7 Awesome Places You'll Love in Miami Before Your Cruise
Coconut Grove in Miami Has Great Options for Food and Fun
If you are cruising out of the Port of Miami and need something to do the day before, this little itinerary will entice you with a quaint area, great beaches, and amazing food ideas. We almost always start our cruise vacations from either Miami or Fort Lauderdale, so we are no strangers to this area.
Where to Stay in Coconut Grove
Coconut Grove is the happening place to stay in the Miami area. There are many places within walking distance of the many hotels, shops, and restaurants, since you may not have a car. The Hampton Inn, Residence Inn, Ritz Carlton, Sonesta, Mia Luxe, Mayfair, and the Mutiny are within a 9- to 15-minute walk to most of the places I'm about to share with you. If Airbnb is more your style, there are also over 150 to choose from in the Coconut Grove area.
Where to Eat in Coconut Grove
Coconut Grove is bustling with quaint shops, bars, and restaurants. The best place for a cup of joe is Panther Coffee, where they roast and sell their own coffee blends. There is usually a long line, so I recommend downloading their app and ordering ahead for an easy pick-up.
For lunch, I recommend a little seafood dive bar and grill called Baracuda...or as the locals call it "Cuda". If you love conch fritters, this is the place. I highly recommend the Red Snapper with black beans and rice or the Grouper. You get a large portion for the mere price of $14. Everything in this place is nautical and made of wood. There are even long tables for playing beer pong, should you want to get a little crazy. Speaking of beer, they have over 50 varieties to choose from.
Our favorite place in Coconut Grove is "Happy Wine", which was introduced to us by my nephew who lives a few doors down. I recommend the "Chuleton De Carne" (16 oz NY Strip steak) pictured below. It's some of the best steak I have ever eaten. For an appetizer, I recommend the mussels, also the best I've had. They have just the right spice and the Andouille sausage in the sauce rounds this dish out nicely; you simply can't go wrong with this combination, or anything on their menu to be honest. They have hundreds of wines to choose from to either consume there or take with you. You can also order their wines online.
Where to Play in Miami/South Florida
Key Biscayne in Miami is a huge public beach access area. Parking is $5–$7, or you can grab an Uber or Lyft. There is a magnificent paved walking/running trail along the highway with a beautiful view of the Port of Miami/cruise ships. There are numerous areas to relax on a white sand beach, such as Crandon Park Beach, a two-mile beach that is one of the most popular beaches in Miami.
If you have the time and a car, take a short hour drive to Key Largo's John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, which is a snorkeling and kayaking hot spot right from the beach. The cost to rent a mask is only $2.00 and a semi-dry snorkel is a $10 purchase, yours to keep, which will come in handy on your cruise.
When you're finished snorkeling, be sure to stop at The Fisheries Backyard in Key Largo (right on the water!) for some fresh seafood. I recommend the Conch Fritters and Coconut Shrimp.
Key Biscayne Beaches and Trails
Now that you know what to do, where to stay, and what to eat in Miami prior to your cruise, be sure to check out my popular tips on cruise cabin organization.
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© 2019 Debra Roberts