Coconut Grove is not what it once was.
The old CocoWalk is gone, and a new development is rising. In old neighborhoods, charming cottages are making way for giant, zero lot line boxes. (Yeah, we said it — your new house is ugly.) There was even a troubling wave of people shooting peacocks.
But there are still many good things to do in the Grove. After all, it boasts a Panther Coffee, Harry’s Pizzeria, Fireman Derek’s Bake Shop and a two-story Books & Books outpost now. There are lots of good restaurants and places to drink — we are in love with Happy Wine in the Grove — and if you can dodge construction debris, you can stroll around lamenting how much better it used to be, a beloved Miami pastime.
Without further ado, here’s your Coconut Grove Bucket List.
Built as a winter home for pioneer James Deering in the 1910s, this national historic landmark features a stunning estate on the water, with gardens and art collections. You can take guided tours to remind yourself that you live in a hovel by comparison.
Take a photo of a peacock
In the Grove, they’re regarded as beautiful creatures that define the community’s avant garde aesthetic or as annoying feathered iguanas who leave a mess in their wake. Either way, they’re a photo opp waiting to happen.
Sip a giant milkshake at Vicky’s House
At Vicky’s House, you can be boring and order vanilla or chocolate if you want. But we recommend you break down and spend $15 on The Golden Girls. It’s a banana milkshake with a cream cheese frosting rim, Golden Grahams Cereal, toffee bits, whipped cream, caramel, a Twinkie, vanilla wafer and a homemade blondie with a cherry on top. If you can move after that, play a round of Mario Brothers before you go home and are overwhelmed with regret.
Get your drink on at Glass & Vine while your kids play on the playground
Happy hour runs from 3-7 p.m Monday through Friday at Glass & Vine. Drink $8 specialty cocktails while your kids romp on the nearby playground. We’re sure they’re perfectly safe.
Pretend you live in old timey times at The Barnacle Historic State Park
Take a trip to the Grove’s past at this historic house built in 1891 and now home to a variety of events and festivals. And speaking of events...
Unleash your inner hippie at a drum circle
Join the Coconut Grove Drum Circle in an evening of... well, drum beating, I guess. The group usually meets at The Barnacle Historic State Park; follow its Facebook page for upcoming events.
Survive the Coconut Grove Arts Festival
We know traffic is bad and parking is a nightmare. But this is a rite of passage if you live in Miami-Dade County. See you Presidents Day Weekend. Be sure to leave early.
Find tranquility at The Kampong
Engage in peaceful reflection at this nine-acre national tropical botanical garden (not to be confused with big sister Fairchild).
Get inappropriate at Monty’s
This waterside bar and restaurant opened in 1969 and urges its happy-go-lucky patrons to “forget about life for awhile.” Stay there too long at the Friday night happy hour and you’re likely to forget your name and good manners, too.
Walk past the shuttered Coconut Grove Playhouse and wonder about its future
The saga continues. We have no idea what’s going to happen to this attractive old building, so go see it before it becomes a condo.
Eat flan made from mushrooms at Ariete
Go to (or participate in) the King Mango Strut
Held on the last Sunday of the year, this satirical parade mocks everything and everyone. Choose your target wisely and you could become a legend.