Visiting Vizcaya: The Most Beautiful House in America

on June 3, 2015

There are so many ways I want to introduce Vizcaya to you.

The most beautiful house in America, the Versailles of America, the house built of Coral, the place that should be #1 on everyone’s bucket list (I really mean that last one)…

Visiting Vizcaya

I saw a photo of Vizcaya’s underground pool on Pinterest a few years ago and assumed it was one of those photoshopped wanderlust photos that go viral on the internet and are created to dupe the sad, house ridden traveler.

I mean, that is how beautiful this place is. I remember looking at photos of Vizcaya and just brushing it off, like, no way. This place can’t exist. It’s too gorgeous. 

Visiting Vizcaya

Which is why I’m going to present this blog post on my visit to Vizcaya as a photo montage. It costs $10 with student ID and $18 as an adult to visit Vizcaya – as an annoyingly cheap traveler I can tell you this is absolutely worth it – but whether you are held back by location, time, or money to tour Vizcaya yourself, I invite you to tour Vizcaya virtually through these photos…

Visiting Vizcaya

Let’s take a peek inside…

Visiting Vizcaya

Quick background story: The house is built around a courtyard with a glass ceiling (originally it had no ceiling and was often torn apart by violent Florida weather). It was designed by Paul Chalfin (fabulous and did what he wanted) as the home of James Deering (the owner of John Deere tractors…sound familiar?). The house and grounds are mostly made out of CORAL, which results in beautiful textures. Rococo, and the palaces of Asia, Italy, France, and Spain inspire the architecture and design of Vizcaya. Its symbols are the ship and the seahorse, perfectly uniting classic European aristocratic styles with the Southern tropics. It’s a sight to be seen. Also, we weren’t allowed to take photos inside so this is all I got for ya…

Visiting Vizcaya

The Coral Ship…

Visiting Vizcaya

One of the house’s views is of the beautiful Biscayne Bay, and a half-sunken coral ship sculpture.

Visiting Vizcaya

Waiting for the ~lame tourists~ to leave so I can take my own ~lame tourist~ photo

Visiting Vizcaya

And there it is.

The Tea House…

Visiting Vizcaya

There is no actual tea. It is a gazebo.

Visiting Vizcaya

View of Vizcaya house from inside the tea house gazebo.

 

Visiting Vizcaya

Celine lovin’ life…and the view of the coral ship!

Naturally the occasion called for some yoga.

The views…

Visiting Vizcaya

Visiting VizcayaThe Coral…

Visiting Vizcaya

If you haven’t noticed me mention it a bajillion times yet, this house is built of coral! Does anyone else think that’s as stunning as I do? It was like you were walking through Atlantis on land…and look at these colors and textures!

Photo credit goes to Celine.

Celine and I in front of a coral wall in the garden… Photo credit goes to Celine.

 The Underground Pool…

Visiting Vizcaya

This is it, ladies and gentlemen. This is the pool that started my obsession. You can’t swim in it anymore (unless you’re up for being arrested….worth it? Maybe? Next time.)

Visiting Vizcaya

But you can view it through a window in the gift shop, as well as from outside in the side garden.

Visiting Vizcaya

The Grounds…

Visiting Vizcaya

Vizcaya used to own much more land than it does now as a Museum. Celine’s dad, who grew up in Miami, told us that in his childhood Vizcaya also owned the hospital and his high school! Now the grounds are smaller, but still quite extensive and full of the most beautiful gardens, winding and spiky and draping and full of coral…

Also…full of Quinceanera photoshoots. These girls were decked out like models, wearing corsets and butt pads and hoop skirts, with teams (of parents) carrying spare dresses in glittering white and shining gold… Celine was deprived of her own Quinceanera so we had to snap a photo.

Visiting Vizcaya

The Food…

Did you really think you were going to get a blog post out of me without me mentioning food. Please.

There’s a little gift shop and cafe at Vizcaya (with tables set up right by the window to the underground pool!), where we got raspberry white chocolate gelato. Melted in a second with the Miami heat, but still perfect as a soupy treat to eat as we explored the gardens. The cafe menu is also pretty extensive (with gluten free options! Options are marked but you can also ask the staff to make non-marked sandwiches on a GF wrap).

Photo credit goes to Celine.

Photo credit goes to Celine.

All in all…

Visiting Vizcaya was truly a treat. It was one of those experiences that has a smile plastered on your face from beginning to end. We spent about 3 hours exploring…I’d recommend taking at least 2 hours for your visit, but you could spend a LOT more time if you wanted. And when you go, let me know so I can simmer in both jealousy and gorgeous memories…

Photo credit goes to Celine.

Photo credit goes to Celine.

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