Photographer Nick Garcia has the best eye in South Florida. He’s created some of the most glamorous and indelible images ever to appear in glossy Miami publications, so when he says that his home of Coconut Grove “is a rare jewel,” you can take that to the bank. He’s so tied to Coconut Grove that both his house and his office are located here—five minutes away from each other. “It’s like living in the suburbs but right in the middle of downtown,” he says. “I’m close to anything in Miami. I love that I’m able to walk anytime and feel secure. With all the trees, it offers lovely shaded walks, even in the hot Florida summers. Grand Avenue is fantastic for shopping and dining, and the shopping experience is expanding by the bay. Coconut Grove is a great town to go around by bicycle, and the parks are incredible for exercise. It feels like a slow life experience, but when you want to pick up the pace, everything is right there.”
—by Drew Limsky
The Barnacle Historic State Park (3485 Main Hwy., 305.442.6866) is one of those beautiful Miami oddities that only locals seem to know about. Anchored by a century-old house built by Ralph Middleton Munroe, a Coconut Grove pioneer, the Barnacle is the oldest house in Miami-Dade County. This quiet spot on the National Register of Historic Places is an idyllic place for picnics and weddings. “It has beautiful green areas, not much traffic, and it’s right in front of the water,” Garcia says.
At Glass & Vine (2820 McFarlane Rd., 305.200.5268 ), the theme is rustic greenhouse, the vibe is magical, and the fresh menu offers both light fare (shrimp and watermelon salad) and indulgence (chicken and black truffle gnocchi). Miamians make a special trip to dine here, but those lucky enough to live in the Grove can just pop in for coffee or to share a bottle of Benvolio pinot grigio over conversation with friends, as Garcia is fond of doing.
“It’s like living in the suburbs but right in the middle of downtown.” —Nick Garcia, photographer
With her background sourcing fashion and fabrics for such companies as Perry Ellis, Yeliz Titiz is one of Miami’s top tastemakers, and her popular boutique, The Bazaar Project
(2990 McFarlane Rd., 786.703.6154), is a go-to for men’s and women’s apparel, jewelry, glassware, and baby gifts. “It’s a great place for funky accessories for the house and office,” Garcia says.There’s even a café with sandwiches, salads, and cheeseboards on the menu, for those craving light refreshment.
“Lokal (3190 Commodore Plz., 305.442.3377 ) has the best hamburgers in town,”according to Garcia, and there are nine unique versions to choose from. Options include the Miami Heat (jack cheese and jalapeños) and Juan’s Fidy-Fidy (the burger itself is half beef and half bacon). The more adventurous may gravitate toward the Florida alligator strips.