Built in Spain in 1141, the St. Bernard de Clairvaux Church and Ancient Spanish Monastery was taken apart and brought to the United States by William Randolph Hearst. The building is the oldest in the Western Hemisphere. Hearst intended the monastery to be reassembled in California, but the bricks were held in Miami due to possible contamination of the packing material. They were later moved to and stored in New York as Mr. Hearst had moved his attention to other ventures by that time. The building was purchased in 1951 by developers and moved back to Miami. It's certainly a sight to behold and is frequently used as a venue for photography and weddings.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: While you might not originally think of a monastery as a romantic place, the history and architecture and quiet lend themselves to romance perfectly.
Priscilla's expert tip: Check their online calendar for events, including occasional concerts (perfect for off-the-beaten-path date nights).
Lush and meticulously maintained, this garden showcases a wide range of tropical plants. Within its 83 acres, palms and cycads flourish, and a 16,000-square-foot conservatory shelters rare specimens. The Fairchild also offers a butterfly garden, an arboretum and a rainforest, and it also houses a world-renowned research facility. Leisurely strolls through the grounds are sure to provoke plenty of "oohs and aahs," and you may gain inspiration for your own little patch of paradise back home. There are also often art installations by world-renowned artists like Dale Chihuly, plus moonlight tours and movie nights. A small museum, gift shop and cafe take care of practical needs. Free tram tours run on the hour.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Flowers...butterflies...plenty of opportunities to be alone in nature with your love? Lots of room for romance to bloom at this Botanic Garden.
Priscilla's expert tip: The Fairchild hosts free admission days in the summer; worth it considering the general cost of admission.
The renowned New World Symphony is housed in the new Frank Gehry-designed New World Center. The venue resembles a geode inside, with sail-like convex panels overhead. A box-like exterior has latticed glass windows and a huge projection wall. NWS is America's only full-time, post-graduate orchestral campus and laboratory. The acoustics in the semicircular concert hall are alarmingly effective, and the 756 seats are comfortable. On nights the symphony plays (season runs September through May) concerts can be heard and seen outside via sound speakers and video projections. People bring blankets, folding chairs, picnics and bottles of wine, and sit back and enjoy the show in the urban SoundScape Park.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Impress your date with tickets to a fantastic live show here, or alternately have a romantic picnic and enjoy a SoundScape show under the stars.
Priscilla's expert tip: Check their website for news on upcoming events, including their outdoor WallCasts.
Teeming with natural, archaeological and historical appeal, every visit to the Deering Estate proves endlessly engaging. Excavations at the bayfront compound originally owned by Charles Deering (whose brother James built the infamous Vizcaya property) have uncovered the remains of prehistoric animals, and evidence suggests that Paleo-Indians were here more than 10,000 years ago. Historic buildings also distinguish the 420-acre property � the 1922 Stone House, Richmond Cottage and 19th-century Richmond Hall. For an altogether different perspective of the estate, reserve a spot on the weekend canoe tour. Deering also has a strong commitment to the community and the arts and frequently host events ranging from food and art festivals to lectures and even weddings.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Pristine bay views and classic architecture...If it's good enough to be a wedding venue, it's good enough for a date.
Priscilla's expert tip: If you're really strapped, visit your local library and see if they have a free museum pass for Deering, which should be good for one visit within a week for up to four people.
At the most southern point of SoBe, you'll find South Pointe Park. This tranquil stretch of land has something for everyone. You can enjoy a swim in the ocean or catch some rays on the sand, take a stroll along the boardwalk or relax on the fishing pier. There's even a playground for the youngest of beach-goers they're sure to love. Because South Pointe is in the SoFi (that's South of Fifth) neighborhood of SoBe, there's (slightly) less traffic and definitely less commotion. Most tourists tend to stay closer to Ocean Drive along with the Art Deco hotels and popular nightspots, but those looking for a more tranquil refuge will find it at South Point.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: A stroll on the beach might be cliche, but in this case it works. Day or night, you'll find romance here crashing on the waves.
Priscilla's expert tip: Keep an eye out for the six-toed cats that hang out here, much like at the Hemingway house in Key West.
