Winter Brings a TOUR de Force to South Florida

By: CultureOwl
Winter Brings a TOUR de Force to South Florida

It’s that time of year again, when the weather becomes balmy in South Florida, encouraging art & culture lovers to take to the outdoors for such epic events as Art Basel/Art Week.

But there are also plenty of great tours in the area that are not only educational and culturally enriching, but a lot of fun to share with friends, family, and that special someone. Whether you’re interested in biking, cruising down celebrated waterways, or strolling through historic districts, AroundTown has you covered on land and sea. So take a look at the tour highlights we’ve selected and experience culture your way by planning that perfect outing for a gorgeous day!


Cornell Art Museum at Old School Square
51 N. Swinton Avenue,
Delray Beach 33444
First Friday Art Walk: Experience an open house for the galleries in downtown Delray Beach from 6 to 9 pm. The Cornell Art Museum’s Art Walk Gallery will feature an exciting photography exhibit created and curated by undergrad students from Lynn University in Boca Raton. Admission is a suggested $5 donation.

Historic Butler House
380 East Hillsboro Blvd, Deerfield Beach, FL 33441
Historic Butler House Tours: Originally the home of Deerfield Beach pioneers, James D. and Alice Butler, it was bequeathed to the DFB Historical Society in 1977. Plans for the house were obtained from the Ladies Home Journal in 1923 and cost $10,000.00 to build. The House was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1995. It has been completely restored and contains many original furnishings. The House is now the Society’s headquarters and is operated as a museum. Every Saturday, 10am to 2pm. Entrance is free, donations accepted.

The Spady Cultural Heritage Museum
170 NW 5th Avenue,
Delray Beach, FL 33445
Ride & Remember Trolley Tour: Illustrated with colorful stories of the personalities and happenings that influenced the growth of Delray Beach, the tour draws the riders back in time. Climb aboard The Spady Museum’s popular “Ride & Remember” Trolley Tour and enjoy the interactive, personalized stories of city's interesting origins and development. 10 am - 12 pm, Saturday, November 12, 2016 and Saturday, December 10, 2016. $25 per person.


Bonnet House Museum & Gardens
900 N. Birch Road,
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
Bonnet House Museum & Gardens presents “Cruisin’ Down the River: Prohibition Era – The History of Fort Lauderdale’s Rum Runners.” Guests attending the program will travel the New River in style and hear whimsical tales about the history of Fort Lauderdale’s New River. Experience a boat ride aboard the famous “Carrie B” paddlewheel boat to learn about the fascinating history of Fort Lauderdale’s legendary rum runners. Featured speaker will be Stephen Draft, former Bonnet House curator, and there will be exciting live music by the Gold Coast Banjo Band.

Flamingo Gardens
3750 South Flamingo Road
Davie, Florida 33330
Flamingo Gardens offers several different tours ranging from three to four hours. Group Tours (minimum 15 people) are custom designed for each group. They may include an Arboretum Tour, Wildlife Encounter Show, Narrated Tour by Tram, Aviary & Birds of Prey, Wray Historic Home and a visit with Native Animals. Lunch options available. The Flamingo Gardens VIP Tour is a private tour for one to five people. The tour includes a private Tour Guide, behind the scenes visit with Florida Panthers and Josh the Bear, Wetland Visit, Wildlife Encounter Show, Wray Home Tour, Birds of Prey and Native Animal visits, beverages, lunch and a $25 gift certificate to the amazing Flamingo Gardens Gift Shop.

Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi
Board at waterfront locations throughout Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood
The Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi is the iconic Hop On / Hop Off tour covering the waterways of Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood. Guests pay one fare for the entire day and see all the mansions, yachts and cruise ships, while enjoying a great ride to the best beaches, restaurants and more. Water Taxi recently introduced a new “game changing” smart phone app to help guests get the most from their day on the Water Taxi; Find the closest Water Taxi stop, know when the next Water Taxi will arrive and more. Search “Water Taxi Tracker” on iTunes and Google Play.

Fort Lauderdale Historical Society
231 SW 2nd Ave,
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Custom Tour Package: The Tequesta First Nation People lived along the New River from the dawn of time. The Seminole & Miccosukee Nations migrated south to the Everglades over the 18th and 19th centuries. In 1793 the Spanish explorer Sebastian Verezaluze sailed up the New River on a spy mission for the Governor of St. Augustine. In 1838 Major William Lauderdale arrived and built the first of 3 forts along the New River. In 1896 Henry Flagler’s railroad arrived at the New River in Fort Lauderdale. Explore the stories of South Florida pioneers where the River meets the Railroad at History Fort Lauderdale. Custom tailored tour packages are available upon request.

