When most people think of Miami, they surely don’t think of riding horses along dirt roads, picking sunflowers or strawberries, or resting on a picnic table beneath a shade tree eating homemade cinnamon rolls made by Baptist Dunkers. This is the Miami that I love. It’s actually an area south of Miami called The Redland, and it’s as family friendly as it gets.
Take US1 south and turn right at SW 248th Street. A few miles down the road, you’ll come across Knaus Berry Farm. This farm is famous for their cinnnamon rolls and their strawberry shakes, but you’ve also got to purchase their organic veggies, herbs, honey – and try their ‘other’ baked goods like shoofly pie, angel food cake, brownies, herb sticks…pies and cakes of all kinds. It’s downright magical. Many refer to Knaus as the ‘Amish place’ but they’re not Amish, they’re Dunkers. It’s a sect of Baptists but they do dress the Amish part. It adds to the charm. Bring cash, no checks or credit cards are accepted.
Kids are also welcome to U-Pick here. Depending on the season, you can pick tomatoes, strawberries and peppers.
Fairchild Farms has a location up the road as well (yes, they are related to the noteworthy Fairchild Botanical Tropical Gardens). In season, you can get a great hotdog with mango relish, fresh fruits and vegetables and shakes, too. Find them. It’s worth it. They also do classes on the weekends for grafting and such.
Schnebly Winery is only a few miles from this area on the west side of Krome Avenue. If you haven’t been, you need to check this place out. “Friday Nights at the Winery” are wonderful. Live music under the huge tiki hut, wine, coral rock waterfalls, plenty of room to roam. You can pick up dinner and bring it in or sometimes they even do bbqs on site. Check the schedule at their website. They also do winery tours on the weekends with tastings. New to Schnebly’s is craft beer. They’ve added a tasting counter right inside the main wain tasting room. Belly up and savor homemade brews.
For the best BBQ in town, head over to Shiver’s at US1 and SW 280th Street. In business for over 50 years, Shiver’s is family owned and operated and everything is good. Baby back ribs fall of the bone, chicken is tender and juicy and the side dishes are country cooking at its best. Choose from things like coleslaw, baked beans, corn souffle, collard greens, black eyed peas, even hush puppies.
Coral Castle is a mystery that has amazed top scientists since it was built. Located right off US1 and SW 286th Street, spend a few hours wandering about and try to solve the mystery yourself. How did one tiny man who weighed a mere 98 pounds carve thousands of pound of coral rock without help? There is a 9-ton carved gate that you can swing with one finger, and a 3-ton rock right by the entrance that you can do the same. Sit in his carved rockers and meditation chairs, see his fresh water well, and look through the Polaris telescope.
All in all, there is a whole lot to discover down south in the Redland. Make a day of it – and bring your camera.