Director's Tours

Every year Edison Ford offers a dynamic selection of director's tours. Participants can choose from among nature and botanical-themed tours, to museum and shopping tours, to architectural tours and much more. Director's tours are typically offered monthly from October through May. 

Coming Up: January 20 - Key Biscayne/Miami (Waitlist only)

     We will be taking a day trip to Key Biscayne and the Art Deco area of South Beach, Florida.

     This amazing tour will begin at the Vizcaya Estates. We will start the day with a private garden tour of Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. The history of Vizcaya, named after the Spanish merchant Vizcaino, reflects and provides insight to the histories of both the nation and Miami. Built between 1914 and 1922 and employing an impressive ten percent of the population of Miami over the course of those years, it is one of the country's most intact remaining estates of the Gilded Age. The owner, James Deering was retired from his position as VP of International Harvester when he asked Paul Chalfin to create Vizcaya. We will also have a private, docent-led tour of the Estate. A box lunch (included) will be provided after the tours on this beautiful property.

     Our next stop will be the Kampong Gardens. This 11 acre tropical garden is in the Coconut Grove neighborhood of Miami. It is one of the five gardens of the non-profit National Tropical Botanical Gardens. This garden contains a fascinating array of tropical fruit cultivars and flowering trees. The Kampong is the former estate of Dr. David Fairchild, the famed botanical explorer who traveled throughout Southeast Asia to collect rare and tropical plants. As did Edison Ford, the Kampong suffered damage from the wrath of Irma and they need our support. They will provide us with a private docent-led tour of the grounds, history and the Fairchild home.

     Finally, we will head to the South Beach area. Strolling along famed Ocean Drive and nearby streets in South Beach, you will learn the history and what makes this style of architecture distinct from Deco buildings in other parts of the world. We will have a brief history in the Welcome Center then proceed with a 90 minute walking tour to experience an introduction to the Art Deco, Mediterranean Revival and Miami Modern styles found in this historic area. We will explore both outside and inside architecture. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes, sunscreen, hat and make sure you take a beverage (from the bus). We will allow time afterwards before we get on the bus for you to grab a drink or snack for the ride back. Snacks and drinks will also be provided on the bus.

     This tour will depart from the Edison Ford main parking lot at 8:00 a.m. and return at approximately 6:30 p.m. Transportation provided by Dolphin Transportation.

     Cost: Edison Ford Members $135; non-members $150. To pre-register now or for more information, contact Sherri Muske at smuske@edisonfordwinterestates.org or 239-335-3677. 

Coming Up: February 24, 2018 - Babcock Ranch Town and Babcock Preserve Eco Tour

     Have you heard about the Babcock Ranch Development/Town? Are you interested in sustainability, preservation, and innovation? This town will feature solar power, self-driving cars, and its own wellness and education centers.

     This Babcock Ranch tour will provide a glimpse into the town of the future. We will visit the town, water plant, solar field and take a tour that shows how Babcock Ranch provides the stewardship, sustainability, preservation and restoration with extraordinary connections to the natural environment.

      In 2005, Syd Kitson, Chairman and CEO of Kitson & Partners set out to prove that smart growth and preservation could work hand-in-hand. A year later he made good on the preservation side of the equation. The 73,000 acres sold to the state for creation of the Babcock Ranch Preserve and remains the largest preservation land purchase in Florida history. The new town approved for the 18,000 acres retained by Kitson was envisioned to be the perfect neighbor for the preserve: an innovative community with sustainability woven right into the infrastructure.

      Building a new town is no small feat. It takes a lot of collaboration, creativity and intense focus on detail. Axel Kallenborn, Discovery Center Manager of Kitson & Partners will share his vast knowledge of the vision and the eight core initiatives which are part of every planning decision to make the Ranch a reality. Axel will take us on a tour of the property, homes and ranch and share details of these eight core initiatives. The initiatives are: A Love Affair with the Land; Powered by the Sun; Lifelong Learning; The Right Path to Healthy Living; Transportation Alternatives and Innovation; Fiber in every Home; Focus on making life Fun; and Storm Safety. Axel will answer questions about all of these initiatives and how Syd Kitson and his team of experts are making his vision a reality.

      A private catered lunch will be provided by the Chef of Table & Tap for a bit of farm-to-table eating and the cost will be included in the tour price. 

      After lunch we will visit the Babcock Ranch Preserve. Steve Tutko, (husband of Susan Tutko - manager of the Edison Ford Shoppe at the Bell Tower Shops) wrote the script for this ECO Tour many years ago and will be providing his vast knowledge and insight prior to our arrival. This 90 minute eco-tour through the preserve will take us through the working cattle ranch and Florida eco-systems, all while getting up close and personal with the local wildlife.

     Cost: Edison Ford Members $125; non-members $140. To pre-register now or for more information, contact Sherri Muske at smuske@edisonfordwinterestates.org or call 239-335-3677.

     This tour will depart from the Edison Ford main parking lot at 9:30 a.m. and return approximately at 5:30 p.m. Transportation will be provided by Dolphin Transportation.