Walking Tour: Take a guided leisurely stroll through the early days of Fort Lauderdale along the New River. Learn about Henry Flagler’s Railroad and its influence on the city, and the Bryan family, true founders of the area. This tour includes admission to the History Museum, the Pioneer House and the 1899 Schoolhouse Museum. This tour will take 2 hours with less than a mile of walking.

Daily Tour: This guided docent tour includes History Museum (1905 New River Inn) listed on the National Register, the King Cromartie Pioneer House Museum (1907), & 1899 Replica Schoolhouse.

Bi-Weekly boat tours: Explore early Fort Lauderdale history like a native on the Rio Nuevo. You’ll visit Colee Hammock—thought to be the site of an early Seminole War battle, view early Mediterranean Revival homes, historic bridges and visit the Historic District. The tour includes admission to the History Fort Lauderdale Museum and the Pioneer House Museum, and meeting the electric powered boat at the public dock, which will offer a serene and relaxing experience.

Old Davie School Historical Museum
6650 Griffin Road, Davie, FL 33314
Take a step back in time at the Old Davie School Historical Museum! Visit the restored 1920s classroom, the Walsh and Viele homes built in 1912, and learn about life on the Everglades frontier 100 years ago—before the luxuries of paved roads, electricity or indoor plumbing! With artifacts, photographs, articles, and maps, the Old Davie School Historical Museum invites visitors to experience South Florida's agricultural past and the vibrant and economically diverse region that exists today. Guided tours of the Old Davie School can be scheduled Tuesday through Saturday between 10am and 3pm.


Coconut Grove BID
3500 Pan American Drive
Coconut Grove, FL 33133
Meet in front of City Hall
Learn about Coconut Grove’s extensive history! The Coconut Grove BID offers FREE bicycle tours to visitors and locals alike. Join Royal Palm Tours of Miami, Frank Schema, as he uncovers the captivating history of Miami's oldest and most charming community by visiting notable sites and taking participants on a scenic and historic ride through the verdant streets of Coconut Grove. Please bring your bike or rent a Citi Bike, water and sunscreen. Every first and third Saturday. Reserve your spot today.

Coral Gables Museum
285 Aragon Avenue,
Coral Gables, FL 33134
Downtown Walking Tours: Stroll through the bustling business district of Coral Gables. This thriving area began in the 1920s. Did you know the Colonnade Hotel was once the Coral Gables Sales Center? Or that electric trolleys once connected downtown Coral Gables to downtown Miami? Visit historic Mediterranean Revival buildings, including a former Ford dealership, outdoor theater, and riding club. Newer additions to the cityscape help tell the complete downtown story. This program is generously supported by the Historic Preservation Association of Coral Gables. $5 for Museum members, $10 for general public. Every Saturday, 11am.

Waterway Canoe Tours: Enjoy a day out on the Coral Gables Waterway, a man-made system of canals that added 40 miles of waterfront to the City from Biscayne Bay, through the residential section, to the grand golf course at the Biltmore Hotel. This is a leisure canoeing experience led by EcoAdventure and Coral Gables Museum staff that encompasses both nature and history in a delightful blend of unique natural vistas and historic landmarks. A surprising amount of wildlife can be seen in the water and on the shore. Registrants will meet at the Coral Gables Museum at 9:30 am and start with a self-guided audio tour* of the exhibit, “Creating the Dream: George E. Merrick and His Vision for Coral Gables.” Then, board a bus to the Waterway and onto your canoe for a 2 hour paddling adventure! $40 per person. Rain or shine. Please review rules and restrictions on the website. Advance registration required. Call 305.603.8067. *Guests may also catch a 1:00 pm guided tour of the exhibit after the canoe tour. Fees included. Last Sunday of every month, 9:30am.

