Homestead is just a short drive from Miami, but a world away from its busy metropolitan lifestyle. This is quintessential small-town Florida and your gateway to two national parks.

You don’t have to travel far out of Miami to escape its hustle and bustle. Just 30 miles down the road is the charming city of Homestead, an escape from the skyscrapers and busy roads of its neighbor. Embrace a quieter pace of life in a town full of unusual attractions or in the vast swathes of natural beauty that border the city limits.

Join the locals for a trip to the Homestead Miami Speedway, a race course that brings out throngs of motoring fans on race days. Of course, the other option is to drive around it yourself in something much faster than your humble rental.

The attractions get stranger as you look around the city. Ever seen a sculpture made of coral? How about a sculpture made of coral weighing 1,100 tons? Coral Castle, carved as a gesture of love by the diminutive artist Ed Leedskalnin in 1923, thoroughly earns its reputation as a unique destination. Then there’s the Fruit and Spice Park, which uses the tropical climate to grow every kind of exotic plant you can imagine (really – there are over 37 acres in the park!).

One of Homestead’s greatest appeals is its location, sandwiched between two stunning national parks. Drive west and it’s not long before you hit the Everglades National Park. Bike trails, boat trips, and hauntingly beautiful walks through the wetlands are just three of the best ways to experience this subtropical wilderness. The gators are mostly harmless, providing you leave them well alone…

To the east there’s Biscayne National Park, where the water is so clear it reflects the sky like a mirror. Hop in a kayak for an unforgettable day navigating one of the most beautiful parts of the state, or strap on some scuba gear to see it from beneath the surface of the water.

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