Although the Miami area wasn’t officially established as a city until 1896, the history of the area dates back to 1566. First inhabited by the Tequesta Indians before being claimed by the Spanish, the city was known as one of the best building sites in the state.
From its discovery until present day, Miami has gone through a number of historical events and major happenings. Looking to learn a little more about local history? Check out a few of the landmarks leftover from Miami’s rich past.
The only part of the National Tropical Botanical Gardens that isn’t located in Miami, the Kampong is a small, 9-acre botanical garden. The grounds were owned by Dr. David Fairchild, a renowned botanist and plant explorer, who was responsible for introducing over 200,000 plants and crops to the United States.
The gardens are located in Coconut Grove, the oldest neighborhood in the city, and house some of the plants that Fairchild introduced. Today, it’s listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
The Barnacle Historic State Park
Constructed in the late 19th century, the Barnacle Historic State Park is another historic stop located in Coconut Grove. Previously the home of local pioneer Ralph Middleton Munroe, the grounds have been kept largely the same as they were when Munroe inhabited them.
When you visit the park today, you’ll find towering trees, Munroe’s old home, and beautiful natural beauty. The state park has also been outfitted with replicas of Munroe’s boats, the Egret and the Flying Proa.
Bill Baggs Cape
Just a short distance away from Downtown Miami sits the Bill Baggs Cape State Park. Home to the oldest standing structure in the Miami area—the Cape Florida Lighthouse—the park is perfect for a little history and natural beauty.
In the 19th century, the cape was a landmark for Seminole Indians and runaway slaves looking for freedom and safe passage. The park offers guided tours on foot, bike, or kayak for visitors to take in all of the historic landmarks.
Ancient Spanish Monastery
Originally built in 1133 AD in Spain, the Monastery of St. Bernard de Clairvaux was sold to newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst in 1925, broken down brick by brick, and moved to Brooklyn. After sitting in storage for years, the remnants of the building were bought Colonel Robert Pentland, Jr and gifted to the Bishop of Florida.
Today, the Ancient Spanish Monastery offers guided tours, weddings, photo shoots, and church services. With one of the most interesting histories of any building in the country, it’s worth visiting in person.
The only pool on the National Register of Historic Places, the Venetian Pool dates back to the 1920s. Formed from a coral rock quarry, architects used the natural features of the pool to accentuate its beauty.
With spring water sourced from an underground aquifer, two waterfalls, a grotto, and stunning accents, the Venetian Pool is one of the most popular stops in the city—and totally open to the public.
Find Your Home in Miami
Not only does Miami have a rich history, but it also boasts a bright future. Come discover all that the city has to offer, and find your new home here today.