South Florida’s Miami-Dade County has more than its fair share of swanky, exclusive suburbs, and Pinecrest is one of the most affluent.
Pinecrest had a population of just more than 18,000 residents at the time of the last census. It’s technically not a city or a town, but a village, and it is consistently ranked as one of the country’s most expensive zip codes.
Needless to say, it may not be a good fit for a large family traveling on a budget, but its proximity to many of the state’s most popular attractions makes it a good fit for those with deep pockets.
Below are 15 things to do in and around Pinecrest.
1. Pinecrest Farmer’s Market
The Pinecrest Farmer’s Market takes place on Sundays from 9 AM until 2 PM and features some of the Sunshine State’s best produce, arts, crafts, and prepared food items.
The market has been steadily attracting both new customers and vendors, and there’s ample parking onsite.
Taking place in Pinecrest Gardens near downtown, it is known to have great coffee and fresh baked goods, making it a good breakfast stop as well.
Though many shoppers choose to eat, drink, and browse at the same time, there are shaded tables if you’d like to take a load off before shopping.
2. Pinecrest Gardens
Pinecrest Gardens is one of Pinecrest’s premier recreation destinations, and it’s got more amenities than most local parks.
There are a variety of shaded walking paths that lead through natural environments. For those out for some exercise with their little ones, there’s a petting zoo with lots of cuddly animals.
The gardens are a unique blend of the natural and manmade worlds that aren’t typically found together elsewhere. There are also a number of art exhibits that previous guests found both intriguing and thought-provoking.
Live events and summer camps are held in the gardens as well, so check their website for details.
3. Pinecrest Bakery
From flan and cheesecake to tarts and carrot cake, there’s probably something warming in the oven at Pinecrest Bakery to tempt even the most stubborn taste buds.
Unlike most of its competitors, Pinecrest Bakery is open 24 hours. In addition to their premium baked goods, they serve coffee and a variety of more hearty fare, much of which has Cuban and Latin American influences.
Pinecrest Bakery has multiple locations in the Miami area and are a favorite for their hearty breakfast sandwiches and café con leche.
Though it sports a comfortable atmosphere, tasty grub, and reasonable prices, it’s definitely not a good fit for those counting calories.
4. Matheson Hammock Park
Located on Old Cutler Road in nearby Coral Gables, Matheson Hammock Park includes more than 600 acres of natural wonder tucked inside a relatively developed urban area. It’s a popular getaway for those looking to breathe some fresh air and stretch their legs without spending hours in the car.
The park’s amenities include a variety of nature trails, a marina, a beach, covered picnic areas, and even a boat launch that’s large enough to accommodate powerboats.
For value-minded and time conscious travelers who prefer to kill two birds with one stone, the park is adjacent to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, which is worth a look as well.
5. Zoo Miami
Zoo Miami is just a stone’s throw from downtown Pinecrest and features thousands of different animals – ranging from cuddly and mundane to dangerous and exotic.
Zoos in general have taken a bad rap in recent years for often providing limited space for animals to live; unlike many other zoos, Zoo Miami uses moats instead of cages to keep the animals where they’re supposed to be.
The zoo’s staff offer a variety of kid-friendly programs in addition to their ever-popular petting zoo. For those visiting the area without their own wheels, it’s possible to get close to Zoo Miami using public transportation.
6. Pasion del Cielo Coffee
With its abundance of Cuban and Latin American influences, South Florida is home to lots of great coffee shops, and many of them use coffee beans from far-flung corners of the world.
Located on SW 136th Street in Miami, Pasion del Cielo Coffee has been making waves in the area’s coffee scene lately, and according to more than a few previous visitors, their coffee puts the big national chains to shame.
They feature beans from more than a dozen different countries, and each has its own flavor profile, so be sure to tell them what you like before ordering – and don’t forget to pick up a bag or two to go.
7. Coral Gables Museum
Housed on Aragon Avenue in historic Coral Gables, the Coral Gables Museum is located inside a historic building that was once home to the city’s police and fire departments.
The Coral Gables Museum is a fun and inexpensive attraction for those interested in learning about the area’s history, economy, and culture. It features both indoor and outdoor exhibits, and many of them are relatively new.
For visitors who choose to show themselves around the museum, cellphone audio tours are available and offer insightful narration at each exhibit.
The museum’s collections touch on art, history, and culture, and most guests spend about an hour or two on-site.
