Secrets of Coconut Grove

Just south of downtown Miami, this magical Florida neighborhood isn’t hard to find. Turn left at the first peacock. You can’t miss it.
Les Thomas

This place sings its own kind of music. In Coconut Grove, sailboats sway on Biscayne Bay. Traffic stops for peacocks. The mercurial birds pop up in unexpected places. Some mornings they appear in the middle of Poinciana Avenue and halt traffic with fans of iridescent feathers.

Walk with the Birds
When you visit the colorful neighborhood south of downtown Miami, you don’t need a car to get around anyway. Make like the free-ranging birds, and walk. Strut over to galleries, shops, and restaurants.

Built around a plaza, CocoWalk holds a cluster of inviting places to land. Perch on the balcony at Café Tu Tu Tango for a refreshing sangría, and watch a painter put the finishing touches on a watercolor streetscape.

The town’s reputation as an arts center brings 500,000 people to the annual Coconut Grove Arts Festival. The show, held on Presidents’ Day weekend, features original works by artists from across the U.S. and more than a dozen other countries.

Sit Outside
On balmy days, most visitors migrate outdoors for meals. Spanish-speaking waiters glide between the tables at Mambo Cafe, delivering Cuban sandwiches on homemade bread.

When you’re ready to roost, soar up to the Sonesta Hotel & Suites. It’s a wonderful place to migrate on your next vacation.

Coconut Grove Chamber of Commerce: (305) 444-7270 or www.coconutgrove.com.

"Secrets of Coconut Grove" is from the November 2005 issue of Southern Living. Because prices, dates, and other specifics are subject to change, please check all information to make sure it's still current before making your travel plans.