I found out about the Deering Estate last year while touring Vizcaya (owned by Charles' brother James). The home while not on the same scale as Vizcaya, should not be overlooked. The home is elegant but not overdone.
The home consists of the Richmond Cottage which was once a hotel and then the stone mansion. My friend and I arrived and parked. We made our way up the beautiful palm tree and flower lined pathway. We locate the courtyard where we are to meet for the 3 o’clock tour and go on past the home to the back. Here guests are treated to sweeping and stunning views f Biscayne Bay. There is a palm tree lined bay and I could not help but notice the sign warning visitors they might encounter crocodiles. But we never did. We strolled the perfectly manicured grounds enjoying the views of the bay and the home and snapping pictures.
We make our way back to the home and wait for the 3 o’clock tour to begin. We start our tour with the 1922 Richmond Cottage and make our way to the mansion. One thing I notice is that the home is only partially furnished. When the family could no longer afford the home they sold off most of the furniture. The estate is trying to recover as much of the original furnishings as possible.
The mansion features ornate iron work and has a very protected wine cellar which is locked away behind a large locked vault. Unfortunately flooding from a hurricane destroyed the cellar. A walkway ceiling is embedding with years old fossils. After the tour we were allowed to roam back around in the houses.
While the home does not have the gilded age opulence of Vizcaya..in the ballroom there is a picture of the family castle in Spain which is quite stunning. Guests are also allowed to take pictures inside the home which is very unusual.
The home is quite a popular quincetera and wedding venue. They were preparing for wedding on the lawn while we were touring the mansion and 2 of the couples on the tour were having their wedding at the home. There is also a path that will lead you out to a fossil area but we needed to leave right afterwards so we never made it there. They do offer classes and events throughout the year. They do have restrooms but there is not a gift shop or restaurant on the grounds.
The home is well worth seeking out especially for those who have an appreciation of historic homes and architecture.