The monolithic Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts was built by Cesar Pelli, the architect famous for the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur. It is not his loveliest building: In daylight, it resembles a collapsed layer cake with jutting angles. But when lit-up at night, the two main buildings look like glowing spaceships preparing for liftoff. Nevertheless, here's where to catch the Florida Grand Opera, jazz concerts, flamenco festivals, experimental theatre, traveling Broadway shows, Teatro Avante and shows for children and families. For pre- or post-show dining, make reservations at the newly opened BRAVA! restaurant on the second floor of the Ziff Ballet Opera House.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Going to see a live concert or performance in such a breath-taking venue might make anyone fall in love, so give it a shot!
Priscilla's expert tip: For those in college, Arsht UTIX offers discounted tickets to shows every season! A great way to save.
The second-largest national park in the contiguous US, the Everglades covers more than 1.5 million acres. It's a fantastic place to view different species in their natural habitats: tropical fish, colorful birds, giant tree snails, and an array of reptiles and amphibians. In fact, this preserve is the only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles share a habitat. You can also picnic, hike, boat and fish, so plan to spend at least a day taking advantage of the opportunities. Camping is permitted.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: For nature lovers, there's no better way to have a romantic escapade. Going on a couples' bike ride, or kayaking at sunset, it all works!
Priscilla's expert tip: Everglades National Park has a number of entrances, so make sure to plan your trip activities according to which entrance you'll be using.
Matheson Hammock Park, which also harbors (no pun intended) the full-service Matheson Hammock Marina (complete with sailing and powerboating schools), offers several enticing features: Natural, native landscaping, featuring old live oaks, mangroves and palm trees. A Hammock Trail (different from the main road, which some also call a trail) for a gorgeous, scenic walk that actually leads into Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. Red Fish Grill, an upscale restaurant carved into a historic coral rock building, where prime dining hours are between sunset and star shine. And a man-made atoll pool that is fed by Biscayne Bay. Shallow enough for babies and attended by a lifeguard, it's also perfect for kite-boarders because, while it's calm and gentle, stiff breezes sweep through here. A snack bar, picnic pavilions and locker/restrooms make Matheson a convenient spot for families to take in the sun and saltwater. As a bonus, there's also an awesome view of downtown from across the bay.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Plan a picnic under huge oaks at this delightful park, then head further in to the man-made beach for breathtaking sunsets and skyline views.
Priscilla's expert tip: The extremely romantic Red Fish Grill which closed down due to hurricane damage is poised to open soon with popular local Chef Adrianne at the helm. It makes the perfect place for dinner after a day at the park.
Constructed in 1916 for industrialist James Deering, this Italianate palace is often referred to as the Hearst Castle of the East. Intended to appear centuries-old at completion, it is absolutely rife with architectural detail and elaborate accents. In fact, more than a thousand artisans took five-plus years to complete the ornate flourishes. Deering was fascinated by 16th-century art and architecture, and most of his fine collection remains on display within the mansion. The beautifully landscaped grounds aptly complement the building, whose name remembers the Basque term for a raised site. Built on the bay, you'll also appreciate beautiful views of the water while touring the estate.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Vizcaya has some of the most stunning architecture and vistas in all Miami. Quiet, secluded, and definitely romantic.
Priscilla's expert tip: Look into their moonlight garden tours and other special events via their calendar.
Long before Wynwood became an international art-hub, before places like the PAMM opened its doors, the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami was doing its part to bring contemporary art into the lives of all Miamians. Opened in 1996, the museum in its current state is now entering its 24th year and puts on 8 to 10 exhibitions annually. Notable artists like Anna Gaskell, Louise Bourgeois, Roy Lichtenstein, Annette Messager, and Frank Stella have all enjoyed either exhibitions or solo shows of their work in the halls of the MoCA NoMi. The museum also hosts a number of programs geared at making art more accessible to the community, including Contemporary Art Boot Camp lectures, after-school drawing classes for teens, and Arts for All hands-on art classes for adults.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Spend date night wandering the galleries hand-in-hand, then cozy up on a blanket under the stars for MOCA's free outdoor jazz concert, every last Friday.
Priscilla's expert tip: Check out MoCa's two current exhibitions, featuring the work of Hispanic women artists â" Alice Rahon's "Poetic Invocations" and Cecilia VicuÃ±a's "About to Happen" Both will be on view from Nov. 26 through March 29, 2020.