The art mecca of Miami, the Wynwood Neighborhood, is a bustling area of 50 blocks where one can find hundreds of murals created by some of the world's most famous graffiti artists. Within this hippie neighborhood are innovators, creatives, and entrepreneurs that have made the area the number one spot to visit when you head to Miami.
What is the Wynwood Neighborhood?
Wynwood has become an artist's mecca for the past decade. What used to be a neglected manufacturing area of Miami has now become the place to be, the place to be seen, and the place to see the coolest and most creative personalities in Miami and visited by some of the world's most famous artists and creatives. Hundreds of thousands of visitors head to the neighborhood each year, to witness incredible murals that are Instagrammable-worthy, as well as the most impressive and homegrown cafes and restaurants that serve anything and everything from craft beer to vegan burgers, specialty doughnuts, and rotisserie chicken. But what makes this area of Miami truly come alive are the art galleries, where massive blocks of walls are painted with colorful imagery and illustrations, literally creating the biggest open-air gallery in the world.
How It Became the Hotspot That It Is Today
Before Wynwood became the trendy neighborhood that it is today, it used to be a seedy inner-city district with a high crime rate. Packed with manufacturing facilities, and thus, the presence of many warehouses, it slowly started to turn around in the mid-80s when a group of artists arrived and took up residence in a vacant American Bakeries Building. This group of artists from the South Florida Art Center created the largest artist space in the state, which they called, the Bakehouse Art Complex, which is still operating until today. Soon after, the Complex attracted more and more artists to the area, who slowly breathed new life into the abandoned neighborhood, and things quickly began to step up with the arrival of a real estate developer named Tony Goldman.
Goldman is responsible for turning Wynwood into the trendy hotspot it is today. In the mid-2000s, he bought a total of 25 warehouses and turned them into the famous Wynwood Walls, the most popular attraction in the neighborhood today. The Wynwood Walls is a world-famous urban graffiti museum, with tens of thousands of colorful murals created by some of the world's most famous graffiti artists. It opened in 2009, just in time for the Art Basel in Miami Beach that year, and since then, Wynwood has continuously grown into the trendiest art district in the entire state of Florida.
What To Do
Of course, the very first thing you must do when you visit Wynwood is to visit the museums and galleries. There are over 70 galleries in the area, and plenty of spots to have a selfie for that ultimate artsy Instagram post.
Here are 3 spots in Wynwood you definitely have to visit:
It comes as no surprise that the Wynwood Walls takes the top spot on our list. There is no better place in Wynwood to witness how the neighbourhood transformed than this enclave of murals. This is Miami's first and only outdoor museum where the walls are painted over every year in time for the Art Basel. International artists are commissioned to paint the walls, all with the concept of topical themes.
2.Museum of Graffiti
Next on our list is the Museum of Graffiti, which is the best place to learn about the history of tagging and graffiti. The museum also holds exhibitions, outdoor murals, and a gift shop featuring the work of local and world-famous graffiti artists.
3.Lock and Load Miami
And if you want a place outside of the art scene to spend your day in, then Lock and Load Miami is definitely the place. Lock and Load Miami is South Florida's premier machine gun experience, which also hosts a state-of-the-art shooting range. Both locals and tourists alike can experience the adrenaline rush of firing fully automatic machine guns in a 14,000 square-foot facility with 24 air-conditioned lanes.
Where to Eat and Drink
And if all the walking and exploring has gotten you hungry and thirsty, Wynwood is packed with interesting eats and some of Miami's best culinary offerings by homegrown small restaurant owners. Here are 3 spots that will definitely have you coming back for more to satisfy your hunger pangs and cravings:
1.Le Chick Miami
Le Chick offers an upscale casual dining and an award-winning cocktail bar experience. Famous for its rotisserie chicken, affordable price points, and a unique outdoor area, this cozy bar/resto is definitely one of the best spots to satisfy your culinary cravings.
2.Love Life Cafe
While pizza, beer, and burgers are what Miami is known for, Love Life Cafe offers that very same menu but with a twist - everything is vegan but tastes just as good as the real deal, but without the hefty vegan prices found in most vegan restaurants in Miami.
3.Wynwood Brewing Company
This brewing company is famous for being the very first craft brewery in Miami. It has a welcoming atmosphere and proudly family-owned.
4.Fireman Derek's Bake Shop and Desserts
This family-owned dessert shop has a food truck origin and specializes in over-the-top pies, caked, cheesecakes, cookies, and one-of-a-kind desserts. If you're looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, this is the place to be.
Miami's Wynwood Neighborhood is a lively, inspiring, creative enclave where art and innovation are evident everywhere you look. With an eclectic scene of artists, dreamers, entrepreneurs, and innovators, Wynwood is definitely the hottest spot to visit in Miami.