Lush, historic, low-key — the Grove is a great place to explore when you’re looking to wind down. Take a walk through the Barnacle State Park, where the home of one the earliest Grovites still stands. For a nature excursion, try out The Kampong, where tropical plants from Southeast Asia, Central and South Americas, freely grow. If you want to get off dry land, the Grove has some of the best launch points for sailing in the city.
Barnacle Historic State Park
Built in 1891, The Barnacle is one of historic Coconut Grove’s greatest treasures, with beautifully preserved houses, stunning waterfront views, and awe-inspiring gardens. Swing by any given day and stroll the grounds or check it out during one of the many festivals and events on the premises. You won’t be disappointed. Make sure to ask about The Fountain of Youth and check out the boats that belonged to Ralph Middleton Monroe, the original owner — they’re still bobbing there at the dock.
Charlotte Jane Memorial Park Cemetery
This is where many of Miami’s early Bahamian settlers were buried. In 1913 five families pooled $140 to buy the plot, later named after the wife of E.W.F. Stirrup, one of South Florida’s first black millionaires. It’s above-ground like many cemeteries in the Caribbean, where the water table is too high to bury the dead. It’s rumored to be the cemetery that inspired the aesthetic of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” music video.
What they do: Cemetery
Website: Visit Here
Hours: Always open
Address: 3575 South Douglas Rd
Coconut Grove Farmer’s Market
The Coconut Grove Farmer’s Market on Saturdays is one of the best in Miami. Set in an empty green space on Grand Avenue, local vendors sell organic fruits and veggies, juices, homemade bread, nuts, olive oil, Indian spices and Jamaican food — to name just a few. Dogs are welcome and most vendors take credit cards. Don’t leave without trying the Nori wraps and raw vegan ice creams.
This sprawling park has running paths, workout equipment, a sand pit for volleyball, a great view of Biscayne Bay, and an off-leash section of the park for your best friend. And when you’ve worked up a sweat, head to the parking lot for a frozen lemonade from A.C. Icee’s, which is pretty much always parked there.
Kroma Art Gallery
Kroma Gallery is a new art space in the Grove, home to 18 local artists and a gallery featuring the works from artists all over the world. Located along Grand Avenue, the gallery is designed to be an affordable space for new artists, who are committed to contributing to the culture of Coconut Grove. It’s also a great event space, complete with a terracotta tile patio and twinkle lights hanging above head.
Coconut Grove is the epicenter of the local sailing scene. It’s got everything from a high-end training center where Olympic hopefuls come to practice to clubs offering lessons to the newest of n00bs. Check out Coconut Grove Sailing Club and Shake-a-Leg for lessons and JustSail Miami offers memberships if you know your way around a boat. Wander down to the U.S. Sailing Center in the wintertime to gawk at world-class racers and their pretty, pretty boats.
What they do: Sailing lessons
Address: South Bayshore Drive
The Bookstore in the Grove
We were rescued from Bookstore in the Grove’s imminent closing in July when a local developer purchased it from the original owner, who was on the verge of retiring. Lucky us, because we do not want to part with this cozy, unpretentious spot that is perfect for reading, working, or studying for hours. The new menu, by Glass & Vine chef Adriana Egozcue, features brioche toast slathered with ricotta cheese and a delicious tuna melt. Though the acai bowls are gone, a new gourmet grocery mini-store is in the works, so you’ll soon be able to take the ingredients of your favorite menu items home and cook them yourself.
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
Built in 1916 as the winter estate of industrialist James Deering, Villa Vizcaya’s Italian Renaissance-style architecture and exquisite gardens make it one of the most beautiful, grandiose places in Miami. Now open as a museum, Vizcaya offers a glimpse into early Miami luxury — with its ornate rooms and waterfront patio. It’s also a favorite spot for photo shoots and weddings. With so many hidden nooks and crannies to explore on the property, no two visits are ever the same.