Gables Bike Tours: The best way to experience the ambiance of Coral Gables is on a leisurely bike ride down the famous tree-lined boulevards, past the public parks, plazas and fountains, and by the beautiful homes and gardens. Join the fun, educational bicycle tours through The City Beautiful. Each tour offers a different theme and route. Presented by Coral Gables Museum and Bike Walk Coral Gables. Bike rentals and helmets (required for children under 16) are available at No Boundaries (305-444-3206), conveniently located across the street from the Museum at 220 Aragon Avenue. Approximately 2 hrs. $10; $5 for Museum members and children under 12. Third Sunday of Every month, 10am.

Exhibit Tours: Drop in and enjoy a guided tour of “Creating the Dream: George E. Merrick and His Vision for Coral Gables,” an exhibition about Coral Gables’ founder and developer, George Merrick. Learn how Merrick went from thirteen-year-old farmer’s son to development king! This inspiring American story addresses local history and urban development. Free with Museum admission ($7, $5, or $3). Every Sunday, 1pm.

Dade Heritage Trust Brickell Avenue
190 SE 12 Terrace,
Miami, FL 33131
North Walking Tours: Join Dade Heritage Trust on an informative and enjoyable guided 1.5 hour walking tour of the Brickell neighborhood north to the Miami River featuring beautiful bayfront views, history, environment, architecture and archaeology. The tour starts at the Dade Heritage Trust office at 10am. Your knowledgeable guide makes stops along the way at cultural venues, Brickell Park, the Miami Circle and more! The NORTH TOUR to the Miami River is presented on 11/12, 12/10, 1/7, 2/4, 3/4 and 4/1. For tickets visit or purchase on site.

South Walking Tours: Join Dade Heritage Trust on an informative and enjoyable guided 1.5 hour walking tour of the Brickell neighborhood south toward the Rickenbacker Causeway to the Miami River featuring beautiful bayfront views, history, environment, architecture and archaeology. The tour starts at the Dade Heritage Trust office at 10am. Your knowledgeable guide makes stops along the way at historic sites, award-winning contemporary buildings and more. The SOUTH TOUR to 23rd Road will be presented on 10/29, 11/26, 12/24, 1/21, 2/18, 3/18 and 4/15. For tickets visit

Themed Bike Tours: Dade Heritage Trust, with partners Green Mobility Network and Brickell Bikes, invite you to join us the second Sunday of each month at 10am for a themed bike tour exploring urban Miami. Tours start at Dade Heritage Trust HQ at 190 SE 12 Terrace. Tours are just $10 or $5 for DHT members for a leisurely, family-friendly guided ride. Bike rentals are available in advance at Brickell Bikes at 70 SW 12 Street, 305-373-3633. JOIN US for these great rides and get to know the beauty and history of Miami! On November 13: PEDAL and PARK IT! The tour takes us to City of Miami's Simpson and Alice Wainwright Parks where we will meet up with the Parks' Naturalist to explore urban Miami's only tropical hardwood hammock (forest). Yes, right in the middle of Brickell! A must for nature lovers and tree huggers!

Deering Estate
16701 SW 72 Avenue
Miami, FL 33157
Nite Hike, Campfire & Flag Retirement Ceremony: On Wednesday, November 9th, from 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm, visitors can explore the natural areas and see wildlife at night! Listen for great horned owls and eastern screech-owls, as you walk down the tropical hardwood hammock trail. After the Nite Hike, gather under the stars around a campfire by the bay and enjoy complementary s'mores! This month's night hike will be accompanied by a flag retirement ceremony. $15 per person. Free for military personnel and veterans with military ID.

The ArtCare Lecture Series: Presented by ArtCare, a Rustin Levenson company that specializes in fine art conservation, this tour features specialized topics for art lovers, collectors, and arts professionals alike. On Tuesday, November 15, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm, ArtCare Director Rustin Levenson will discuss her book, “Seeing Through Paintings” (Yale University Press). Free & open to the public, with a suggested donation to the Deering’s Coins for Conservation Program.

Deering Goes to the Birds: On Saturday, November 19, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, enjoy guided walks and educational activities for the entire family throughout the day! Explore the Deering Estate’s Natural Areas and go on a bird walk led by local birding experts and enthusiasts. $7 for ages 4 and older.

Little Havana Art and Culture
Los Pinarenos Fruteria
1334 SW 8th St
Miami, FL 33135
See Little Havana like a native! Join the HistoryMiami historian on a fascinating tour of the world’s largest and best known Cuban neighborhood outside of Cuba. Mingle with local artists and preview over twelve art studios and private galleries. Along the way, learn the art of cigar making and discover rare Cuban art from early 19th and 20th century. See the Walkway of the Stars, paying homage to Latin American musicians, artists and entertainers. Stroll down Cuban Memorial Boulevard and hear highlights of important events in the Cuban exile experience.

