Though most UM students know the neighborhood for its overcrowded college bars and underpriced pizza joints, Coconut Grove is the perfect destination for a relaxing weekend day trip. From working out to window shopping, the Grove offers a variety of attractions in one convenient location. Tourists and locals alike fill the stone streets with a fusion of art, culture, cuisine and more.
A wide range of restaurants deliver delicious meals all day long, but brunch is what the Grove does best. Start your day at Lulu or Greenstreet Cafe, both of which are worthy of their stellar reputations. Each features a combination of classic dishes and more innovative options, like Lulu’s red velvet waffles and Greenstreet’s Nutella-filled French toast. Get there early to avoid the midday rush and snag a sunny spot in the outdoor area.
Next, stroll down Main Highway and check out Blu Moon Studio of Art to browse pieces by local Miami artists. For those feeling inspired, Blu Moon even offers classes for all ages and skill levels. Just a few blocks away, on McFarlane Road, is another art destination worth dropping by. Via Gallery truly has something for everyone, featuring 20 different artists at all times.
If you are visiting on a Thursday, don’t miss the Grove Green Market, which is open weekly from 2-8 p.m. November to April. This isn’t just an average farmers’ market, though; Grove Green Market was named the Best Farmers Market in Miami by Miami New Times in June 2014, and 95 percent of its produce is grown less than 35 miles away. Coconut Grove also features another farmers’ market on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., hosted by Glaser Organic Farms.
Of course, no Miami neighborhood would be complete without retail stores. Boutiques like Goldie and Isabel Riera offer unique, elegant clothing and accessories in cozy, charming storefronts. For the frugal and adventurous, Sale Rack is a trendy shop for buying, selling and trading clothing. It’s the ideal place for fashion steals you won’t find anywhere else.
When the sun begins to set, 21-and-over visitors gather in the Grove for creative cocktails and craft brews at discounted prices. Happy hour highlights include George’s 2-for-1 special from 4-7 p.m. on weekdays, and Jaguars deal, which offers three appetizers and three drinks for just $30 from 5-9 p.m. on Thursdays.
End your visit in Peacock Park, where the Coconut Grove Business Improvement District and Dharma Studio host free yoga classes every Tuesday from 6-7 p.m. Right by Biscayne Bay, the outdoor class is led by a certified instructor and is open to all community members – no experience required.
Locals frequent the area for its regular array of attractions, but Coconut Grove is constantly offering special activities and hosting exciting events. From the free historic and ecology bike tours every second Saturday of the month to the monthly fashion, art and music festival, each visit to this neighborhood brings new experiences.
A $2.50 Metrorail ride and a 20-minute walk will bring UM students right into the heart of Coconut Grove. Whether for a lazy weekday afternoon or a warm Sunday morning, take a Grove-cation and discover what’s been hiding right in your backyard.