I recently made a quick trip to Miami with my friend Alicea to visit the Wynwood Walls in the Design District down in Miami. I have lived in South Florida for over 15 years and this is the first time I have been down to this section in Miami. I’ve spent plenty of time exploring other parts of the city and have always had a blast so, I was excited to finally spend some time down at Wynwood.
Wynwood used to be referred to as “Little San Juan” or “El Barrio in the 1950’s because a large number of Puerto Ricans immigrated to this particular part of Miami. Many of the public service buildings were named after important Puerto Ricans and bodegas were found on street corners. Unfortunately, it seems like the majority of the Puerto Rican community (and others) have been pushed out of the area due to gentrification, you can read more about the interesting history and development of Wynwood here.
The Wynwood Arts District is pretty big. The district has more than 200 street murals that are really amazing and is also filled with breweries, restaurants, art galleries, boutiques, and dance clubs. I love art and I think it is wonderful that Wynwood is a place where graffiti artists from around the globe can show their work. We only really explored the Wynwood Walls, and some of the murals on NW 2nd Ave. but, the district extends WAY beyond that.
Wynwood has an Art Walk every second Saturday of the month and I think I am going to have to head back for that! The businesses and galleries are open late and food trucks, and vendors fill the area. Alicea and I ate at the Wynwood Kitchen and Bar and it was super yummy! The food is served in small portions which are meant for sharing which is perfect for trying a lot of the different delicious things on their menu! My sister has been telling me about Zak the Baker so I will have to head back soon and I also want to stop by The Salty Donut…I mean, who doesn’t want a Tahitian Vanilla bean cake dounut with brown butter glaze and Maldon Sea Salt???
If you are going to be visiting Wynwood here are a couple of tips:
Dress light. I was wearing shorts and sandals and I was melting. I actually saw women dressed in jeans and heels …but, it is Miami sooo….?? Wynwood extends beyond the “Wynwood Walls” area so you want shoes that are comfy since you will be walking up and down the streets.
Wear cute shoes. Wynwood has art EVERYHERE! Yep, even on the sidewalks. Make sure your shoes are cute since you don’t want ugly foot selfies! Duh!
Parking is pricey and you have to pay 7 days a week. If you choose to park on the street you can download the pay by phone app. The sidewalk was pretty packed so we had to park in a lot and it was $5 dollars an hour. There are people that monitor the parking so, be sure you pay or else you may get a $$ ticket.
I saw that they have Citi Bikes for rent which I think would be a really fun way to explore the area!
The murals change, I am not sure how often but, if you are interested in seeing the current murals before you make the drive you can check them out here. You can also see some of the amazing past murals and read about the artists.
Artists come from all over the globe to show their work at Wynwood. This mural (above) was done by Shepard Fairey who designed the Obama Hope poster. A lot of the Murals in the Wynwood Walls area are protected by rope barriers. Be respectful. Don’t cross over the line, keep off the grass etc.
Bring a friend who likes art and try to make a day of your trip. This particular day Alicea and I only stayed 3 hours and we were only able to really explore a small part of Wynwood. I think the next time I will have to plan to really make a day of it and explore all the ins and outs of the district. The Murals are really amazing and when you get up close it’s crazy to see all the details and really absorb and contemplate what some of the art means.
If you are visiting Wynwood you have to stop by Boho Hunter, this shop curates its pieces from artists in Latin America and it is fabulous!! I saw this super cute hand woven clutch there that I really wanted but, it was a little out of my budget that day. Wonk wonk.
My last tip is, make sure your camera has plenty of battery and space!! There are so many fun opportunities for pictures and you really will want to document every little detail!!!
SOME OF THE AMAZING ARTISTS WHO ARE IN THIS BLOG POST:
Let me know if you have been and which artists were your favorite!!!