Spending the day in the MiMo District, Wynwood or Park West neighborhood near Downtown Miami is the ideal way to feel like a real insider in Miami. This is where creatives have adorned buildings with their mural, and street art and indie shops and an art house cinema give the neighborhood its vibe. The collection of indie stores, boutiques, restaurants and watering holes within these areas showcase Miami's originality and bohemian movement. After visiting these top spots, you'll be "in the know" on where to find Miami’s urban renaissance.
Kick off the morning by grabbing the freshest cup of java in town at Panther Coffee in the Wynwood area. Here, husband-and-wife owners source and roast only the freshest coffee from around the world. Their brewing process is an artform, and the bean selections from Brazil, Colombia and Africa are enviable. We're going light on breakfast because you'll be loading up on lunch and locally-crafted brews later.
With an energetic jolt of coffee in your system, you're now ready to set your sights on walking along NE Second Avenue, the area's main drag. Wynwood Letterpress is one of the newest stores to open here, in a breezeway nook called Wynwood Block that's smack in the middle of a one-story building. The boutique store's appeal are the stamps, stationery sets and pocket-sized versions of classic books by Hemingway and other authors.
They also host hand and brush lettering workshops at their wooden communal table. This boutique store is like stepping back in time when penmanship and letter-writing were the norm. It's a great place to shop for the friend who still appreciates getting a handwritten letter and collects vintage-inspired items.
Although there's an incredible selection of restaurants for lunch in Wynwood, venture a bit north to the MiMo District. Named after the Miami Modern architecturally-styled buildings, many of them have been meticulously renovated to maintain their elements, here we find Blue Collar.
Come here for the no-fuss atmosphere and pure comfort food. The intimate space within a non-descript motel offers a menu that feels like a bear hug. Bite into the plump, perfectly pink shrimp atop a plate full of creamy corn grits and try it with the brussels sprouts.
With a full belly, saunter along Biscayne Boulevard for visits at Miami’s top consignment shops including Rebel, Fly Boutique and Consignment Bar. There are plenty of high-end designer duds and accessories plus vintage furnishings and home decor items.
It's time to stop for happy hour and a cocktail or locally-crafted brew. Travel south for a totally locals experience in a tiny watering hole located in the Park West neighborhood near Bayfront Park and American Airlines Arena called The Corner. Grab a table or seat at the bar at this seemingly simple nook lauded as Miami’s best cocktails, jazz night and afterhours hangout. There aren't drafts here, but an extensive selection of bottled beers from around the world. If you like bourbon go with either the Trinity or Kentucky Tulip cocktails.
If you prefer a locally-crafted brew, those are best had at Wynwood Brewing Company. Sample their La Rubia Blonde Ale, if you're partial to lighter tasting beers or one of their IPAs which pack a punch.
End the night at the movies, at the independent art and movie house, O Cinema in Wynwood Miami. Known for Oscar-winning and Oscar-nominated films along with cult classics and blockbuster movies like "Back to the Future" and "Scream." Arrive early and enjoy wine or beer on their front patio or catch the latest art exhibition in the lobby.
For a late-night libation and entertainment, head to The Electric Pickle or Wood Tavern just a few blocks away from O Cinema. Enjoy a nightcap at Wood, a true locals hangout where hipster chefs come to hang after their shifts. Dance the night away to the tunes of DJs spinning until the wee hours at The Electric Pickle.