S Krome Ave, Homestead, FL 33030
Our last stop takes us to the Homestead-Miami Motorplex, located on-site of NASCAR’s Homestead-Miami Speedway. This outdoor go-kart venue offers racing excitement seven days a week, year-round.
Designed by professionals, this adrenaline-pumping racetrack offers kart rentals where you’ll strap in and race at speeds up to 45 mph on the 0.3-mile, three-turn circuit. Kart owners can bring their own ride and race on the 0.7-mile, 12 turn circuit.
Operating Hours: Open Wednesday – Sunday, excluding a few major holidays; hours vary depending on special events – check website for track availability
Address: 1835 SE 38th Ave, Homestead, FL 33035
Restaurants in Homestead, Florida – Where to Eat
Homestead has an eclectic mix of ethnic foods and choosing where to dine when you visit Homestead may be the most challenging part of planning your trip.
Of course, there are the standard fast-food giants around every corner and the usual big chain restaurants we all love. But you haven’t driven all this way for the same old thing.
Due to the area’s farming industry, there is a large migrant population, with many starting local businesses, including restaurants rivaling many of the places you’ll find on South Beach. If you’re into Mexican food, then a stop by one of the many local restaurants is well deserved.
Come hungry and check out a few of these renowned Homestead eateries:
- El Puerto de Vallarta Mexican Seafood $$ – This is my go-to (seafood centered) Mexican spot in Homestead
- La Quebradita Mexican Restaurant Grill $– authentic Mexican dishes with generous portions
- Taqueria Morelia $ – Stop for gas and pick-up fresh, simple, and tasty tacos all in one-stop
- Yardie Spice $$ – stellar Caribbean cuisine with warm and friendly service
- Shiver’s BBQ $$ – classic smoked barbecue in Homestead
- Four Eight Restaurant and Lounge $$ – serves an upscale menu of brunch, lunch, and dinner
From its humble beginnings of agriculture to its decimation by Hurricane Andrew, Homestead has fought back against adversity to become the thriving small town-big city, a melting pot of culture, character, and love of community.
The next time you desire a road trip, Homestead will offer you some interesting sights to see, food to eat, and beverages to enjoy.