Insider's Guide  

Coconut Grove

Coconut Grove

If you’re not laid back on arrival, you will be soon. Meet local musician Ominé and she’ll tell you Miami’s oldest neighborhood has been carving its own free-thinking path since the Bahamians arrived in the late 1800s. She’ll have you believing quirky and bohemian are normal, and introduce you to our resident peacocks, parrots, and artists. Of course, if you prefer to wander aimlessly through the galleries, banyan-shaded bistros, waterfront parks, and unique-to-us boutiques, we’re cool with that – we’ll be doing the same thing.

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One step that’s all it takes. One step onto the meticulously manicured grounds of this European-style villa and you’ll look around half-expecting the Great Gatsby himself to offer you a lemonade. Welcome to opulence. 50 acres of perfectly-preserved opulence. Built on Biscayne Bay before and during WW1, but designed to look like the Deering family had been there for centuries, Vizcaya is a local, as well as national, treasure. Give yourself plenty of time to wander the grounds and the rooms. It’s a paradise for photographers, picnickers and pretty much anyone that enjoys jaw-dropping beauty.

From the people to the ingredients, to its 100% renewable energy, LoKal is as local as it gets. Locally-sourced grass fed beef is one of the secrets to Matt’s amazing burgers. The rest really are secrets. Can’t decide between regular or sweet potato fries? No worries, you can get them mixed 50/50. Tons of local craft beers can wet a whistle and if a burger sandwiched between a Krispy Kreme donut sounds too out there, you can’t go wrong with a Classic. But burgers aren’t the only game at LoKal. There’s chicken and waffles, fresh gator, local fish and crispy salads, too. And bonus, it’s priced for locals – meaning the flavors are indulgent, the price isn’t.

Helloooo ambience. When you see all the people chilling outdoors on plush, red velvet sofas you know you’ve hit upon this iconic Grove sidewalk café and bar. There’s a reason why this place is always packed. Actually, a whole menu’s worth. Huge, crispy salads, lush truffle spinach dip and out-of-this world breakfasts like Nutella stuffed French Toast and house potatoes are what keep the locals coming back day after day. And night after night, too. Their Key Lime Pie Martinis, Kiwi Caipirhinas and Strawberry Basil Lemonade are super slurpable.

In the late 1800s Bahamian natives settled in Coconut Grove and established the Village West. Many worked during the week at the long-gone Peacock Inn, and on Sunday’s they joined in worship at St. Agnes Baptist Church, which changed its name in 1922 to the Macedonia Baptist Church. There are plenty of churches throughout Village West, but Macedonia has the honor of being the oldest African-American church in all of Miami-Dade County. And more than a century of Sunday’s later, the sounds of a gospel choir still float through the doors and into the streets of this historic neighborhood. 

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