Coconut Grove Arts Festival
As a long-time resident of the Grove, I naturally look forward to the Coconut Grove Arts Festival over President’s Day weekend every year. I still am amazed that my little neighborhood is host to one of the biggest art festivals in the country! I bask in the energy that fills the neighborhood, as well as the wonderful art, music, food and (hopefully!) glorious South Florida weather. I fancy myself a local expert on this festival so I have put together some tips to guide you through this magical event that could only take place in my very own Coconut Grove!
When: President’s Day Weekend – February 17, 18, & 19 of 2018
The gates open at 10:00 a.m. each day of the festival. On Saturday and Sunday gates close at 6:00 p.m. On Monday gates close at 5:00 p.m.
Tickets are $15 per person at the gates, but can be purchased online ahead of time for a small discount. Kids 12 and under are free and Coconut Grove residents in the 33133 zip code may purchase a $5 admission ticket. (Keep in mind that it is one ticket per person per day and that you will need a valid state issued ID - 1 ticket per ID.)
Where: the actual address of the event is 2700 S. Bayshore Drive, Miami, FL 33133, but the festival runs along the streets of McFarlane Road, South Bayshore Drive and Pan American Drive.
How to get there:
- You can take the Metrorail to the Coconut Grove Station and then either walk to S. Bayshore Drive or take the 249 bus. I would recommend the bus. It is roughly a 20-minute walk (usually in the sun) and you do have to cross U.S.1, which can be tough if you have little kids with you.
- You can ride your bike and leave it at one of two free bike valet stations, located at the top of McFarlane Road (near CocoWalk).
- You can take an Uber/Lyft, but rates will likely be at a premium during this busy weekend.
- You can drive. While there are plenty of parking options, be sure to check the parking map below and pack a little bit of patience.
I prefer to hit the festival early in the day, before the crowds and heat really kick in, or later in the afternoon, when it’s a little slower and I can stroll down to the waterfront to catch the sunset.
And speaking of packing… Be sure to pack some sunscreen, a bottle of water and to wear a hat. Comfortable shoes and lightweight layers are a must! I also like to bring hand sanitizer and wipes so I can freshen up along the way.
If you are bring little ones, know that the crowds are pretty thick and maneuvering a stroller can be difficult; however, if your kids aren’t used to walking, your arms will thank you for bringing one. There is a terrific kid-friendly and educational Family Zone that combines interactive fun and education for the youngest art aficionados. It is located right in front of Dinner Key Marina, at Regatta Park.
And now that we have gotten the logistics out of the way… what is there left to do? Enjoy the wonderful festival!
THE COCONUT GROVE ART FESTIVAL ARTISTS
Over 360 artists will be displaying and selling their masterpieces. There are tons of mediums (photography, sculpture, glass, jewelry, metalwork - you name it!) and lot of price points… maybe you will come across a piece that you just have to call your own. From my experience, artists are usually very accommodating in helping arrange for delivery and shipping, so if you are an out-of-towner, don’t let deter you.
If your budget is lean, or if you are a collector like me, a wonderful souvenir is the yearly Coconut Grove Arts Festival poster. I've assembled them on a Pinterest Board for you.
The posters can be found at the Festival Stores scattered throughout the event and can also be purchased online, if you don’t want to carry it around with you.
Another big part of the festival is all the yummy food. In addition to traditional “fair food,” you can also find international acclaimed chefs who will dazzle your tastebuds and entertain you with live presentations/
The Coconut Grove Arts Festival truly has something for everyone… it is a magical weekend that can only happen in South Florida. I hope to bump into you there! If you are from out of town and fall in love with Coconut Grove, let me help hang your new art in your new home!