Coconut Grove, simply “the Grove” to locals, is Miami’s oldest neighborhood. Formed in 1925, today it has a reputation as an art and entertainment hub. During the 1960s it became an epicenter of the counterculture movement. The Doors lead singer, Jim Morrison, was arrested here after his 1969 concert at Dinner Key.
The Grove is a wonderful place to shop or have a meal. Dine at one of many open-air restaurants, cafés and stores. One of its most popular destinations is CocoWalk, a high-end mall that houses upscale shops, restaurants and a cinema. Coconut Grove also has a lively nightlife, with a wide selection of clubs and bars favored by students from nearby universities.
Take a step back in time and stroll down Charles Avenue, one of the oldest streets in Florida. Built by Bahamian settlers in the late 1800s, the street retains its old charms and is lined with narrow, rectangular shotgun houses, churches and a cemetery. Michael Jackson filmed the music video for Thriller here. Visit Villa Vizcaya, formerly a private home and now an established museum and gardens; it is an excellent example of an Italian Renaissance-style formal garden.
The area has a full calendar of events and festivals throughout the year. The Coconut Grove Arts Festival, held every February during President’s Day weekend, is its most well known. Attend the three-day event to see hundreds of artists display their work in the beautiful outdoor setting of the Grove.
The King Mango Strut on the last Sunday of the year is a satirical parade representing, and usually poking fun at, events that have occurred during the course of the year. Visit one of the annual food and wine festivals, such as the Great Taste of the Grove in April or the Goombay Festival in June.
Coconut Grove is bordered by Biscayne Bay to the east and Coral Gables to the west. It is easily accessible by car, and the Miami Metrorail stops at both the Coconut Grove and Douglas Road stations within the town. Downtown Miami is just a 15-minute drive north.