Coconut Grove offers inviting oasis countering urban sprawl of South Florida

Posted September 25, 2014


Overlooking the shimmering waters of Biscayne Bay, just beyond Coral Gables and right before Brickell, lies the village of Coconut Grove.

Just the right combination of beach town vibe and vibrant city feel, “the Grove,” has been attracting visitors since it’s inception in 1873. Whether you are looking to relax in the sun, eat and shop like a true Miamian, or enjoy the bar scene to the fullest, the Grove has it all.

“My family and I have been coming to the Grove on weekends ever since I can remember,” said Maria Diamantis, nurse and mother of two. “You’ve got everything you need for a great weekend all in one place.”

The Grove is an area rich with history and, with two major historic landmarks, you have options on how you want to soak it all in.

The Barnacle Historic State Park is mainly what used to be the house of one of the Grove’s original pioneers. It sits on five acres of land and creates a peaceful environment for any and all visitors.

The Barnacle Society hosts several events at the park, among them, yoga lessons and moonlight concerts.

Looking for something a little more upbeat?

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is for you. Originally intended to be the summer home of James Deering, founder of the International Harvester Company in the early 1900s, Vizcaya is a beautiful estate that sits on 180 acres of lush land. It is well known among locals for it’s lavish gardens and museum.

“I’m very impressed,” said Camila Garcia, a local and student at Miami Dade College. “I’ve never been out here until now, and I’ve lived in Miami my entire life. It really is as beautiful as everyone says.”

If you aren’t in the mood for a lesson in history, the Grove is also well known for its proximity to Biscayne Bay, making it the perfect spot for adventures in water sports. Miami Watersports, a company dedicated to providing you with lessons and equipment in everything from parasailing to Jet Skiing, has a location right on Pan American Drive.

“I’ve really taken a liking to paddle boarding recently,” said Diamantis, “so I usually come out here on Sunday mornings. Sometimes I bring my son, we both love it. It’s a great work out and a good way to get us out of the house and away from the TV.”

If sports aren’t really your thing, you have nothing to fear. The Grove is famous for its long list of eateries. Whether you’re in the mood for bottomless Mimosas during brunch or lavish dinners overlooking the Bay, you will no doubt find whatever suits your fancy.

A fan favorite is Greenstreet, located right on Main Highway. Usually a packed house, waiting times are usually pretty long, but the wait is worth it.

“The Nutella French toast is my favorite,” said Melissa Acosta, a Miami native and avid food lover. “It is literally to die for. I start craving it if I don’t go back at least once a month. Plus none of the food here is too expensive, which is great for my student budget.”

If you’re in the mood for something a little more up-scale, the Gibraltar is an experience for everyone who visits. Located within the Grove Isle Hotel and Spa, this waterfront restaurant receives great reviews.

“I’ve never been before,” said Diamantis, “but a few of my friends have gone and say it’s just breathtaking.”

One of the things that make the Grove so unique is that it appeals to people of all ages. The village goes from family friendly fun during the day, to hopping bar scene by night. Popular among college students, the large number and variety of bars in the area make it easy for them to “hop” from one to the next.

Sandbar, located on Grand Avenue for the past 11 years, is a popular choice among students.

“The food is good, the beer is good, the girls are pretty- not much more you can ask for,” said Danny Vega.

Happy hour is from 4-7 p.m. on weekdays, and includes half price drinks and appetizers.

Another can’t-miss? Mr. Moe’s in Commodore Plaza. Its Log-Cabin décor makes it stand out, and it is well known for its “Moose Juice,” a strong mix of different liquors and fruit punch served in big containers.

Whether you’re going for a night out with your friends or a day of family fun with your loved ones, Coconut Grove is the place to visit during your stay in Miami. It is an oasis amidst the hustle and bustle of the City of Miami, a scenic village by day, and a hip, good time by night. It has it all, and has never stopped evolving, making it worthy of being called, officially, The New Republic of Coconut Grove.

If You Go

The Barnacle Historic State Park

  • 3485 Main Highway, Miami, Fla, 33133
  • (305) 442-6866
  • Open Wednesday-Monday, 9 a.m to 5 p.m.
  • Admission Fee: $2 per person
  • Museum Tour Fee: $3 per adult, $1 per child ages 6-12, Free for children 5 and younger

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

  • 3251 South Miami Ave., Miami, Fla., 33129
  • (305) 250-9133
  • Open Wednesday-Monday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 pm.
  • Admission Fees: $6-$18

Miami Water Sports

  • 3400 Pan American Dr., Coconut Grove, Fla., 33133
  • (305) 345-4104
  • Open every day from 10 a.m. to sunset
  • Prices vary

GreenStreet Café

  • 3468 Main Highway, Coconut Grove, Fla., 33133
  • (305) 444-0244
  • Open Sunday-Tuesday, 7:30 a.m.- 1 a.m. or Wednesday-Saturday, 7:30 a.m.- 3 a.m.
  • Prices vary

Gibraltar Restaurant at the Grove Isle Hotel and Spa

  • 4 Grove Isle Dr., Coconut Grove, Fla., 33133
  • (305) 860-4381
  • Hours and times vary


  • 3064 Grand Ave., Coconut Grove, Fla., 33133
  • (305) 444-5270
  • Hours and times vary

Moe’s Restaurant and Bar

  • 3131 Commodore Plaza, Coconut Grove, Fla., 33133
  • (305) 442-1114
  • Open seven days a week, 11 a.m.- 3 a.m.
  • Prices vary

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