“The Grove” has been dubbed “the village with a rhythm all its own.” A rhythm that is played out in tree-lined streets, scores of shops, restaurants and night-spots and a throbbing, upbeat street life that vibrates with a character all its own.
Coconut Grove may have changed since its days as a bohemian village populated by artists and radicals, but its zany charm and energy are as potent as ever. Located on Biscayne Bay just ten minutes south of Downtown Miami, The Grove is unlike any other neighborhood in Greater Miami and the Beaches. Sightseeing Coconut Grove’s waterfront parks offer the best vantage points for observing manatees, wildlife and the sailboats in Biscayne Bay. Dinner Key, originally the base for Pan American World Airways’ seaplane flights from Greater Miami in the 1930s, now houses Miami City Hall — which was converted from the original hangar. Earlier Grove history is evident at The Barnacle, the 110-year old home of pioneer Commodore Ralph Munroe.
The grandest home of all is Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, the Italian Renaissance-style villa built by millionaire James Deering in 1916. Set on 10 acres of formal gardens and fountains with Biscayne Bay as backdrop, the 70-room estate is filled with fabulous furnishings and antiques. Vizcaya was purchased by Miami-Dade County in 1952 and opened to the public as museum. Nearby, the Miami Museum of Science & Space Transit Planetarium features hands-on exhibits on everything from robotic dinosaurs to virtual reality basketball, as well as star and space shows.
Festivals and street fairs such as the extraordinary Coconut Grove Arts Festival; the Coconut Grove Food and Music Festival (formerly Taste of the Grove); the Miami/Bahamas Goombay Festival and the Banyan Arts Festival, add to Coconut Grove’s excitement. Shopping There‘s nothing dull about shopping in Coconut Grove: from motor-bikes to fine jewelry, antique books to gourmet foods, cutting-edge style to classic clothes — the specialty stores on the downtown streets offer an exhilarating range of merchandise. In both CocoWalk’s open-air enclave and the Streets of Mayfair strolling zone, shopping is part of the total dining and entertainment experience.
Look for stores featuring some of the best known names in retailing, and individually owned shops that epitomize sophistication and cool. And when the joys of shopping fade, you can head for one of the bars or restaurants and round it all off with a movie.
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