Outdoor Murals Open Eyes at Miami’s Wynwood Walls
Looking for something different to do in Miami that doesn’t involve the hottest new nightclub or overpriced meal? Then head on over to the Wynwood Arts District for the visual feast that is Wynwood Walls.
If you’ve visited Wynwood before but it’s been awhile, now is a good time to return. The trendy area continues to add more and more art–we could see a difference during our July 2015 visit compared with early 2014.
Wynwood Walls has turned graffiti and street art into an art form all its own, with the Wynwood community’s display of dozens of street murals spanning several blocks and created by artists from around the world. Everywhere you turn in Wynwood, you’ll find another mural. Even the parking meters, fences, and sidewalks pop out with art. The idea behind Wynwood’s murals began in 2009 by the late community revitalizer Tony Goldman, who wanted to make use of the warehouse space languishing in Wynwood.
From the comical to abstract to political to just plain beautiful, the murals are a free way to enjoy art in Miami. Bring the kids or a few friends to stroll the streets of Wynwood and debate over your favorite mural. There’s so much art overload, it may be hard to pick just one favorite.
Wynwood even has a park with several more murals. The park has monster-truck sized tires to sit or pose in so you can take photos in front of some of the murals, and massive boulders that are covered with multicolored fabric, again, making a great visual backdrop. If you get hungry, don’t miss Wynwood Kitchen and Bar, which is inside the park. It It features Latin-inspired tapas that appealed to everyone in our group, including tequenos (empanada dough with queso fresco–we made two orders), shrimp ceviche, platanos, 48-hour crispy pork with cheddar chipotle grits, and lots more. The restaurant also prides itself on the artwork throughout, including stunning, colorful abstract paintings and a larger-than-life multicolored mannequins that fascinated the kids.
You can round out your visit to Wynwood by visiting the design store Elemental (pricey but interesting design and décor for the home), taking your active kids to Play In (a multisensory indoor play area), or grabbing a bite at one of the other bars and restaurants that continue to crop up. There are also numerous art galleries featuring hard-to-forget images such as singer Cee-Lo hosting The Lord’s Last Supper with a bevvy of beauties or President Obama superimposed onto John Wayne’s classic cowboy pose.
You can click here to find Wynwood’s location, so you can get directions from your location. However, the murals actually span several blocks shown on the map at the link. The site featured here has a map. You’ll know you’re in Wynwood when you start to see a variety of murals and gawkers with their phones and cameras. You may have to drive through some not-so-nice areas of Miami to get to Wynwood. Wynwood is about 20 minutes from South Beach.
There are also walking tours of Wynwood that focus on different themes. Some tours are also in Spanish.Check out our images for a look at many of Wynwood’s murals–or if you use Instagram, search #Wynwood for even more pics.
One more tip: in the summer, swing on by Wynwood in the morning or evening, as it was almost too hot to enjoy during the midday July visit when we were there.
If you want more street art and murals from a more rural perspective, the town of Lake Placid, about two hours north of Miami off of Route 27, has 55 murals to enjoy. Read Florida Culture’s story about Lake Placid here, featured on the Visit Florida website.