While Miami is a city that I would recommend everyone visit at least once in their life, its cultural offerings are really limited to the money and eccentricity of South Beach more than they are the standard downtown, government or private organizations that you'll find in most large cities. With such high ratings for the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, I was honestly expecting so much more. If you would like to see an old mansion with a first-rate museum and gardens in Florida then visit the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota to see what you're truly missing because this place was easily forgettable. The gardens are a huge disappointment. No color whatsoever, just a bland green foliage presentation which is easily rivaled by a number of tourist garden offerings in the state of Florida. The mansion is the highlight of the visit which includes a large three-story stone estate that appears has done very little to refurbish the furniture and interior decoration of this early 20th century estate which gives you a feeling of stepping back in time. The walkways and garden structures appear to be falling apart and the manor smells of mildew which does keep the historical authenticity intact but mostly just leaves you with an empty feeling and the notion that it must have been nice to have that much money in the 1920's when the estate was in its prime, but the beauty is long gone.
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