Thursday, June 11, 2015

Historic Downtown Homestead....a Quick Walking Tour

Homestead, Florida...."Gateway to the Keys"

Yesterday I decided to take a short walking tour of Historic Downtown Homestead.  So many times we drive past a place and never really take a moment to stop and 'smell the roses' as it were.  I'm going to have to do this again soon though.  For one thing, I wasn't able to get into the Homestead Museum on Krome Ave!  But I did have a chance to see and visit a few other interesting shops and businesses which I'd like to share:

The Town of Homestead dates back just over a hundred years, to the building of Henry Flagler's railroad.  Rather than reinvent the wheel, here are two excellent sources of history on Homestead and the Downtown area:

For the most part, these Downtown locations are in no particular order, other than when I passed them in my travels through.  Except the first one.  It's interesting that I can remember passing this nondescript building so many times, and never realized what it was.  In fact, I almost didn't go by on my walk because it's just on the edge of the Downtown and set back off the road.  I'm certainly glad I did! The Zafari Art creations were incredible.  According to Zeal, the artist, they can do these on virtually anything...walls, trucks, buildings.  Seeing the work on his truck, I have no reason to doubt that!

Where my walking tour started, coincidentally, I ran into this sign on the local restaurant window.  In case there was any doubt, you can get you daily requirement of Cuban Coffee here. The next thing I noticed, again coincidentally, was the inlaid design for the directions to the Homestead Trolley to the National Parks.  During certain times of the year, these trolleys will take to you both Biscayne and Everglades National Parks.  An easy, convenient and informative way to see both parks.

And of course, there has to somewhere to kick back and relax, right?  Well, side by side on Krome Ave, I found the Fat Monkey Bar and the Dade Country Jail Bar. The Fat Monkey is also a Karaoke joint too...for those that partake.  Hey...if Long Island can have a Crazy Donkey, why can't Homestead have a Fat Monkey? The Country Jail Bar is...well...a country bar...duh!  And in case it's important to you, the bar is next to...actually attached to....the Homestead Police Department.  'nough said!

Another great spot to spend some...or a lot of...time is at the Homestead Furniture Co. Which, by the way, could probably do with a name change, since the only furniture I saw were antiques.  However, it does have just about anything you might be looking for...if it's from sometime in the past.  Having visited with my daughter and her kids recently, I remember the phrases "Don't touch that"..."Put that down, it's not a toy"...."Yes, that is a toy, but put it down anyway"....coming up quite a bit.  But it was an enjoyable hour spent with the grand kids!

The last stops on this walk were at the Seminole Theatre and then the Sanctuary.  The Seminole Theatre was severely damaged in Hurricane Andrew back in 1992 (as was much of Homestead!) but is currently undergoing a major renovation.  The Sanctuary is the site of the original First Baptist Church, having been built in 1912, then replaced in 1944.  Since Hurricane Andrew, the building has no longer housed the church but has seen a number of uses and remains the example of neo-classical architecture in the Downtown.

I'm looking forward to my next walk-about in Homestead, and as many other areas as I can manage.

For additional information, follow this link to [Homestead - Then & Now]

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