We ventured out of our place in Fort Lauderdale to take a drive 30 minutes south. Our destination du jour was Miami. We adore street art and we were excited to see if Wynwood Walls was open on a slight whim. (It was the tail end of Phase 1 of the pandemic going into Phase 2 in South Florida.) And what we realized is there is an abundance of fun things to do in Wynwood, Miami. Whether you go for a day or half a day – simply go!
Number One Attraction: Wynwood Walls
So it turns out that the distinct area entitled “Wynwood Walls” was still closed when we visited. But the cool thing was we felt like we had the whole neighborhood to ourselves. And as we looked up some history about the area we learned that it's not that old of a concept or area. It's blown up in popularity – and increases every year – since its inception in 2009 by Tony Goldman.
The mastermind behind Wynwood Walls has since passed away but his family continues to carry on the company's operations around the world. (I have to interrupt myself to note that I've seen it written as “Wind Wood Walls” which I can completely understand someone searching if they didn't know how it's spelled or they had never seen the neighborhood name of Miami written!)
What started as an idea to allow and encourage artists to cover the walls of old warehouses has grown into a national (maybe even global, since such a huge majority of their artists aren't even from the US) phenomenon.
There is, indeed, one “gated” area that's officially, “Wynwood Walls.” Its address is: 2520 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33127. Here's the trailer for a docu-series on Wynwood Walls called, “Here Comes the Neighborhood “. It's a short video that's about two minutes in length worth watching.
The episodes can be found on Vimeo. The nine episodes, including the trailer, are mostly around four minutes or less.
Tours at Wynwood Walls
A fun thing to do in Wynwood is to take an “official” tour of Wynwood Walls, the original six buildings and converted parking lot. (In general, admission to Wynwood Walls is free if you just want to walk around. But to maximize your experience, and learn something while you're at it, take a tour. Plus your money will go towards supporting them.)
We always think tours are a great idea. On these tours, in particular, you'll learn more about the history and conception of Wynwood Walls. You'll also learn more about the murals currently painted there, including information about the artists and the message of each artwork. Additionally, you'll visit the three galleries on site. Each tour is 50 minutes.
There are three main options for official tours at Wynwood Walls:
- General Tour starting $20 with an optional dining experience (every hour on the hour 11:00am to 6:00pm).
- Early Access Tour at 9:45am for $50 (which, we have to note is just 15 minutes before the next tour comes in) – note there are conflicting times on their website. It says 10:45am on the booking but when you click it to book the tour the fine print says to please be there on time at 9:45am.
- Private Tour starting at $40 – available upon request.
- Then there are two additional tours, available upon request: Events Tour ($20) and University & Education Tour ($10).
General Things to Keep in Mind with any Fun Activity in the Wynwood Area
It's important to keep a few things in mind if you're heading to Wynwood, Miami:
- This is south Florida. It gets HOT. So bring water, sunscreen, and sunglasses. Stay hydrated and protected from the sun.
- It gets busy. It's a big tourist attraction so if you go during the day (aka aside from the early morning or later on at night) expect to maybe contest with crowds. However, seeing as the neighborhood has plenty to do, hopefully people will be spread out amongst the streets anyway.
- It's an area where it's best to park then walk. Thus, wear comfy walking shoes.
- Be respectful. Of the art and of people there. The great thing about the murals there is that mostly all of them are tagged with the Instagram account of the artist. If you're posting a mural to Instagram, please take the extra few seconds to look up the artist. It's proper etiquette and you wouldn't have the art piece to share with your social media followers if it wasn't for them creating it. This is also a cool way to communicate with the artist, if you wish. We tag every artist, whenever possible to find the creator. And it's common for us to get a note from the artist saying “Thank you!” or even a repost.
Where to Park at Wynwood Walls
Have Fun with Murals “Outside” Wynwood Walls
Fun Things to Do in Wynwood Beyond Simply Viewing Murals
We have seven great ideas for things to do beyond seeing murals in Wynwood:
- Find Sculptures
- Visit the Museum of Graffiti
- Be a Part of the Unicorn Factory
- Eat (and drink)
- Get dessert
- Shop (for clothes and art)
- Get beer at a local brewery
- Visit the Neighboring Design District
There's more art than paintings in Wynwood. We were blown away by this wooden troll that reminded us of the famous “Treemont Troll” in Seattle, Washington. When we passed a heap of tire pieces on the sidewalk I stopped to look at the front of it wondering if it was a piece of art. It was – and we were floored but its face.
