Hidden amongst the city: Revealing Miami’s hidden gems

Entrance to the Fairchild-Sweeney House located in the Kampong.
Entrance to the Fairchild-Sweeney home located in the Kampong.
Entrance to the Fairchild-Sweeney House located in the Kampong.

From enjoying the Miami Beach sun to experiencing Cuban culture in Little Havana, these popular activities attract tourists from all over to this iconic city.

But what about the lesser-known sites? Here are 5 of Miami’s hidden gems that you should check out during your time at UM.

Madroño Restaurant

Founded in 1998, this family-owned restaurant ensures a delightful dining experience with its friendly staff and delicious food. Rated by the Miami New Times as the best Nicaraguan restaurant in the, El Madroño serves a variety of authentic Nicaraguan foods and drinks, from savory churrascos and pechugas de pollo to nacatamales and fresh cacao. Its simple, classy appearance creates an upscale atmosphere that anyone can enjoy, all for a reasonable price.

Check out their website for more details.

Robert is Here

Nicknamed the Disney World of fruit stands” by VisitFlorida, Robert is Here is a family-owned fruit market located in Homestead within Miami-Dade County. The market has flourished since it began in 1959 and now specializes in exotic fruits such as dragonfruit and jackfruit.

The market is also well-known for its delicious milkshakes, which come in various flavors like coconut, coffee and key lime. Behind the fruit market is a small animal farm and an aviary where visitors can watch and feed animals as they sip their drinks.

Cityplace Doral

Cityplace Doral has successfully cultivated an engaging space that hosts luxury movie theaters, beauty boutiques and a diverse set of high-quality restaurants. The shopping center’s chic appearance is just as impressive, achieved through modern and sleek buildings, illuminated fountains and light fixtures scattered throughout the plaza.

Cityplace Doral hosts countless events throughout the year, including live music, New Year celebrations and end-of-summer block parties.

The Kampong

Located in Biscayne Bay, The Kampong is home to various exotic trees, flowers and other horticultural rarities from over 50 countries. The garden’s enchanting flora and fruit sit upon the nine-acre estate of Dr. David Fairchild, a famous botanist who brought these plant varieties to the United States. The garden also acts as a center for plant research.

The Kampong is the perfect place for nature lovers to discover the diverse beauty of the environment. Guided and self-guided tour information can be found on their website.

The Ancient Spanish Monastery

Dubbed the “oldest building in the Western Hemisphere,” the Ancient Spanish Monastery, originally built in Spain, now stands in North Miami Beach after being moved in 1953. Dating back to 1141 A.D, its stained glass windows, intricately carved columns, statues and enchanting stone arches remain intact, now accompanied by beautiful gardens, courtyards and a museum. Within the museum, you will find many medieval artifacts, including pieces of armor originating from the Crusades.

The Monastery is an excellent way to peer into Ancient Spanish history in metropolitan Miami-Dade.