Easy Escapes

Easy Escapes: Artsy-Chic Coconut Grove, Miami

by  Anne Roderique-Jones | Updated on Feb 16, 2023
Vizcaya Museum
Vizcaya Museum / travelview/iStock

A Guide to Coconut Grove, Miami

Coconut Grove (or what locals call The Grove), is Miami’s oldest permanent settlement in Miami-Dade County. Unlike the pulsing parties of South Beach, this neighborhood offers a sense of community among the artisans who live there, a laid-back vibe with waterfront views, and enough to keep you occupied for an entire weekend.

An ideal day: Start the morning with a Cuban breakfast (and coffee, of course). Then, set out to enjoy the area's local art, museums, and verdant gardens. Come evening, call a Freebee, a golf cart-like version of ride sharing that's completely free, electric, on-demand, and eco-friendly. Peruse a local book and wine shop before enjoying dinner in one of the charming gardens. 

Below, our full guide to Coconut Grove in Miami.

Where to Stay in Coconut Grove

With its central location and ultra-luxe accommodations, the Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove, Miami serves as a great home base. What's more, the property is perfect marriage of the Ritz-Carlton hotels you know and love with a signature beach-chic vibe that's in no way cheesy — instead, it's just straight-up sophisticated. Guest rooms have a relaxed vibe with furniture you'll want to copy at home, and most have balconies, often with views of the Biscayne Bay. The swimming pool (where you can also rent cabanas) provides much-needed respite in the Miami heat. Stay during the steamy summer months — the city’s slowest season — for the best rates. 

Alternatively, the Courtyard by Marriott Miami Coconut Grove features contemporary rooms, a serene swimming pool, and reasonable rates. For a more swanky stay, consider checking into Mr. C Miami - Coconut Grove, which features a 4,5000-square-foot rooftop pool area, a tranquil spa, the brand's buzzy Bellini restaurant,  and, as an added bonus, direct beach access. There's also the Mayfair House Hotel & Garden, which reopened in September 2022 following a two-year, $50 million renovation. Hotel highlights include design-forward interiors two on-site food and drink offerings, and a vibrant rooftop pool area. Plus, each of the eclectic guest rooms have private terraces; most also offer retro-inspired touches like clawfoot tubs and vintage typewriters. 

Where to Eat & Drink in Coconut Grove

There's no need to leave the Grove to find incredible food. Start the day at Chug's, a Cuban diner, for a café con leche, and a Cuban sandwich in the sunny courtyard. Kush by Spillover is where you’ll want to stop for a delicious seafood lunch (think: smoked fish dip, grouper Reubens, and crab cake-topped salads. Meanwhile, Jaguar Ceviche provides something a bit lighter with distinctive Latin American flair. 

Additionally, Ariete features a wide range of offerings such as grilled oysters with bone marrow butter, truffle chicken, and wild mushroom au poivre. Peacock Garden Resto Bar & Grill has a charming outdoor space that’s perfect for a romantic dinner. Right across the street you'll find Glass & Vine. The eatery, which serves up South Florida-inspired, seafood-forward fare (think: scallops, snapper, and ceviche) boasts its own romantic outdoor space. Finally, for something sweet and refreshing to beat the Miami heat, we recommend Bianco Gelato, which offers local, small-batch cool treats, including vegan, sugar-free, and gluten-free options. 

What to See & Do in Coconut Grove

The year-round warm weather makes Miami a lovely destination for flora and fauna. The homes and neighborhoods are an architectural delight (you may even find live peacocks roaming front yards). Explore the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and its tropical plants, along with the stunning Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, the former winter home of industrial executive James Deering. 

Books & Books, which is one-part locally owned independent bookseller, one-part quaint wine bar, is another must-visit. Meanwhile, The Fashionista Consignment Boutique is almost worth flying to Miami alone for fantastic designer clothing, shoes, and accessories, which are all on consignment at incredible prices (think: Dior, Gucci, Manolo Blahnik, and Tory Burch). If you're lucky, you may be able to snag a pair of Jimmy Choo heels for under $200.

Coconut Grove also happens to be Miami's sailing capital. What's more, its location right on Biscayne Bay offers easy access to the water. Paddle boarding, kayaking, canoeing, and sailing (like easy three-hour evening sails) make for fun ways to spend a day or night. 

Want to take that trip for free — and score some valuable miles for your next excursion? Check out our top pick travel credit cards for the best welcome bonuses, perks, and plenty of cash back. 

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