Attractions in Redlands, Florida

Attractions in Redlands, Florida
If travelers are ready to break away from the flash and flare of Miami, a 30-minute drive southwest will take them to the farmlands and tropical landscape of Redlands. Named after the red soil of the area, visitors will find pick-it-yourself fruit and vegetable farms, coral walls and an old-time serenity. Activities include enjoying a drive through the area, or visiting one of the attractions the entire family will appreciate.

Coral Castle Museum

Built by Edward Leedskalnin between 1923 and 1951, the Coral Castle Museum is a structure that has mystified visitors and scientist for years. Working by himself and in secret, Edward carved coral stone into such shapes as a castle tower, walls, rocking chairs, and even a telescope. No one knows how he was able to lift the rocks (totaling 1,100 tons) and build the heavy structures without help. He used no mortar in the construction--the weight of the rocks keeps the structures in place. One gate, weighing 9 tons, can easily be opened by a child's push. The mystery of the Coral Castle has been spotlighted on such shows as "In Search Of..." and "Ripley's Believe it or Not." The castle is open daily. Tour groups are welcome, and the site is available for events.

Coral Castle Museum
28655 South Dixie Hwy.
Miami, FL 33033
(305) 248-6345

Fruit and Spice Park

The Fruit and Spice Park is a tropical botanical garden the likes of which visitors won't find anywhere else in the United States. Growing on the park's 37 acres are nearly 100 varieties of bananas, 70 varieties of bamboo, 150 types of mango, and an extensive plant and tree list that goes from A (Acrocomia mexicana or Acromia Palm) to Z (Zizyphus sp. or Thai Jujube). Owned and operated by the Miami-Dade County Park and Recreation Department, the unique tropical climate of this area of South Florida provides the perfect weather to grow more than 500 varieties of fruits, vegetables, spices, herbs and nuts.

After a tour of the park, those who are hungry may stop in at the Mango Café for lunch. The menu includes salads, sandwiches such as pulled pork and lobster roll, wraps filled with Asian chicken salad, turkey, or roast beef, and desserts including mango passion cheesecake and fresh homemade key lime pie. Visitors can also stop by the gift shop, which carries dried and canned fruit, juices, jams, jellies, teas, unusual seeds, cold fruit juices, and books on cooking and gardening.

Fruit and Spice Park
24801 S.W. 187th Ave.
Homestead, Florida 33031
(305) 247-5727

Monkey Jungle

The Monkey Jungle turns the tables on humans and monkeys: the monkeys and other primates are free to roam on the 30-acre reserve, while the humans observe them from tunnels and cages. The reserve was opened in 1933 to study endangered monkeys, and now the Monkey Jungle is one of the few reserves that protect endangered primates, and the only one that allows entry to the general public.

Some of the 30 species of primates that visitors can see at the Monkey Jungle are Java monkeys, orangutans, gibbons, quenons, spider monkeys and the Golden Lion Tamarin. The Monkey Jungle has joined an international effort to bring the Tamarin, a native to the Brazilian jungle, back from the threat of extinction. The Monkey Jungle hosts birthday parties for children, which include pizza or hot dog, a "Gorilla Goody Bag" and a T-shirt. The reserve also has an "adoption" program. Basically a donation to the Monkey Jungle, adopters choose a primate to support, from a gorilla for $500 to a Java monkey for $25.

Monkey Jungle
14805 Southwest 216th Street
Miami, FL 33170
(305) 235-1611

Article Written By Linda Covella

A writer for 25 years, Linda Covella boasts a background in art, computers, business and restaurant reviewing. Covella holds degrees in Art, Mechanical Drafting, Manufacturing Management and a Certificate for Professional Technical Writing. She has been published in the Santa Cruz GoodTimes, Zootles and Learning Through History children's magazines, and is represented by Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises.

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