Moon Over Miami River Cruise
Miamarina at Bayside Marketplace
401 Biscayne Boulevard #N215
Miami, FL 33132
Enjoy an entertaining and relaxing ride under the stars with Dr. Paul George as he recounts the history of Miami. Learn the story of the Miami River from the late 19th century, and hear tales of the area’s earliest known inhabitants, the Tequesta Indians, all while cruising through Miami’s Downtown. See hidden neighborhoods and little known sites. Return to a neon-lit city reflected on the historic river.

Alfred Browning Parker Around Town
HistoryMiami Museum
101 West Flagler Street
Miami, FL 33130
Join Randolph C. Henning, architect, scholar, and author of The Architecture of Alfred Browning Parker: Miami’s Maverick Modernist on a tour of ABP designs. Tour works in Coconut Grove and Gables Estate admiring his tropical organic architecture and enjoying insiders’ access to some of his designs.

Stiltsville and Key Biscayne
Morning Cruise
Miamarina at Bayside Marketplace
401 Biscayne Boulevard #N215
Miami, FL 33132
Savor the crystal turquoise waters of Biscayne Bay while learning the history of some of the most iconic structures on the water. Delight in this relaxing boat ride to one of our beautiful city’s most hidden gems. Resident historian, Dr. Paul George, takes you to Stiltsville, where you will learn how this once vivacious community of 27 buildings was transformed into the seven houses that remain amidst the turquoise waters of Biscayne Bay. Known in the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s as a playground for wealthy and well-connected Miamians, Stiltsville was once home to the now infamous Crawfish Eddies and Bikini Club. Cruise past the Cape Florida Lighthouse, while listening to the history of Stiltsville, Key Biscayne and the city of Miami.

Lowe Art Museum
1301 Stanford Drive,
Coral Gables, FL 33146
First Tuesday of the Month Tour: On Tuesday November 1, 2016, enjoy free admission to the Lowe Art Museum and a complimentary guided tour of two special exhibitions: Titus Kaphar: The Vesper Project and Donald Sultan the Disaster Paintings.

Group Tours: The Lowe Art Museum offers one hour group tours for adults in groups of 10 or more. Tours may include highlights of the museum’s permanent collection galleries or a focus on two galleries or exhibitions, examined in depth. Cost is $5 per person, which includes museum admission and a trained tour guide. To schedule a tour contact: Hope Torrents, School Programs Coordinator at 305.284.8041 or

The Sagamore Hotel
1671 Collins Avenue,
Miami Beach, FL 33139
The art advisor of the Sagamore Hotel offers a complimentary tour of the newly curated art exhibit entitled “FACES,” during the Sagamore Artsy Happy Hour, from 5 to 8PM every Friday. Guided tours by appointment also available during the week at 6pm. Please confirm attendance with the hotel.

Thriller Miami
Bayside Market Place -
Downtown Miami
401 Biscayne Blvd Miami, FL 33132
Thriller Miami Speedboat Adventures is a power catamaran that takes you on 45-minute off-shore adventure, providing an ultimate sightseeing experience in true "Miami-Vice” Style. Capture views of Miami and it’s spectacular skyline, pass by celebrities’ multi-million dollar mansions on Star Island, Fisher Island and Miami Beach, where you are able to appreciate the Art Deco district of South Beach from Thriller's unique perspective in the Atlantic Ocean. Open 365 days a year, departing every hour from 11:00 am until sunset on weekdays and every half an hour on weekends and holidays.

monroe county

Old Island Restoration Foundation
322 Duval Street
Key West, FL 33041
House Tours: As seen while strolling the sidewalks and lanes of Key West, quaint and quirky homes merely hint at the innovative restorations and modernizations that support contemporary lifestyles within. Since 1960, Old Island Restoration Foundation has persuaded residents to open their doors to support the cause of historic preservation. Each of these four monthly (December – March) features a different mix of homes, ranging from antique to contemporary, cozy to opulent. Taste in décor, art and gardens are equally diverse. Another local tradition in March is the light-hearted “Conch Shell Blowing Contest.” For complete schedule and details, visit the website.

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