8. Deering Estate
South Florida has always been a playground for the rich and famous, and the Deering Estate on Southwest 72nd Avenue in Miami is a prime example of the way the well-heeled lived in the early part of the 20th century.
The estate was the property of a wealthy family of industrialists from the Midwest and is now one of the area’s most visited historic attractions.
It includes an opulent waterfront home, extensive gardens, and expansive grounds. The best way to take it all in is as part of a guided tour, which head off at multiple times daily.
9. Merrick House
Located on Coral Way, the Merrick House was once the residence of the man who’s responsible for founding the city of Coral Gables.
The home was built in 1906 when the area was mostly rugged and undeveloped. In addition to its period art, furniture, and housewares, the house is architecturally unique and has been restored to near-original condition.
Tours of the house and grounds are offered twice weekly and are led by knowledgeable docents, who are enthusiastic about enlightening visitors and making their visits memorable.
Previous guests have stated that the cost for admission and the tour were reasonable.
10. The Original Crab House
According to a large number of local seafood aficionados, The Original Crab House is hands-down, South Florida’s best seafood restaurant.
The Original Crab House isn’t fancy or flashy; in fact, it’s often described as a hole-in-the-wall – but in addition to its amazing crabs and seafood, that’s a big part of its charm.
Their menu includes their namesake crabs and a variety of seafood, like shrimp, clams, and oysters – and even some land-based choices as well.
They’re closed on Mondays and tend to get crowded on the weekends during the dinner hours, so if you’d prefer to avoid the masses, consider a late afternoon or weekday visit.
11. The Zoological Wildlife Foundation
Unlike visits to dentists and psychiatrists, appointments aren’t typically necessary to visit zoos, but for those who can get past the formality, they’ll be glad they took the time to get penciled-in at The Zoological Wildlife Foundation.
ZWF prides itself on offering guests a more intimate experience than they’re likely to have at other zoos. Their animal residents include a variety of rare and endangered species from nearly every corner of the globe.
Their big cats from Africa and Asia are among the most popular attractions, but they feature birds, monkeys, and other unique animals as well.
Guests can expect to have their expectations exceeded, and though it’s not cheap, it may just be one of the most memorable experiences of your trip.
12. South Beach
For pale and flabby tourists from the heartland sporting fanny packs and khakis with elastic waistbands, South Beach can be an intimidating place.
It’s full of beautiful people, fast cars, and exclusive eateries that aren’t exactly welcoming, but it’s one of those iconic south Florida attractions that’s worth a look.
From scenic beaches and world-class galleries to famous restaurants and historic art deco neighborhoods, there’s lots to see and do. Though many visitors prefer to experience it on their own, others choose to take it all in as part of a guided tour.
A huge variety of tour options are available, so spend a little time looking to see which fits your interests best.
13. Little Havana
Located along Calle Ocho – or 8th Street in Miami – Little Havana is a cultural icon that’s especially popular with foodies, art lovers, and appreciators of Latin American and Cuban culture in general.
It’s a trendy and vibrant area that’s known for its quaint restaurants, live entertainment, and chill atmosphere. For do-it-yourselfers, it’s a perfect place to explore on your own, but for those who’d rather let a professional handle all the little details, a variety of tour options are available as well.
In many ways, a trip to Little Havana is like leaving the country, but without dealing with customs forms and full-grope body searches by airport security guards.
14. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Comprised of more than 80 sprawling acres on Old Cutler Road in Coral Gables, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is one of South Florida’s most stunning collections of cultivated gardens; it’s the perfect antidote to the area’s more commercial and touristy attractions.
The facility includes a learning center, museum, and laboratory. In addition to its public roles, it is dedicated to protecting and preserving endangered species and the natural habitats they need to thrive.
Throughout the year, the garden hosts a variety of live events, including mango, chocolate, and orchid festivals that draw visitors from all over the country.
15. Everglades National Park
Located about 35 miles east of Pinecrest, Everglades National Park is one of the state’s most visited natural attractions and is comprised of more than a million acres of unique habitat that’s home to an amazing variety of animals.
The Everglades are often referred to as a ‘river of grass,’ and are a natural wonder that really deserve to be explored.
The park’s most popular activities include airboat and ranger-led wildlife tours. Most previous visitors have stated that there’s so much to do in the park that for those with the time, it’s wise to dedicate at least a few days to take it all in.