UM ventures through Coconut Grove

Repost from The Miami Hurricane by Melissa Soto. Miami is home to diverse cultures, delectable foods and an upbeat nightlife. Walking down Ocean Drive on South Beach or strolling through parts of Brickell near downtown is a great way to take in the city sites. But for something off the beaten path where time ticks just a tad slower, the answer is Coconut Grove.

Coconut Grove was founded in 1825 by Bahamian immigrants and is one of Miami’s original neighborhoods. Located on the bay, this quaint village is native to marinas lined with sailboats and oceanside bars serving fresh caught seafood daily. “The Grove,” as many locals refer to it, offers amazing restaurants, parks, clothing stores and bars.

Greenstreet Café, located at 3468 Main Hwy, is in the heart of Coconut Grove. The restaurant is best known for its mouthwatering Nutella Filled French Toast priced at $8.50 and the classic Eggs Benedict served with hollandaise sauce and a side of potatoes for $12.

Locals and tourists alike flock to this restaurant daily for its extensive breakfast menu and tasty mimosas. This eclectic outdoor/indoor restaurant allows for the perfect people-watching spot, which usually includes cyclists, runners and dog walkers.

Riley Banciella, a Miami local, shared the Eggs Benedict for brunch with tourist Sumire Kawaguchi, who was visiting from Osaka, Japan.

“Although I look like I can eat a lot, this dish was the perfect size for me. It was filling in just the right way,” said Banciella.

“The portions are much larger here than in Japan but made with plenty of flavor,” Kawaguchi said.

Walking off breakfast in this pedestrian-friendly neighborhood is quite common. Located about a mile north of Greenstreet Café, visitors and Miami natives can spontaneously loose track of time while making their way to the famous David T. Kennedy Park. Conveniently situated on the water, the park is the perfect spot for a day full of outdoor activities. Volleyball games and bike rentals are but a few pastimes that can be enjoyed there.

If the weather is not suitable for a day at the park, then the shops at CocoWalk are a nice alternative. Set in the center of the hippie atmosphere of Coconut Grove, CocoWalk provides a groovy shopping experience with surf shop, Maui Nix and fashionable boutiques like Divine Clothes.

Boutiques throughout CocoWalk can be a bit pricey, but with some perseverance, a sale can be found. Restaurants like the Cheesecake Factory and Cinepolis Coconut Grove, along with the local movie theater, are located on the second and third floor of the shopping center.

Coconut Grove has plenty of gems waiting to be discovered by visitors from all around the world. Although the time seems to pass by more slowly, there is always something to do in this bohemian-styled escape from the rest of the Miami scene.

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