LivingTravelMiami's Wynwood neighborhood: the complete guide

Miami's Wynwood neighborhood: the complete guide

A once decrepit business district of Miami, Wynwood has been transformed into the largest open-air museum in the world. Today, the 50 city blocks that make up this eclectic neighborhood are adorned with colorful murals painted by world-renowned artists and innovators. Wynwood boasts more than 200 street murals, more than any other city in the world, and unlike other places where street art is illegal, it is accepted here. So, take out your iPhone and start posing, this spot was made for Instagram-worthy photos.



The Wynwood neighborhood has a rich history dating back to the early 1900s. Originally purchased as farmland, the area quickly became a working-class neighborhood and attracted many commercial residents as well. Miami’s boom in the 1920s brought in big companies like Coca-Cola, which built a bottling plant in the area. During this time, Wynwood also became one of the largest clothing districts in the country. But, as the area became more industrialized and other parts of Miami became more suburban, a mass exodus of residents began to occur.

This led to many of the factories also needing to move out of the area to be closer to their workforce. By the late 1970s, Wynwood had become a crime-ridden neighborhood with a high unemployment rate and a major drug trafficking problem.

It wasn’t until the mid-2000s that real estate developer and art aficionado Tony Goldman, known for renovating Manhattan’s South Beach and SoHo district, began buying up many of the abandoned warehouses in the area. Goldman had a vision for Wynwood: a huge outdoor tarp. Since most of the area was windowless warehouses and factories, there were many “canvases” to paint. In 2009, the Wynwood walls were officially opened and displayed at that year’s Art Basel exhibition. Since then, the neighborhood has attracted a new kind of community of artists, visionaries, and thinkers.

Today, the neighborhood is full of bars, restaurants, and lots and lots of color!

Things to do in Wynwood

Whether you’re in the art scene or not, Wynwood is an overall fun place to visit. The area has a great low-key vibe and is full of interesting people and lots of cool things to see. Of course, a trip to Wynwood wouldn’t be complete without visiting the Wynwood Walls. This is the park, or rather exhibit, that put the neighborhood on the map. Starting at the 25-26 street complex, there are six massive buildings adorned with artwork from artists from around the world. The area is a great place to stroll, have a drink with friends, and of course take great photos.

If you’re visiting on the second Saturday of the month, take an Art Walk tour of the neighborhood. The Wynwood Art Walk tour company also offers plenty of other educational and fun neighborhood tours, so you can find one that best suits your group.

For those looking for indoor fun, be sure to check out any of the many art galleries in the area. The Margulies Collection in the Warehouse, features seasonal collections from highly eclectic artists, as well as programs and events. O Cinema is a great place to catch an afternoon indie movie or take a tour of the Wynwood Breweries.

Where to eat and drink in Wynwood

Wynwood is home to some of Miami’s liveliest restaurants. Alter, the brainchild of Miami-based chef Brad Kilgore, is a concrete-walled industrial space, seemingly boring compared to the neighborhood. The thing is, at Alter, food is art.

For a more relaxed meal, head to the delicious Zak the Baker Bakery and Cafe. Baker Zak Stern and his team create the most delicious breads and cakes. The strictly kosher restaurant offers light bites, open sandwiches and salads. Everything is fresh every day.

Wynwood’s original restaurant, Joey’s, remains a classic not to be missed. This Italian restaurant serves salami, salads and sauces. It’s one of Jay-Z and Beyonce’s favorite places too.

Beer lovers will rejoice at Boxelder, Wynwood’s Brewery and Tavern. The hot spot offers craft beers and nightly events. Make sure you hit Gramps on your bar and crawl through Wynwood too. This dive bar offers fresh cocktails, craft beer and air conditioning. What else can you need? It’s a great atmosphere and they host a lot of comedy shows and weekly karaoke events. El Patio, is another great place to see pots. The indoor / outdoor bar is full of Latin flavor, from the furniture to the music, you will definitely be here until closing.

The neighborhood is also home to some of Miami’s best breweries, including Concrete Beach and Wynwood Brewing.

Parking at Wynwood

If you can avoid driving to Wynwood, you’re probably better off. Although there is metered parking on the streets, you will have to pay and keep refilling the meter. Valet parking is available near Wynwood Walls. But, a massive 428-space parking garage, The Wynwood Garage, is under construction and will open this fall. The garage is centrally located and will also have attached office and commercial space.

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