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The diverse fabric of the city of Miami is one that interweaves the stories and people of many different communities, each contributing to the cultural identity of this one-of-a-kind place to call home. While many of Miami’s neighborhoods have histories that can be traced back several generations, one of the oldest and most fascinating is that of Coconut Grove Village West, now known as Little Bahamas. Located just south of Downtown Miami, the community has a storied past and a distinct culture that has made it a valued part of the heart and soul of the city.

A Historic Gem with a Rich Heritage

Before Miami evolved into the international, cosmopolitan destination that it is today, Coconut Grove was just a small community settled by Bahamian pioneers. Beginning in the 1870s, immigrants from the Bahamas arrived to seek new lives and bright futures. Many of them found work at the Peacock Inn, which functioned as a major hub for the growing community that surrounded it.

As the people of Coconut Grove settled into their new home, they impacted the neighborhood in a variety of meaningful ways. One of their most notable contributions to the area was the simple but sturdy homes made from a combination of coral rock and Dade-county pine. Designed to stand up to the region’s formidable storms, many of the historic homes remain standing today as a defining characteristic of the community.

The modern-day neighborhood of Coconut Grove includes Little Bahamas, known for its eclectic points of interest, dynamic arts and culture scene, and deep dedication to celebrating Black heritage.

Macedonian Church
Visit the Macedonian Church in Little Bahamas

Highlights of Little Bahamas of Coconut Grove

With more than a century of history, it’s no surprise that Little Bahamas is home to countless historic sites and notable places. Here are just a few of the neighborhood’s must-see highlights that you won’t want to miss:

  • Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church: Established as the very first Baptist church in Miami, the Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church is the oldest house of worship in Little Bahamas. Originally called St. Agnes Missionary Baptist Church and constructed in 1895, the present-day building dates back to 1945.
  • Coconut Grove Cemetery: This community cemetery dates back to the early 1900s, when a handful of Bahamian immigrant families purchased the land. First founded by the Coconut Grove Colored Cemetery Association, the site is perhaps best known as the home to the anthropomorphic “head and shoulder stones,” which aren’t found anywhere else in the area.
  • Colored Library (Odd Fellows Hall): When it was first built in the late 1890s, this historic structure became the first Black library in the area. It hosted a variety of literary and fraternal societies, and was often witness to important community events, including meetings of the mysterious Odd Fellows lodge.
  • The Mariah Brown House: One of the oldest residences in all of Little Bahamas, this 1890 home is named for its first homeowners, Mariah and Ernest Brown. The couple was among the earliest Black Bahamians to establish the community, and their home remains nearly unchanged since it was constructed over a century ago.
Junkanoo Festival
Celebrate Bahamian culture at the Goombay Festival (Junkanoo Festival)

Things to Do in Little Bahamas of Coconut Grove

If you’re searching for even more to explore in Little Bahamas, you won’t be disappointed – there’s something new to see and do around every corner of the community.

  • Snag a selfie with the Nassau Daddy Peacock: Created by sculptor Rosie Brown, this unique peacock statue serves as a welcoming committee of sorts for everyone arriving to Little Bahamas. His vibrant colors depict elements of the community’s Bahamian roots and provide a gorgeous photo op for locals and visitors alike.
  • Attend the Miami Bahamas Junkanoo Festival: Often referred to at The Goombay Festival, this community event is a twice-yearly occasion celebrated in July and December. Thousands of visitors descend upon the neighborhood every year to celebrate Bahamian culture, learn from various guest speakers, and more.

Take a Bite Out of the Coconut Grove Culinary Scene

While the neighborhood is well-known for its storied history, it’s also become a popular foodie destination. With a diverse selection of top-rated restaurants in the area, including Bombay Darbar, Green Street Café, and Le Bouchon du Grove, you won’t be lacking for options when your appetite starts calling.

Explore All that Little Bahamas of Coconut Grove Has To Offer

Whether you’re seeking to delve into the cultural heritage and history of this welcoming seaside community, looking for a day trip destination in Miami, or simply hoping to learn more about the diversity that enriches the city, Little Bahamas is a neighborhood more than worth a visit. With fascinating historic highlights and plenty of present-day culture to offer, Little Bahamas will likely always be a beloved fixture in the larger Miami community.

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