Did you know that Coconut Grove is Miami’s oldest neighborhood? Neither did I! In fact, I didn’t know much about Coconut Grove before I visited.
While most people opt to stay in Miami Beach or Key Biscane by the ocean, those looking for something different will find plenty of things to do in Coconut Grove, Miami.
Not only is South Beach and Little Havana a 20 minute Uber ride away, and downtown Miami only 10 minutes, but it has a relaxing, bohemian vibe and a chilled out atmosphere that beckons you to go slow. Not the kind of vibe you expect from Florida’s biggest city.
From chilling out in urban parks to shopping for boutiques to stepping back in time at a 19th century mansion, there is much to see and do in this 14.5 square kilometer area.
We loved our day exploring Coconut Grove in Miami. Below we have shared some of our favorite attractions, family-friendly activities, and places to visit in the neighborhood.
Disclaimer: We stayed in Coconut Grove as guests of Carnival Cruise Lines the evening before departing for our Western Caribbean Cruise with Carnival Vista, but we were in no obligation to write this guide and all thoughts, ideas and opinions are our own. If you’re looking to stay in Miami a night either side of your Caribbean cruise, consider staying in Coconut Grove.
- Things To Do In Coconut Grove Miami
- 1. Walk Around The Streets
- 2. Attend Coconut Grove Arts Festival
- 3. Have Breakfast at Greenstreet Cafe
- 4. Stroll through The Barnacle Historic State Park
- 5. Do a Little Boutique Shopping
- 6. Visit Coconut Grove Farmers Market – our highlight
- 7. Relax poolside at the Mayfair Hotel & Spa
- 8. Explore the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
- 9. Take An Evening Stroll Around Dinner Key Marina
- 10. Have Dinner At Monty’s Raw Bar
- 11. Breakfast at Juicense
- 12. Grab a proper coffee at Panther Coffee
- 13. Relax in Kampong National Tropical Botanical Garden
- Final Thoughts
- More Florida Travel Tips
Things To Do In Coconut Grove Miami
1. Walk Around The Streets
Coconut Grove is a bohemian village where peacocks roam down tree-lines streets and past cottages, historic churches and gracious homes.
Sidewalk eateries, candlelit dining rooms and festivals at Peacock Park give it a homely, lively ambiance that attracts free spirits and creatives.
One of the best ways to experience Florida’s oldest neighborhoods, is to just take a walk and take it all in.
2. Attend Coconut Grove Arts Festival
Its residents are responsible for banding together to create this vibe, and the Coconut Groves Arts Festival is the perfect example.
Created in 1963 by the community, it is now recognized as one of the leading arts events in the USA.
It takes place every year in February, and features live music, art workshops, galleries displaying local artwork, and more.
You can find out more about what’s on via the Official Website.
3. Have Breakfast at Greenstreet Cafe
Tables wrapped around the corner on the sidewalk and a line snaked out from the hostess stand – we’d come to the local’s favourite breakfast cafes.
Greenstreet Café is the place to start your day exploring Coconut Grove, Miami. The outdoor seating is perfect for people watching and getting a deeper feel for this pretty jungled Miami neighborhood.
Fill up on a healthy eggs and asparagus breakfast or a massive dose of pancakes.
Kalyra tells us the cinnamon roll pancakes were the bomb. Seriously, no one serves up a pancake size like the USA. Don’t leave the oranges on the plate as garnish, squeeze them over your pancakes for a citrus delight.
You may even want to return for happy hour cocktails in the evening and soak up the Greenstreet Philospohy of “Where there is Love, there is Life.”
4. Stroll through The Barnacle Historic State Park
Cross the road and take a short walk through the shaded tropical hardwood hammock. You’ll welcome the slight relief from the heat.
This was the original Miami landscape in the 1920’s. Enjoy your walk in Barnacle Historic State Park as it’s one of the remnants of this vast Miami hammock.
The walk takes you down to the shores of Biscayne Bay and the home of Ralph Middleton Munroe, one of Coconut Grove’s most charming and influential pioneers. It’s one of the oldest homes in Miami.