We also spotted a “flying” raven in the neighborhood. One of the fun things to do in Wynwood is just walk around to keep your eyes peeled for any kind of art, sculptures included.
Museum of Graffiti
If you want an education about graffiti you should visit the Museum of Graffiti. There's an entry fee ($16) but it should be worth it to open your eyes to the beauty of the art form. It's currently open six days a week, closed on Tuesdays.
They offer guests exhibits, art for purchase, classes (like a beginner graffiti class) and various artist events. It takes between thirty minutes to an hour to walk through the museum.
Address: 299 NW 25th Street, Miami, FL 33127
Become a Unicorn (and be the Instagram envy of your friends)
It was just a few years ago things like the “Ice Cream Factory” and even “Egg Factory” swept the nation in major cities like New York and Los Angeles. A warehouse essentially is broken down into little vignettes where social media mavens can snap Instagram-worthy photos of themselves. And surely have the envy of every one of their friends grow.
The Unicorn Factory is a destination just like that. Pricing is a little steep at $38 a ticket, however it's a small price to pay if you want weeks worth of solid Instagram content! Keep an eye on their website and social media for occasional ticket price savings. All ticket sales are handled online so be sure to purchase in advance.
It takes between thirty to 45 minutes to experience the Unicorn Factory, depending on how quickly you move through it.
Address: 2600 NW 5th Ave Miami FL 33127
Amongst the fun things to do in Wynwood is eat and drink, of course! There are several restaurants in the neighborhood (all within walking distance) including:
- Wynwood Kitchen and Bar: Dine amongst the murals! This restaurant is in the heart of the murals. It opened in 2010 and has a tapas/small plates menu with a Latin flair. The art inside is worth seeing if you're a fan of the walls because it was done by Christian Awe (German) and Shepard Fairey (American).
- The Diner (Wynwood Diner and Cocktails): This restaurant is a block or two from Wynwood Walls, still very much in the neighborhood. It's entrance is on a corner and it's easy to spot. It's not a conventional “diner” – it's more so a restaurant with a salads and sandwiches and extensive cocktails. It has three spaces within the restaurant including an outdoor patio.
- Zak the Baker: If you're walking around and see a building covered in a rainbow of rectangles with “BAKERY” on the outside you've found Zak the Baker. They bake artisan bread available for purchase at their Wynwood shop (or at 15 locations of Whole Foods throughout South Florida!) and have won too many awards to count. They serve things outside breads though, including fresh sandwiches, salads, bagels, avocado toast, and of course assorted pastries.
- R House: Their house has a great happy hour from 3:00-7:00pm Wednesdays through Fridays. (Please give us all the sweet pea hummus and Yellowfin Tuna Tartare!) They have a patio space to enjoy that Florida sunshine and a delicious menu including anything from short rib meatballs, to pan seared snapper.
- KYU: A wood-fired Asian menu serving delicacies from fish dishes to beef. And then some. They're eco-conscious and operate using green and sustainable methods, including not offering plastic straws. And participating in a zero-waste citrus program.
If you are in the mood for something lower cost and over the counter, here are a few options:
- Valentina's Pizza: This pizza “window” is just across the street from the entrance of Wynwood Walls. Could be great for a snack too if you're a little noshy!
- Crazy Poke: We think sushi rice and raw fish are a great idea from any reputable place. And Crazy Poke gets rave reviews for their poke bowls and sushi burritos.
- 1-800 Lucky: If you want to try a few things from a bunch of places, and love Asian food served in a casual setting, this is the place for you. It's a food hall with 7 restaurants, including things like sushi, dumplings, bubble tea and even ice cream.
Fun Things to Do in Wynwood Pertaining to Desserts
- Ice Pops/Paletas: It would be usual for you to be craving “something cold” in the Miami heat. Morelia Gourmet Paletas serves Mexican ice pops made with 100% natural ingredients. You can choose a premade pop or create your own flavor and topping combination, on the spot. The company is named after the location in Mexico where the first paleta was believed to have been invented. And they now have several locations and shops within South Florida.
