Best things to do in Coconut Grove
What is it? The grand dame of Miami real estate, this Italian Renaissance-style villa set on Biscayne Bay served as Chicagoan industrialist James Deering’s winter home from 1914 to 1916. Its perfectly manicured gardens are a photographer’s dream.
Why go? Visit for the wildly extravagant architecture, hundreds of European antiques and works of decorative art from the 16th and 17th centuries, and idyllic setting. Vizcaya often hosts free programming for families and festive events, like seersucker-themed parties and outdoor yoga.
What is it? Feed your soul, nourish your body and stock your fridge at Glaser Organic Farms’ weekly market. Aside from fresh produce and a vegan cold-food bar, the event brings out numerous local vendors from the health and wellness space.
Why go? A refreshing ice cream sandwich from Courtney’s Cookies, whose vegan, gluten-free creations are as close to healthy as a dessert can be; vegan mushroom tacos from Sugarcane Papi, a best-seller that always sells out quickly; and fresh Thai coconut water, plus other tasty items from market regulars.
What is it? Learn about the historic neighborhood on this free biweekly bike tour led by local historian Frank Schena. Bring your own bike to Miami City Hall (3500 Pan-American Dr) and follow Schena to explore the area’s architecture, foliage and fascinating past.
Why go? It’s free—though tip is strongly encouraged. Besides the attractive price point, the tour takes you through hidden pockets of the waterfront nabe not accessible by car and too spread out to cover on foot.
What is it? A stunning, nine-acre botanical garden with an Indonesian-inspired house set by a lagoon, which has been visited by the likes of Winston Churchill, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and Dwight Eisenhower in its storied past.
Why go? One of five National Tropical Botanical Gardens in Florida and Hawaii, it’s certainly a place worth visiting if only to see its 80-year-old, 50-ton baobab tree from Tanzania.
What is it? A charming waterfront park with walking/cycling trails, a dog park, outdoor fitness equipment, volleyball courts and the very Instagrammable Miami-etched benches that face Biscayne Bay.
Why go? Dog- and people-watching is fun, and finding the motivation to exercise is easy when practically everyone around you is breaking a sweat. Afterward, cool down with a frozen lemonade from A.C.’s Icees truck, which has had a permanent spot in the parking lot for more than three decades.
What is it? A whimsical ’80s-themed milk-shake bar serving indulgent pop-culture inspired creations and ice-cream floats, plus beer and wine. There’s a full living room setup in the back designed to look just like owner Matt Kuscher’s childhood home, complete with retro video game consoles.
Why go? Prepare for the ultimate sugar rush. You can’t go wrong with any of the made-to-order shakes but we love the Golden Girl: a banana milk shake with cream cheese frosting, Golden Grahams cereal, vanilla wafer, toffee bits, a Twinkie and a homemade blondie with a cherry on top.
What is it? The Grove’s premier theater has all the bells and whistles of a regular movie house—4k projection, a concession stand with popcorn and fountain soda and surround sound—plus four premium sceening rooms with reclining leather seats you can prebook online.
Why go? Get dinner and a movie in one: Cinépolis boasts a full restaurant with a stocked bar. Order before showtime and someone will bring your meal and cocktail or glass of wine right to your seat.
What is it? Built in the late 19th century, this distinctive home on the water’s edge served as the original residence of pioneer Ralph Munroe. It’s the oldest standing house in Miami-Dade County, having survived hurricanes and other natural disasters, and today operates as a historical site.
Why go? At just $2 to get in, the Barnacle offers hours of entertainment for very little. Explore the home, check out the old boathouse or pencil in one of its many public events, like outdoor movie screenings in the summer and theater productions in the winter.
What is it? A stunning, indoor/outdoor hotel featuring a rooftop pool and bar with all-white cabanas reminiscent of Saint-Tropez plus a sprawling, Zen-like wellness facility, Jurlique Spa.
Why go? If you’re considering an overnight stay, claim a balcony room with an outdoor jacuzzi and chill jungle vibes. Staying a few hours? Book a spa treatment and finish off the day with a soak at the upstairs pool.
What is it? One of Miami’s longest-running parades, King mango parodies the year’s headlines, turning them into hilarious floats.
Why go? We get it, some years are tougher to relive than others. But the mixed bag of strange characters and mildly offensive humor proves that laughter cures all.
What is it? Right now, it’s a dusty construction zone with plans to become a larger, shinier, multistory, semi-outdoor mall by the end of 2019.
Why go? The two-story Gap store, long-running Starbucks and Cinépolis movie theater remain open during construction and could use the foot traffic.
What is it? One of the Grove’s numerous waterfront greenspaces, Peacock is smaller than the others but well equipped, boasting basketball courts, a playground and a small pier that overlooks Biscayne Bay.
Why go? The Coconut Grove Business Improvement District teamed up with nearby Dharma Studio to offer free community yoga classes every Tuesday and Thursday night at 6pm. BYO mat and prepare to get Zen.
What is it? The former site of the Dinner Key Auditorium, the park, which opened in 2015, features seven acres of turf, concrete pathways, palm trees and boat access.
Why go? With its abstract seating and open space, Regatta Park is ideal for picnics, sports and general outdoor pursuits.
What is it? Every first Saturday of the month during the fall and winter seasons, the neighborhood shops and galleries open their doors for an art, fashion and music showcase that’s free and open to all.
Why go? F+A+M Night is the perfect introduction to the best of art and culture in the Grove. Check out live music, performances and family-friendly activations along streets like Commodore Plaza and Main Highway.
What is it? Launched in 1963 by local residents, this three-day festival over Presidents’ Day Weekend brims with music, food and art.
Why go? Peep work from over 260 artists while you stuff your face with local bites.