By  Mike Miller  Updated June 9, 2023

Homestead, Florida Things To Do, Lodging, Dining, & Real Estate At End Of Article

Homestead, Florida is a city of 86,803 located about 35 miles southwest of Miami, and is in the middle of a unique agricultural area called the Redland.

Downtown Homestead Historic DistrictDowntown Homestead Historic District

The Everglades National Park begins just west of the city, and Biscayne National Park is to the east. Key Largo is 25 miles south on U.S. Highway 1. 


The Homestead name came about when the Florida East Coast Railway was being extended from Miami to Key West. 

The Redland area had been opened up for homesteading in 1898, and Henry Flagler's railroad came through in 1904.

Since the construction camp at the end of the railroad had no real name, materials were delivered to "Homestead Country".  That got shortened to Homestead, and the name stuck.

The construction of the epic railroad to the Florida Keys required a lot of labor, and the area began to grow.  The City of Homestead was founded in 1913.

The Redland, named for the red clay earth, became a key agricultural asset. A wide variety of tropical fruit has long been grown here, and now you'll find many ornamental plant varieties.

The many farms are still family owned small businesses and you can drive through the area stopping for tours and tastings at the farm stands and bakeries along the way.

Vintage Postcard Homestead Trading Post RestaurantVintage Postcard Homestead Trading Post Restaurant

The city grew steadily but the growth was impacted by the crash of the Florida land boom of the 1920s and two major hurricanes in 1926 and 1935.

World War Two resulted in a former Pan Am airfield being enlarged and converted into Homestead Army Air Field. 

The base suffered hurricane damage in 1945 near the end of the war and was closed but was reopened again in 1953 as Homestead Air Force Base.

The Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 brought change to the Redland area around Homestead and three missile sites were quickly built in farm land outside the city.


Homestead suffered a direct hit from massive Hurricane Andrew on August 24, 1992.  The city was nearly devastated.

Thousands of mobile homes, most inhabited by Hispanic farm workers, were destroyed by the hurricane.

Homestead Air Force Base, which then had 8,000 employees, was almost completely destroyed.

Homes After Hurricane AndrewHomes After Hurricane Andrew

Many thousands of people were homeless and unemployed, and temporary camps were built all around the area by FEMA.

Looting broke out, crooks posing as rebuilding contractors were swindling people out of their money by taking the cash and running.

Large Mobile Home Park in Homestead After Hurricane Andrewd<br><small>Photo by FEMA, Bob Epstein</small>Large Mobile Home Park in Homestead After Hurricane Andrew
Photo by FEMA, Bob Epstein

Many of the old Homestead buildings were gone forever, and a lot of people actually thought that the town would cease to exist.

It appeared to many that the city was destined to disappear into the dustbin of history.


Alex Muxo was the Homestead city manager, and he and others quickly mobilized to rescue the shattered town. 

Muxo contacted local businessman Jeb Bush, who called his father, the President of the United States.  Things began to happen.

They formed a team known as "We Will Rebuild" to help direct the redevelopment of south Miami-Dade County.

The team was comprised of powerful community leaders put together in part by the late Alvah Chapman, former president of the Miami Herald.

The entire Miami-Dade community was mobilized into helping to rebuild the City of Homestead.  It took many years, but their efforts paid off.

I moved to the Miami area a few weeks after Hurricane Andrew came to town, to work on restoring the damage done by the hurricane.  My firm had a branch office at the corner of Krome Avenue and Mowry Drive in downtown Homestead.

It was one of the few buildings in Homestead that was still habitable after the Category 5 hurricane raged through south Florida. The building became one of the early offices for the "We Will Rebuild" team.


Downtown Homestead has a nice gentrified feel to it. Its rich history is still evident despite the many challenges.

There are plenty of good restaurants in the area. Some of the best Mexican food in Florida can be found in Homestead.

Seminole Theater Homestead FloridaSeminole Theater, Homestead

Because of its location, Homestead has become a large bedroom community for its huge neighbor to the north, Miami.

When Andrew slammed into Homestead in 1992, its population was 30,000.  Now, in 2023, it is home to more than 86,803. That is a miraculous recovery.

The nearby Villages of Homestead is a large residential development that has seen tremendous growth since 1992.

Many other developments have sprouted up in the area because of the scarcity of buildable land close to Miami.

Homestead HospitalHomestead Hospital

The town now has modern schools, hospitals, office complexes, and shopping centers.  It is home to the popular Homestead-Miami Speedway and Schnebly Redlands Winery.

Those of us who saw Homestead in the immediate days after Hurricane Andrew are still amazed at the miraculous rebirth of this little city.

Visitors to this southern Florida city have another unique advantage, as it is between two of Florida's National Parks. There is no shortage of outdoor activities including camping, kayaking and birding.

There is a current project underway to create a paved 42-mile bike and pedestrian path that will take visitors through downtown Homestead and both the Everglades Park and Biscayne Park.


Everglades National Park
40001 State Hwy 9336, Homestead, FL 33034 | (305) 242-7700

Everglades National Park’s entrance at the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center leads to a vast and beautiful wilderness area. We enjoy exploring the diverse ecosystems, from mangroves to sawgrass prairies.

Visitors appreciate the chance to see alligators, birds, and other wildlife up close. The park offers a variety of activities, including hiking, kayaking, and airboat tours.

It’s a great place to connect with nature and learn about Florida’s unique environment. The friendly rangers and informative exhibits make every visit special.