- Ice Cream: Stop at Nabati ice cream to beat the Florida heat! They're 100% plant based, which is great if you're dairy free. The shop's owner and head chef, Ola Kayal, graduated from Switzerland’s Culinary Arts Academy. So we are sure she knows a thing or two about great foods and desserts.
- Instagram-Worthy Soft Serve: Have you heard of the Japanese ice cream served in fish-shaped cake cones? Taiyaki NYC is famous for it. And they have a location in Wynwood, Miami! Not only is it photo worthy ice cream but the flavors are hard to find elsewhere and it tastes so good. It's difficult for me to find flavors like black sesame in the states otherwise. (I fell in love with it in Japan.) But Taiyaki has it. Note that this location of Taiyaki is a little kiosk/shipping container inside the 1-800 Lucky food hall area.
- Crepes: Giache Crepes is a great idea if you have a sweet toothe or you're with someone who prefers something savory for a snack or dessert. They offer sweet and savory crepes that they roll or stuff with ingredients, depending on your order. They also offer waffle pops!
- Donuts: The Salty Donut is a place that serves beautiful donuts. And let's face it…the donut craze isn't going away any time soon. They've been voted as a top donut place in the country by many outlets (Thrillest, Zagats, Business Insider, etc.).
Shopping in Wynwood
There are several cute boutiques in the area if your version of fun things to do in Wynwood includes shopping! There are also shops to get your own piece of art to take home, in addition to more upscale galleries.
- Clothing stores, like BASE and Marine Layer (very coastal-hip).
- The Wynwood Shop: It's definitely worth stopping in. It's a boutique store that sells men and women's clothing and jewelry, but also things like art prints and enamel pins. They even sell Street Art Coloring Books!
- And of course, the gift shop at Wynwood Walls. (Which is free to visit if Wynwood Walls is open.)
Drink Beer at a Local Brewery
There are three great options for craft beer in Wynwood, which is a solid amount for the size of the area…
- Concrete Beach Brewery: Many reviewers deem this is the best beer in Miami. And luckily it's right in Wynwood! (Offering brewery tours as well.)
- Wynwood Brewing Company: A father and son duo started this craft brewery in Miami. They have 18 beers on tap in their Wynwood tasting room.
- Veza Sur: They are a local brewery with Latin and American roots (very Miami). They have a beautiful indoor space that's pretty cozy and an outdoor patio that's dog friendly. What's more is they have a great happy hour and also offer brewery tours. If you're hungry this could be the best fit for your thirst and apetitte – their Peruvian food gets rave reviews.
Fun Things to Do Nearby: Neighboring Miami Design District
There are plenty of fun things to do in Wynwood. But if you're game to venture just 10 minutes down the road we recommend visiting the Design District of Miami. Why not make a complete day of your trip?
There are upscale shops here (think: Gucci, Christian Louboutin, Balenciaga, Creed) and a few places to eat or grab a coffee. The well designed shopping center is worth a walk around.
We also recommend a visit to the Institute of Contemporary Art. Admission is free, however they recommend reserving tickets in advance online.
The parking garage across the street from there is the coolest we've ever seen (truly). And the art along the street where the museum is located (NE 41st Street) has some pretty noteworthy art above eye level as well.
Street parking in the Design District is pretty much the same cost as in Wynwood. We recommend valet parking because when you compare their one time fee to several hours of street parking they end up being nearly equal cost. If you don't want to valet your car and can't find street spots then try the garage, located across from the museum. (Simply put “Museum Garage, NE 41st Street, Miami, FL” in GPS.)
Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post, which means we may earn a small commission if you click the link and proceed with a purchase. We only recommend products or services we personally use and recommend.
Heading to Florida? Also check out:
- Our Favorite Things to Do Around Fort Lauderdale after Six Months in South Florida
- Everything You Need to Know About the Best Fort Lauderdale Everglades Tour
- 12 of Tampa Bay Florida’s Coolest Murals (and Where to Find Them)