Coconut grove is one of the best areas to find Miami meeting space. Miami's arty answer to New York City's SoHo is Coconut Grove, a hip enclave a few minutes south of downtown, where hippies used to roam in the 1960s and 1970s. Today, "The Grove," as locals call it, is brimming with art galleries and studios, boutique shops, bars and restaurants. Luxury hotels, nearby restaurants, upscale shopping and meeting venues in Coconut Grove make the area appealing to groups.
Accessibility is another selling point: The Miami International Airport is located six miles away and the Miami Beach Convention Center and South Beach area are situated approximately 10 miles northeast of Coconut Grove. In addition, popular areas like Coral Gables and Key Biscayne are less than a 10-minute drive.
Chief among large Miami event venues in Coconut Grove is the 150,000-square-foot Coconut Grove Convention Center (divisible into 5 halls measuring 7,000 to 50,000 square feet), which can accommodate up to 15,000 delegates theater-style. But it's the amenity-laden, luxury hotel venues in Coconut Grove make it especially attractive to groups seeking medium-size properties situated away from South Beach distractions (but close enough to enjoy all Miami has to offer once meetings have concluded for the day). High-profile Coconut Grove hotels include the 115-room Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove (13,439 square feet of meeting space), 179-room Mayfair Hotel & Spa (15,000 square feet of meeting space) and 196-room Sonesta Bayfront Hotel Coconut Grove (7,000 square feet of meeting space).
The action in Coconut Grove is centered on the intersection of Grand Avenue, Main Highway and McFarlane Road, where Cocowalk, an open-air, pedestrian-friendly shopping, dining and entertainment plaza dominates the social scene. Encompassing a 16-screen movie theater, stores such as Banana Republic, The Gap and Express, and restaurants like Cocowok, Cheesecake Factory and The Burgundy Room, Cocowalk has a great nightlife vibe. Nearby, the Streets of Mayfair, an open-air mall with more than two blocks of shops, is another popular de-stressing spot with an Improv Comedy Club and Wet Willie's bar.
An eclectic special events venue menu is highlighted by Villa Woodbine, a private mansion designed in a Mediterranean open-air style in the 1920s. Overflowing with large loggias, open courtyards, Spanish arches, Havana tile and many handcrafted Cuban furnishings, Villa Woodbine evokes a classic Old Miami ambiance. Featuring a garden dotted with palms, live oak trees, mango trees and other foliage, the mansion can accommodate up to 250 people for a reception.
Dining options in Coconut Grove encompass excellent in-hotel gourmet rooms and a variety of major, fine and casual dining, as well as chain restaurants at the town's shopping areas.