You Need to Visit This Magical Garden 30 Miles Outside Miami
You’re never going to believe what we found right in our backyard. Think of it as a Wizard of Oz–style fairy tale come to life: It’s the only place we can think of where you’ll gleefully wander through Zen gardens and past koi ponds, hang with horses and even indulge at a bean-to-bar chocolate café—all in the same place. It’s called Patch of Heaven Sanctuary, and it’s Miami’s own little slice of nirvana. Here’s everything you need to know.
First, a little history
Dating back to the ’60s, this 20-acre private estate is located deep in the Redland. Mostly made up of rare tropical hammock forest and pine rocklands, Patch of Heaven is determined to preserve as many plants and wildlife as possible—both native and nonnative to Miami. So in an effort to raise funds and awareness, the estate’s visitor program is all about education and conservation.
Get the lay of the land
First things first: You need to sign up for a guided tour of the Patch. It’ll take you through lush tropical gardens, Old Miami buildings and architecture, a horse barn and an on-site beehive (which is expected to start producing local honey soon!).
Did Someone Say Chocolate?
Bees and exotic plants aside, the Patch is in the midst of growing its own cacao trees—you know, the beans that are used to make chocolate. Right now, there are more than 350 planted across the estate. Taste for yourself at a monthly sweet and savory cacao-pairing dinner. As you sip wine, you’ll savor homegrown Miami chocolate used in a variety of ways. (We may never be the same after trying meatballs with a tomato and dark chocolate sauce.)
Keep an Eye Out for Events
Besides tours, the Patch hosts some pretty cool events throughout the month. You can attend the aforementioned chocolate tasting or go for a daylong yoga retreat. The best way to stay updated is by checking the Patch’s event page. Oh, did we mention that this place also serves as a wedding venue? Hmm… now all we need is that proposal.
Patch of Heaven Sanctuary, 21900 SW 157th Ave.; 786-719-9903 orpatchofheavensanctuary.com