As much as I love to hate on Miami, we do have some unique things to do outside of going to the beach. A couple of those are down in Homestead, which is just east of the Everglades and north of the Keys. It’s an agricultural area called the Redland, but known to everyone in South Florida as the Redlands (because leave it to Miami people to fuck up the name of one of their own local communities.)
Knaus Berry Farm
This is a seasonal gem that brings locals out in droves. It’s open from November to April, which is just enough time to make you crave their cinnamon rolls all year round. Here you can pick your own tomatoes and strawberries. You can also buy them pre-packaged along with other fresh produce. But Knaus Berry’s popularity comes from its bakery.
There are three lines: one for milkshakes, one for produce, and one for the bakery. The line for the bakery is the toughest one; it can be several hours long if you go on a weekend. My recommendation is that you get yourself a milkshake (key lime is my favorite) to enjoy while you stand in line for 45 minutes to get some baked goods. You can pay for the produce separately or you can grab it and pay for it in the bakery line.
As someone who hates waiting for anything, I guarantee this line is worth it. The smell coming from the bakery while you wait will be enough incentive to stick around. They sell a ton of delicious goods including bread, cookies, brownies, pies, and of course, their famous cinnamon buns. You can get them individually, in a half dozen or a dozen. But after you’ve waited in line that long, you should just get two dozen and give them out as gifts. You will be the most popular person in town.
So you’ve gotten your baked goods and you’re down south in the middle of nowhere. Where can you go next?
Schnebly’s Winery and Brewery
Schnebly’s is just south of Knaus Berry, about 20 minutes by car. Because this is South Florida, Schnebly’s wines are made of tropical fruits instead of grapes. For less than $12, you can do a tasting of five of their unique wines, including mango, guava, lychee, and passion fruit. You also get to keep the glass, so the tasting is basically free.
After you’ve chosen your favorite wine, buy a bottle or two and take your fruits and cakes from Knaus Berry and enjoy yourself a beautiful picnic in Schnebly’s sprawling grounds. This is one of South Florida’s most popular wedding destinations, which I mention for two reasons.
1. It’s gorgeous, perfectly maintained and features waterfalls and koi ponds.
2. You should take a look at their calendar to make sure a private event is not booked before you get your ass over there and realize your picnic is cancelled.
What’s that, you say? You don’t like wine? Schnebly’s has got you covered. After a craft beer craze gripped South Florida, they opened up their own brewery. So you can switch a wine glass for a growler and enjoy their local brews, like the Coconut Ale, the Vice IPA, and the Little Havana Café con Leche Milk Stout (available only seasonally).
The beer tastings are $14. If you’re really ambitious, you can do both beer and wine. For an additional fee, you can also get a tour of the brewery and the beautiful Schnebly’s estate, so you can get a behind-the-scenes look at the wine and beer-making process.
Both of these are great individual stops if you’re heading to or from South Florida’s most popular natural attractions like the Everglades or Biscayne National Park. Trust me, half a bottle of mango wine is going to make that airboat ride way more interesting.