Although he earned his fortunes as a businessman, Charles Deering's true passion was for art and culture. He filled his home with sculptures, drawings, paintings, and other works—some of which he created himself. After he passed away in 1927, The Deering Estate has kept his spirit alive; his former home and its surrounding natural landscapes now operate as a cultural meeting place for the community—one that hosts art festivals, lectures and films, and indoor and outdoor concerts throughout the year.
Size: a 450+ acre environmental, archaeological and historical preserve. The Deering Estate celebrates 30 years of being on the National Register of Historic Places
The Buildings: the Richmond Cottage (originally built in 1896) and the Stone House (built in 1922)
Eye Catcher: a 20th-century, Spanish Gothic Revival chandelier that has hung in the Stone House's library since its construction
Permanent Mainstay: the photographs, pencil sketches, and portraits (some by Mr. Deering himself) that hang inside the Stone House
Don't Miss: a tour of the fossil grounds, where specimens have been found that date as far back as 50,000 years
Hidden Gem: Charles Deering's prohibition wine cellar, hidden behind a three-ton bank vault door that remained sealed for 40 years
Outdoor Activities: bird walks, guided nature hikes, and canoe trips to Chicken Key, a 7-acre mangrove island