While the house is lovingly restored and beautiful, a walk through the gardens is a treat to the senses.
Bird watchers will find herons, doves, woodpeckers, and even pelicans call this home, home.
Take your pick of a rocking chair on the porch or a bench under a tree for solitude and view gazing.
They also often have live entertainment and theater in the evenings, so it’s a good idea to check out the what’s on calendar before visiting.
5. Do a Little Boutique Shopping
Stroll the streets checking out the cool boutique stores, or wander the popular Coco Walk, which is a shopping and dining precinct. You might see some some quirky buildings and historic homes to snap a few photos of.
The twisting streets of Coconut Grove give you a taste of surf hipster, bohemian edge and high-style fashion.
We didn’t have much time for shopping but I could not help but indulge in my secret guilty pleasure of the crystal shop.
It’s been a while since the girl’s and I bought some crystals. On Main Highway just down from Greenstreet Cafe is Celestial Treasures.
While I could have stayed there all day soaking up the smell of incense, the Hari Krishna tunes and purchasing a lot of powerful crystals books, the girls and I settled on choosing one small stone each.
If you want to do some more high-street shopping, then head to Cocowalk Mall to find global brands you’re more familiar with.
6. Visit Coconut Grove Farmers Market – our highlight
The Coconut Grove Farmer’s Market was our favorite experience of the day.
Don’t be put off by the size. It looks small, so much that you think it couldn’t possibly offer much and you almost walk out, despite its pretty tropical setting with the large oak trees fanning over you.
We were pulled in by the friendly vendor holding two small round ice pops to snare the attention of the girls. Of course, we couldn’t help but go over to chat with him.
Then we realized this was a market right up our alley. If you don’t like healthy living, then this might not be your thing, but if you do, you’re in market heaven.
The In Your Face sweets are (mostly all) gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free made from real ingredients like fruit and vegetables, coconut cream, avocados and bananas.
His passion for his delicious and nutritious snacks lead us down a journey of sampling chocolate bark, traditional American pumpkin pie, and my favorite chocolate banana nirvana pie.
And he would not let us leave until we tried key lime pie.
“You can’t get more Florida than this. Except most key lime pies you get are just sugar. This one tastes just as good except into your body goes real limes, avocados and agave.”
The best version of Key Lime pie yet!
We bought some ice pops for the girls and some of that banana nirvana pie!
We then moved onto the local Kombucha crew, Brewing Life Kombucha, sampling the variety of flavors: dragon fruit coco, raspberry, cherry, watermelon and mint. Into our bag went a six pack.
We passed by stalls of delicious smelling and looking food: Indian curries and acai bowls and many more locals vendors selling their vegan and raw foods, organic produce, sweet smelling soap and handmade jewellery.
The Coconut Grove Saturday Organic Market has maintained a loyal fan base for more than 30 years. It’s about people embracing simplicity and eating their way to optimal health.
On the way out we ran into Yudah from Hemplade. His own drink of eclectic herbs as he called it.
He sells his drinks at the markets or in restaurants in the south Florida area. He’s definitely found a winning recipe there.
Comprised of nine medicinal herbs such as hemp stalk, burdock root, lemongrass, ginger and cayenne pepper working in unison to put you on the path to optimal health. I loved it! Don’t forget your hemplade and electric herbs.
The Coconut Grove markets are open every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m and are located on 3300 Grand Ave.
7. Relax poolside at the Mayfair Hotel & Spa
Since we were staying at the Mayfair Hotel & Spa, we had to take time out to relax around the rooftop pool.
You’ll have views over the Biscayne Bay, you can cool off, catch up on a bit of reading or practice Dirty Dancing lifts with your kids in the pool.
You can even hire a private cabana beside the pool. Miami is stinking hot so a swim will do you wonders.
If you’re not staying at Mayfair Hotel & Spa, then be sure to stay at a hotel with a pool. Miami is hot, and we were recognizing our limitations when exploring Coconut Grove.
We were noticing how the girls were losing it from the heat and exhaustion, so we headed straight for the pool to regather our strength. We suggest you make time to do the same!