Coral Castle
28655 S Dixie Hwy, Homestead, FL 33033 | (305) 248-6345

Coral Castle is a fascinating and mysterious attraction built entirely of coral rock. We enjoy marveling at the intricate carvings and the massive stone structures.

Visitors like hearing the story of Ed Leedskalnin, who single-handedly created this incredible site. The guided tours provide interesting insights into his life and work.

It’s a great place to take photos and wonder at the ingenuity behind the construction. The unique design and the history behind Coral Castle make it a must-see.

Fruit and Spice Park
24801 SW 187th Ave, Homestead, FL 33031 | (305) 247-5727

Fruit and Spice Park is a delightful place to explore tropical agriculture. We enjoy wandering through the park’s 37 acres, which feature over 500 varieties of fruits, vegetables, spices, and herbs.

Visitors appreciate the guided tours and the chance to taste some of the exotic fruits. The park is a great place for a picnic and to learn about plants from around the world. The friendly staff and informative displays make it an educational and fun outing.

Schnebly Redland's Winery & Brewery
30205 SW 217th Ave, Homestead, FL 33030 | (305) 242-1224

Schnebly Redland's Winery & Brewery, mentioned and linked earlier, is a charming spot to enjoy unique wines and craft beers. We enjoy the beautiful tropical setting and the variety of tastings available.

Visitors like the friendly atmosphere and the live music on weekends. The winery offers tours that explain the wine-making process, which is both educational and entertaining. It’s a great place to relax with friends and family.

The exotic fruit wines and locally brewed beers are a highlight. Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or just looking for a fun afternoon, Schnebly Redland's Winery & Brewery is a fantastic choice.

Homestead-Miami Speedway
1 Ralph Sanchez Speedway Blvd, Homestead | (305) 230-5000

Homestead-Miami Speedway, mentioned earlier, is a thrilling destination for motorsport fans. We enjoy the high-speed action of NASCAR and other racing events. Visitors appreciate the state-of-the-art facilities and the exciting atmosphere.

The speedway hosts a variety of events throughout the year, making it a great place for a family outing or a day with friends. The friendly staff and well-organized events ensure a memorable experience.

Biscayne National Park
9700 SW 328th St, Homestead, FL 33033 | (305) 230-1144

Biscayne National Park is a stunning aquatic paradise mostly covered in water, so stop by the Dante Fascell Visitor Center first at the address above.

The Visitor Center is the only part of the park on the mainland. You can arrange various boat tours from there. The Visitors Center also has a museum.

We enjoy exploring the crystal-clear waters and the vibrant coral reefs. Visitors appreciate the variety of activities, including snorkeling, boating, and fishing. The park’s guided tours and ranger programs provide fascinating insights into the local marine life and ecosystems.

It’s a great place to relax on the water and enjoy the natural beauty of South Florida. The friendly rangers and well-maintained facilities make it a top-notch destination. 

Knaus Berry Farm
15980 SW 248th St, Homestead, FL 33031 | (305) 247-0668

Knaus Berry Farm is a beloved local gem known for its delicious baked goods and fresh produce. We enjoy the warm, sticky cinnamon rolls and the fresh strawberry milkshakes.

Visitors appreciate the friendly service and the charming farm atmosphere. The farm offers a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables, as well as homemade jams and jellies. It’s a great place for a family outing or a sweet treat.

The bakery and market are always bustling with happy customers. Knaus Berry Farm is open Monday through Saturday every November through mid-April, during the Redlands farming season.

Monkey Jungle
14805 SW 216th St, Miami, FL 33170 | (305) 235-1611

Monkey Jungle is a unique wildlife park where “humans are caged and monkeys run wild.” We enjoy watching the monkeys roam freely in their natural habitats.

Visitors appreciate the informative shows and the chance to interact with the animals. The park features a variety of primates, including squirrel monkeys and orangutans.

It’s a great place to learn about these fascinating creatures and their behaviors. The lush, tropical setting adds to the experience.

Florida Pioneer Museum
826 S Krome Ave, Homestead, FL 33030 | (305) 246-9531

The Florida Pioneer Museum offers a glimpse into the region’s rich history. We enjoy exploring the well-preserved artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of early settlers.

Visitors appreciate the knowledgeable guides who provide fascinating insights into pioneer life. The museum features historical buildings, including a one-room schoolhouse and a general store.

It’s a great place to learn about the challenges and triumphs of Florida’s pioneers. The friendly volunteer staff and engaging displays make it a memorable visit. The Museum is open from November 1 to April 30 from 1pm to 5 pm. Admission is free.

Robert Is Here Fruit Stand
19200 SW 344th St, Homestead, FL 33034 | (305) 246-1592

Robert Is Here Fruit Stand is a must-visit for fresh produce and unique treats. We enjoy the wide selection of tropical fruits and the famous milkshakes. Visitors appreciate the friendly service and the fun, lively atmosphere.

The stand also offers homemade sauces, jams, and honey. It’s a great place to stop for a refreshing drink or a tasty snack. The petting zoo and picnic area make it a fun outing for families.


Our Facebook page has more than 130,800 followers who love off the beaten path Florida: towns, tourist attractions, maps, lodging, food, festivals, scenic road trips, day trips, history, culture, nostalgia, and more.  We post articles every day.  Please check it out and if you like it, we would appreciate a "like" from you.