Coconut Grove

I spent all day Sunday exploring one of the coolest areas of Miami – Coconut Grove. Not having been down there in a few years, I was really looking forward to this day, and what a gorgeous day it was too. I got down to the Grove around 8:45 and parked my car at David Kennedy Park, which, ironically, has a 9-hole disc golf course. Only 4 baskets are remaining, and I didn’t even bother getting my discs out, as I was more interested in taking pictures of the Biscayne Bay that borders the park. As I continued to walk along the bay, I made my way to the downtown section and the Barnacle Historic State Park. Boasting the oldest house in Miami-Dade County that is still on its original foundation, I finally got a chance to tour this 1891 classic. The first time I was here a few years back, I missed the house tour, so I made sure I was the first one line this time. Built by Ralph Middleton Munroe, he was very ingenious in his design and had many amenities that were not found in other houses at that time.

After a unique tour of the house and grounds, I made my way around the area to the Coconut Grove Cemetery, where Michael Jackson filmed the famous graveyard scene for ‘Thriller’. Needless to say, I had that song stuck in my head as I meandered around the graves. I then headed back into the downtown area to take more photos and soak up the sun. As I headed back to my car, I stopped by the marina, which seemed to never end.

My next stop was a short drive up the road to Vizcaya, another famous historic south Florida landmark. Having been there many times before but not in a long while, it was great to tour this incredible mansion again, along with the immaculate gardens and the beautiful backdrop of the bay. Built between 1914 and 1916, James Deering was heavily influenced by European architecture and wanted his winter home to represent a time period between the 16th through 19th century, which he sucessfully accomplished within each and every room, judging by all the ancient artifacts and works of art.

After a couple hours there, I went across the street to the Miami Science Museum. The only part I remember from my last visit to the museum was the planetarium, and that was the only part I was really looking forward to, as the museum doesn’t have all that much to offer, other than a cool little nature center featuring many venomous snakes and spiders. The planetarium’s laser show was a bit of a let-down, but I can’t complain too much, especially since I got in for free. Although the day started on a higher note than it ended, I still had a great time hanging out in the Grove.

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