Mayfair Hotel & Spa is a historic landmark hotel in easy walking distance of most places in Coconut Grove. It has a tropical Zen vibe and as mentioned, the rooftop pool is a real highlight of your stay.
8. Explore the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
Instead of your relaxing poolside afternoon you may wish to explore the Italian Renaissance-style villa of Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. It’s a popular Miami attraction.
Vizcaya is a European-inspired estate and National Historic landmark. It was built in 1916 as a winter retreat for agricultural industrialist James Deering.
Its 34 rooms are decorated in 15th- 19th century antiques and the mansions 10 acre gardens are sprinkled with sculptures and mazes. It sound quite magical
We didn’t do it obviously, but they look and sound magnificent.
Admission /$18 adults, $6 children 6-12
9. Take An Evening Stroll Around Dinner Key Marina
There’s not too much to see, but you’ll catch a cool breeze, see plenty of boats and stretch the legs.
10. Have Dinner At Monty’s Raw Bar
You’ll walk in and know you’ve hit the local’s spot.
Thatched roofs and open air outdoor seating on the edge of the marina, live musicians playing tunes that belong in the heart of Miami, cocktails and food.
Monty’s had a great local atmosphere and it was a wonderful way to wrap up our day in Coconut Grove. Both girls fell asleep at the table. We anticipated this so went for an early dinner and caught an Uber right home to bed.
Make sure you order the seared tuna salad. With it’s ginger dressing, cubes of mango and red pepper it was a light and refreshing meal to end the day.
For something a little more upscale, you may want to dine at the Yacht club.
11. Breakfast at Juicense
Go tropical with an acai bowl at Juicense. We’re big acai bowl fans and these ones get our tick of approval. I especially like how you can choose the different base and toppings you want.
I went for the green power acai bowl with avocado, kale and spirulina, topped with granola, bananas and a sprinkle of bee pollen.
Craig had the tropical base with acai pineapple and the same topping, while Kalyra chose the classic acai and banana base with a topping of coconut granola and cocoa nibs.
Yumbo! Savannah went for her usual bagel and cream cheese from Starbucks. That girls is just so plain eating.
12. Grab a proper coffee at Panther Coffee
So we have real coffee in Coconut Grove, made from people who know what they are doing.
Panther Coffee is a Miami-based specialty coffee roaster. The Panther Coffee also offers sodas, juices, beer and wine, and really cool tunes to listen to as you relax into smooth and sweet bitter bliss.
13. Relax in Kampong National Tropical Botanical Garden
This beautiful, 9-acre botanical garden is open by appointment only from Tuesday – Friday.
The gardens belong to the winter home estate of the horticulturalist Dr. David Fairchild, who bought the house in 1916.
He spent much of his life looking for plants around the world that could be introduced into the United States, and is said to have bought over 30,000 plant species to the country.
This garden features many of the plants that he obtained from his trips.
The gardens have been added to the National Register of Historic Places and is now considered a National Tropical Botanical Garden.
If you’re into botany and plants, this will be a wonderful place to visit in Coconut Grove.
In the 1960’s Coconut Grove was known as the southern cousin to San Francisco’s Haigh-Ashbury and New York’s Greenwich Village.
Somehow I’d randomly landed in the middle of my tribe. As soon as we set foot on the street, I realised we’d been missing so much variety living in Raleigh.
Miami is such a vibrant, eclectic melting pot. In just a few hours we had interactions with Hispanics, Cubans, Indians, Ethiopians, Afro Caribbean and a mixture of who knows what Caucasian races.
It’s the place where racists and bigots need to come play to lose their ignorance and see how much more colorful and joyful a life of variety can be.
I love the celebration of life in this US city.
More Florida Travel Tips
Are you thinking of visiting other destinations in Florida? Here are some other helpful guides…
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- 25 Tips for Universal Orlando’s Volcano Bay
- 3 Exciting things to do in Central Florida
- Rent a vacation home near Disney in Orlando
- 18 Universal Orlando tips for a great time
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Have you visited Coconut Grove before? What are your favourite things to do in Coconut Grove, Miami? Let us know in the comments.