On quite a few occasions, readers of my A life Best Lived series have asked how I’ve fulfilled my promise to try something new every month, for the previous four years. As a result, I’ve opted to initiate another series covering the things I’ve done up until this year. The goal- as always- is to inspire you to try new things and appreciate how fulfilling your backyard can be, at a pretty reasonable price. So, thus far you’ve vicariously:

1. January: Been to a swingers club,

2. February: Visited the Perez Art Museum,

3. March: Went to Jazz in the Gardens,

4. April: Saw a wonder of the world- The Panama Canal, and

5. May: Attended a Cinco de Mayo celebration.

If you’re out of ideas and looking for a way to spend a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, then plan a visit to the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens-one of my 2012 firsts.

I once found myself constantly complaining that South Florida has no culture. After weeks of scrolling through the New Times calendars, or hitting up friends for recommendations, I’d frustratingly chant, “there’s nothing to see here.”

I was so surprised when I visited Vizcaya. Not only is the venue beautifully kept, it truly permeates it’s well preserved history and sense of opulence. I loved it there. On any given day the museum and/or gardens are never packed.  A popular spot for photogs, you’re sure to come across a blushing bride and her new groom or a glamorous teen posing for her quinciera shots.

The museum takes form in the preserved estate of revered businessman, James Deering. Just $18 (for non-members) gets you access to 14 acres of well manicured lawns, neatly shaped mazes, and the Deering’s beautiful villa. A trip to peruse the grounds of the estate is fulfilling enough, but if you have the time, enjoy a planned picnic. The views of the bay are panoramic and unlike any other you’ll enjoy in the grove. During the winter you can enjoy the midnight tours of the gardens. These tours offer a romantic setting with accompanied wine and serrenading from a live band. If you’d really like to try something new, make a date with friends or your partner and take in a silent movie in the estate’s courtyard. For more on the events Vizcaya offers click here.

For $18 there’s no excuse to have not seen this wonderful place!

For hours and prices click here.

Have you been to Vizcaya? What are you’re thoughts on one of South Florida’s infamous gardens? What are the famous botanical venues in your neck of the woods?

All images ©  2014 Donnatilda Tabana