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By Shayne Benowitz

Consider an art or culinary tour through Wynwood for your group when you visit Miami

The Wynwood Arts District has swiftly become one of Miami’s most dynamic and exciting neighborhoods. Once a neglected warehouse district just north of downtown, Wynwood’s transformation can be attributed to contemporary art galleries, artist studios and developers who forecast the neighborhood’s potential. Today, Wynwood is abuzz with not only world class galleries and street art, but also some of Miami’s hippest and most ambitious restaurants, as well as a vibrant nightlife scene. It’s an excellent neighborhood to explore during your conference for spousal programs, dine-arounds, culinary and art tours.

Wynwood Walls & Goldman Properties

This venue, along with other Goldman Properties sites, offers a wide variety of meeting and event space. The 8,500 square-foot Wynwood Walls can accommodate receptions for up to 500 guests and seated events for 250. Here, your party will congregate around the works of more than 40 internationally renowned street artists ranging from pioneers like Shepard Fairey (most famous for his Obama Hope posters), Kenny Scharf and RETNA, to white hot emerging talent like Maya Hayuk and the British art collective London Police.

The adjacent 3,953 square-feet Wynwood Kitchen & Bar, whose interiors are designed by Fairey, offers a variety of flexible event space between its dining room, lounge and al fresco patio. The dining room can accommodate a seated dinner for up to 96 guests, while both the patio and lounge can entertain reception and seated gatherings ranging from 32 to 125 people.

The complex features additional outdoor event space, including the 2,500 square-foot Wynwood Walls Lawn, the 12,000 square-foot Wynwood Doors and the 11,000 square-foot Wynwood Walls Garden for reception and seated events ranging from 120 to 600 attendees.

Additional indoor venues include the Wynwood Walls Gallery where you can stage a private dinner for 80 inside a 1,535 square-foot art installation or at the 3,400 square-foot Goldman Global Arts Gallery for up to 200 seated guests. The performance venue, The Light Box, at Goldman Warehouse is also in the neighborhood where the lobby, rehearsal studio, theatre and back lot can all be utilized as flexible event space.

Across the street from Wynwood Walls, Joey’s is a stylish, yet casual Italian eatery in the Goldman Properties portfolio. Serving incredible pizza and pasta, it’s run by Tony’s son for whom the restaurant is named. It boasts a dining room, patio and courtyard, which can accommodate both seated dinners and receptions ranging from 34 to 75 people.

It was the neighborhood’s architecture—warehouses without windows—that presented a literal blank canvas for large format street art. This aspect was something that the late Tony Goldman and his daughter Jessica Goldman of Goldman Properties saw when they developed Wynwood Walls in 2009. Located on NW 2nd Avenue between 25th and 26th Streets, Wynwood Walls is an outdoor museum dedicated to street art that functions as the neighborhood’s central square.

The Art Scene

An excellent way to get a taste of Wynwood’s art beyond Wynwood Walls is through a customized tour with groups like Urban Tour Host, HistoryMiami and 305 Creative. Whether on foot or by bicycle, they can provide you with the backstory on the latest murals, the best galleries and the inside scoop on the restaurant scene for the perfect spousal program for your conference and event planning.

Wynwood’s mural art extends beyond the confines of Wynwood Walls and there’s hardly a square-inch of concrete that’s not covered in mural work. Throughout the neighborhood, you’ll find murals by Miami’s local street artists, like Magnus Sodamin, Jessy Nite, Typoe and the MSG Crew, alongside those by artists visiting from across the country and around the world.

There’s more to Wynwood’s art scene than the dazzling murals that have come to define it. The neighborhood is also home to important contemporary art galleries and private art collections, including Gregg Shienbaum Fine Art, Gary Nader Art Centre, Robert Fontaine Gallery, Lelia Mordoch, Rubell Family Collection and The Margulies Collection where you can arrange for a private tour.

A great time to visit the Wynwood is during Second Saturdays Art Walk, when galleries stay open late to debut new shows and the area takes on a festive atmosphere with food trucks and live music.

The Dining & Nightlife Scene

The best way for your group to get a taste of Wynwood’s thriving dining scene is through a Miami Culinary Tour where a knowledgeable guide introduces your group to five different restaurants defining the neighborhood’s cuisine. It’s the perfect spousal program.

Another option is to plan a dine-around for your group at some of the area’s top restaurants. For a completely unique experience, make a reservation at Alter helmed by James Beard Award semifinalist Chef Bradley Kilgore. The ambitious and artful cuisine is best enjoyed with a five- or seven-course tasting menu. The space is minimalist, industrial and intimate and they also have one of the neighborhood’s most charming patio bars with an impressive cocktail program.

KYU is another hot new Wynwood restaurant in a similarly chic industrial space that’s more sprawling and high energy than Alter. Their cuisine is “wood-fired and Asian-inspired”.

For a more casual bite with just as much flavor, Coyo is a popular taqueria with a wide variety of tacos, from grilled chicken and angus steak to charred octopus and crispy duck. Don’t be surprised if there’s a line around the block. There’s also a hidden speakeasy-style club accessed through an unassuming door at the back of the restaurant.

A handful of bars and restaurants put Wynwood on the map in the early days, including Panther Coffee, Miami’s beloved coffee shop for ethically sourced beans that are roasted onsite. Wood is the neighborhood’s original bar with a sprawling outdoor patio serving a wide array of craft beer. Other popular watering holes include Gramps, El Patio, J Wakefield Brewing, Boxelder and Brick.

Exploring Wynwood with your group is an excellent way to gain local insight into Miami’s dynamic art and food scenes while also diving into its history, culture and architecture.