You may need more than one day in Coconut Grove. It could be said this is the real center of Miami: the bohemian neighborhood is Miami's oldest and home of Miami City Hall. But what really separates Coconut Grove from most of Miami is how walkable it is. It feels as if you're constantly under a canopy of trees, and its proximity to the ocean makes for deliciously cool ocean breezes, even on summer's hottest day.
If you're staying in Coconut Grove, try to wake up early one day to catch the sun rise over the sailboats in Dinner Key Marina and the mangroves of Peacock Park. After you take that in, walk over to the Peacock Garden Café on McFarlane Road for some breakfast and bring your dog who will also enjoy sitting outside in the Old Florida feeling patio. The Peacock Garden Cafe serves breakfast and lunch daily with the freshest ingredients, along with a great brunch menu on the weekends and is located just under the Sonesta Hotel, which has spectacular views of the bay from it's Panorama Sky Lounge, offering a selection of wines and cocktails and a captivating view.
Looking to get up and sweat a little? Coconut Grove has great running, walking, and bike paths, stretching from South Coconut Grove on Ingraham Highway through Kennedy Park, a large water-front public park featuring exercise machines, wide open grassy spaces, and a dog park so your pup can get some exercise too. Continue a bit further north and you'll find the magnificent Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, open every day, except Tuesdays, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Continue with a visit to another public waterfront park, Alice Wainwright Park. If you're not a land lover and want to get out on the water, Coconut Grove Sailing Club offers daily sailing trips and classes.
Not an early riser? No worries, brunch at Greenstreet Café is a local favorite, and the bistro has plenty of outdoor seating so you can people-watch while enjoying your eggs benedict and mimosa. Other great weekend brunch spots include the aforementioned Peacock Garden Café and Berries.
Want to go a little deeper into the history of Miami's bohemian neighborhood? Check out The Kampong, the former winter home of Dr. David Fairchild, now a sprawling tropical garden on the bay accessible by appointment only. While you're at it, check out The Barnacle, another historic South Florida park located in the center of The Grove on Main Highway open every day except Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
If a simple lunch is on your mind, walk over to Lokal for some local burgers and craft beer. For a tapas style meal with a group, stop by Lulu, just down the street. For something quick and healthy check out The Last Carrot, serving up sandwiches and fresh fruit juices right over the counter. On the water you can find Monty's Raw Bar and Grill, both boasting fresh fish, great drinks, live music and beautiful marina and bay views.
As relaxed as the Coconut Grove lifestyle is, you can still manage to have a pretty wild night. There is no shortage of bars and lounges, with most boasting daily specials and well-priced libations. Tavern in The Grove, Sandbar and Barracudas are classic college dives but don't be surprised when you find some older patrons mixing it up with the younger ones.
If you're looking for a more relaxed night, take a stroll around CocoWalk and take in a movie. The Paragon in the Grove movie theater allows you to reserve a seat and even has a bar so you can sip on some wine while watching the latest blockbuster or indie flick. A quiet romantic dinner is always a possibility in Miami's oldest neighborhood. For authentic French fare check out the charming Le Bouchon du Grove, right on Main Highway, or for a more lively dinner head over to Jaguar for fresh ceviche and a caipirinha.
Don't want to turn in just yet? Have a few laughs before the night is over! The Coconut Grove Improv, located in The Mayfair, regularly attracts big name comedians as well as hilarious local up-and-comers. For late-night food swing by a Coconut Grove staple, Flannigan's Loggerhead. It has been serving up tender ribs, fresh fish and cold beer to Grovites for over 50 years and remains one of the best deals in the area. Plus, they’re open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 a.m., so you can stop in for some ribs at almost any time.
You can't go wrong in Coconut Grove, whether you're an early riser, a night-owl or both, there's always something just for you.
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