Posted September 30, 2015
By VIVIAN BRAGA
MIAMI — Once known as one of the most trendy spots in Miami, Coconut Grove faded as South Beach and Brickell rose. Now, the area is again growing to be one of Miami’s most popular neighborhoods, offering locals and visitors highly disputed restaurants, historical sights and a busy nightlife.
“People now think the Grove is cool,” said local resident Rita Alvarez, “But it wasn’t until a few years ago that people finally re-discovered the magic of this place and gave it a chance”.
As one of Miami’s oldest neighborhoods, the Grove was buried when big investments were put into malls, chains and luxurious condos in the South Beach and Brickell area. But now, almost 15 years later, the old Grove spirit has been brought once again.
Vizcaya, CocoWalk, Peacock Park, Monty’s and the Mayfair Hotel & Spa are only a few of the famous attractions one is able to enjoy when visiting Coconut Grove for a day .
“I like to come and hang out here on Sundays with my family, there’s just so much to do,” said local visitor Martha Medeiros. “The Grove definitely offers the best brunch experience and environment, it’s cozy and at the same time fancy.”
Peacock and Greenstreet Cafe are one of the most popular restaurants visited by locals and tourists in the area, especially for brunch.
“Sometimes I have to call in and reserve a table a week in advance,” said Giulia Bittencourt, frequent visitor of Peacock Cafe. “Some of these restaurants have been here for years, but it wasn’t until sometime ago that this madness for breakfast at the Grove began.”
For history and culture lovers, the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens has become increasingly popular on the Grove’s to do list.
The historic property and landscape have changed dramatically over the past years.
This major tourist attraction offers visitors a beautifully designed mansion with 34 decorated rooms showcasing thousands of art objects and contemporary furnishings as well as European-inspired formal gardens and landscapes.
“It feels like a little bit of Europe in a Miami,” said museum visitor Robert Gordon. “There’s just so much history here and at the Grove. It’s where it all began. It’s where Miami was born.”
The Mayfair Hotel & Spa is another common location for visitors at the Grove because of its atmosphere, impeccable service and fine decoration.
The recently renovated building, “has lately become more disputed by guests who come looking for the refreshing ambiance and setting of Coconut Grove,” said Mayfair’s receptionist Paola Samuels.
Above, the Mayfair Pool & Lounge is located offering guests an incredible view of Miami’s skyline combined with a Gaudí inspired design and casual vibe.
“The Mayfair’s lounge is for sure my favorite secret spot at the Grove,” said local visitor Justin Talmaciu. “Even though it’s far from the South Beach scene, they still host some of the most popular resident DJs, so you can still get a party feeling but in a more exclusive place.”
Among the 15,000 square feet of space, flowy white curtains enclose eight private pool cabanas and sofas, each containing its own flat screen television. Guests are able to sip on the bar’s signature drinks while discovering a recently renovated unique Grove destination.
When the clock hits 11 p.m., Coconut Grove bars like Moe’s become filled by college students. Only a short cab ride away from one of Florida’s most renowned academic institutions, University of Miami’s students frequently seek the Grove for a good night out.
“Moe’s on Thursdays are almost like a ritual for me,” said University of Miami student Melissa Cabral. “It’s literally one of the few times a week I get to really enjoy a typical college night out bar hopping with all of my friends.”
For most visitors, the most common issue encountered is parking. The rapid growth of the neighborhood has led to an increased availability of varied parking options, but these can get expensive. Private parking lots can range up to $15, whilst some garages charge hourly rates. Street parking costs 25 cents per quarter hour, but these spaces can get hard to find.
“I highly recommend taking an Uber or the Metrorail to come to the Grove,” said local Peter Van Dunem. “Most sights are walking distance one from the other and you’ll end up spending way less than if you had to pay for parking.”
The increased popularity of the Grove has made it very accessible for visitors. The Metrorail ride costs about $3 and the Coconut Grove stop has become one of the most frequented.
“I think the best part about the Grove is that it feels like it’s at the center of Miami” said college student Sue Kim, “It’s right in between Coral Gables and Downtown and I feel like the area easily benefits from visitors who come both from the north and south of town”.
If You Go
Where: 3468 Main Hwy., Coconut Grove, Fla. 33133
Where: 2889 McFarlane Road, Coconut Grove, Fla. 33133
Where: 3251 S. Miami Ave., Miami, Fla. 33129
The Mayfair Hotel
Where: 3000 Florida Ave., Miami, Fla. 33133
Where: 3131 Commodore Plaza, Coconut Grove, Fla. 33133