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National Historic Landmarks in Miami


There are five sites in Miami that are recognized on the list of National Historic Landmarks. These special places offer insight into the history of Miami, the U.S., and the world.

Ferdinand Magellan - U.S. Car No. 1

Photo courtesy Go Miami Card
Built in 1928, the Ferdinand Magellan served as Presidential railcar for Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and Dwight Eisenhower, and was also briefly used by Ronald Reagan. It is housed at the Gold Coast Railroad Museum in Miami, and the exterior of the car can be viewed by visitors to the museum.

Freedom Tower

Photo courtesy miamidade.gov
Built in 1925, the Freedom Tower was the original headquarters of the Miami News & Metropolis newspaper. It later served as a processing center for Cuban immigrants arriving in South Florida. Thus, it is sometimes called "Miami's Ellis Island." Today, the tower has been restored is regarded as a memorial to the Cuban-American experience. At this point in time, it is only opened for occasional special events.

The Biltmore Hotel

Photo copyright undercovertourist.com
After opening in 1926, The Biltmore quickly became a popular destination for celebrities as well as royalty. It was the tallest building in Florida until 1928, served as a hospital during World War II, and today is again one of Miami’s best hotels. There are many luxuries to enjoy as a hotel guest, or you can just attend one of their free tours to learn about the hotel's fascinating history.

The Miami Circle

Photo courtesy Historical Museum of Southern Florida
Discovered in 1998, the site consists of 24 holes cut into the limestone bedrock, and once housed a permanent structure built by the Tequesta Indians. It may have been the capital structure of their village, and is believed to be between 1700-2000 years old. The site has been turned into a public park.

Vizcaya Museum & Gardens

Photo courtesy Vizcaya Museum and Garden
Vizcaya was built by American industrialist James Deering in 1916 to serve as his winter vacation home. Today, it is one of the biggest must-see attractions in Miami, and gives you a peek into the lives of the super-wealthy during the 1920's. The gardens are gorgeous and are used frequently for weddings and quinceañera photo sessions.
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