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Wynwood Walls is a must visit spot when you visit Miami, for locals and travelers alike.
There were nothing but gray walls in this once derelict Miami neighborhood. That was before the late developer Tony Goldman had a bright idea. He saw these blank gray walls as canvases, with an opportunity to bring life back to the region. The concept of Wynwood Walls Miami is centered around street art.
Wynwood Walls is a large public space, fenced off from the city streets, where anyone can take a stroll to marvel at these giant works of art. Wynwood Walls is completely free to visit and open to the public. Huge painted murals are splashed across the industrial walls and doors by prominent artists from around the world. These street artists have traveled from the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Belgium, Portugal, Ukraine, Greece, Spain, France, Germany, England, Japan, and Singapore.
Goldman believed that graffiti and street art weren’t fully appreciated, and he wanted to bring more attention to the artistic movement. As a developer, he saw the potential to draw citizens from Miami and beyond to this neighborhood. With art at its core, other attractions like restaurants, cafes and pubs could be established with a rise in visitors. Once a concrete wasteland of abandoned industrial warehouses, Wynwood Walls has transformed this area into an artistic outdoor public space that attracts locals and tourists alike.
Wynwood Walls and Wynwood Doors
After the opening of Wynwood Walls, Goldman further expanded the project by constructing Wynwood Doors. A plot of land next to Wynwood Walls was claimed as the site, formerly a garbage dump. It is now a beautiful park with trees and boulders. Surrounding the park, there are metal roll-down gates that serve as additional canvases for more street art. The gates can be rolled up to reveal more art on the walls behind them, depending on the mood or setting. These roll-down gates are reminiscent of subway cars or trains, which have historically provided great surfaces for graffiti painters to create their art.
Furthermore, the art has expanded outside of the fenced off zone. Dubbed “Outside the Walls”, there are many more buildings throughout the entire neighborhood that have been decorated with colorful street art. Don’t limit yourself to staying within Wynwood Walls. Be sure to wander around these side streets and alleyways, spotting even more works by talented local graffiti artists. It’s definitely a good idea to leave the car behind – these city blocks are best explored by foot.
This art project has positively impacted the city. Even on a weekday afternoon, these city blocks were bustling with groups of people, eager to catch glimpses of the walls. There are numerous restaurants, cafes, and bars in the area to allow visitors to dine and relax.
Similar to graffiti, the art at Wynwood Walls Miami is not permanent. It is always changing, especially Outside the Walls. In December each year, Art Basel, an annual art fair is held in Miami. During Art Basel, the artists who were commissioned to paint at Wynwood Walls travel here to touch up their current pieces or create brand new ones.
Wynwood Walls Artists
Wynwood Walls has welcomed over 50 artists from 16 countries around the world, covering 80,000 square feet of walls. Some of the celebrated Wynwood Walls artists from around the globe include:
- FUTURA 2000
- Os Gemeos
- Shepard Fairey
- Kenny Scharf
- Ben Jones
- Ryan McGinness
…and dozens more. These artists have contributed incredible works to the Miami art district and Wynwood Miami.
Wynwood Walls Miami
These photos are from my trip to Wynwood Walls in October 2015. The murals and art that you will see today could be vastly different from when I visited.
Wynwood Doors features even more murals painted across large garage doors in the property adjacent to Wynwood Walls.
Outside the Walls
The street art of Wynwood Walls continues beyond the structured barriers of the walls and the doors. You’ll find painted murals and street art on the walls of restaurants, cafes, and other businesses. You’ll want to walk around beyond Wynwood Walls itself to witness the amazing art “outside the walls”.
My Return to Wynwood Miami
After my initial trip to Wynwood Walls at the end of 2015, I had the opportunity to return at the end of 2016 with my sister. Some of the walls had changed and some remained the same. If you live in Miami, I’m sure that you get to witness the changing walls more slowly. For visitors to Miami, some of your beloved art might be painted over when you return. There could be stunning new graffiti pieces that capture your attention. You never know what you might see, which makes Wynwood Walls Miami a fabulous place to visit again and again.
Street Art in the Making
If you’re lucky when you visit, you might see artists at work. In November of 2016, Robyn and I witnessed a couple of pieces of art in the making. It was such a treat to watch the artists transforming a blank canvas into an incredible artistic creation.
Wynwood Walls Garden
When I returned in 2016, there was a new space called Wynwood Walls Garden. This is a large green space where people can relax and enjoy the sunshine. Of course, there’s more street art and even sculptures and other outdoor art to discover.
Visiting the Wynwood Neighborhood
I highly recommend that you stay a while in Wynwood Miami. Explore the street art of Wynwood Walls and beyond. But, it’s also a vibrant area of town with many restaurants, bars, cafes, and shops. Here are a few of my personal recommendations.
Wynwood Alley is an artisan market that’s open every weekend. You’ll find it at 2407 NW 2nd Ave. I’ve looked for Wynwood Alley hours online and they seem to vary between either 10:00am-8:00pm or 11:00am-9:00pm. If you head over to the Wynwood Alley market anytime during daylight hours, I’m sure you’ll find it. In terms of what you might find there, local artists and artisans sell everything from jewelry to t-shirts, to potted plants.
For those who love to stay caffeinated, head straight to Panther Coffee (2390 NW 2nd Ave). They source and roast some of the finest coffees in the world, including single origin coffee and coffee blends. The owners have over 30 years of combined experience in the coffee industry. Trust me, you won’t regret picking up a hot coffee or its iced counterpart.
Panther Coffee has a fabulous patio where you can enjoy your coffee with a dose of fresh air. Almost everyone at the patio seemed to have brought their dog, so it was also cute seeing all of the adorable little pups. Not in Miami? You can purchase Panther Coffee beans online so you can try it from the comfort of your own home.
Even More Street Art
I thought I had seen lots of street art outside the walls back in 2015. Robyn and I explored the Wynwood neighborhood even more and found so many murals. It’s really worth taking a wander all over the place so you can discover more and more.
How to Visit
Wynwood Walls opens at 10:30am and typically closes at 11:30pm. This means that you can visit Wynwood Walls at night. The murals are lit up in the evening, so it might be worth wandering over if you decide to have dinner or drinks in the neighborhood.
You can find the main pedestrian entrance of Wynwood Walls street art on NW 2nd Ave between NW 25th St & NW 26th St in Miami, Florida. There are many parking spots on the street (paid street parking). It is free to visit Wynwood Walls by day or night.
If you’d prefer to take a trip with a local guide to learn more about the murals and street art, consider booking a walking tour of the Wynwood Arts District. You’ll take a leisurely Wynwood art walk around the Miami Arts District, learn about the transformation of Wynwood Walls, and explore both the street art and some nearby art galleries. If you are looking for additional insight, it’s worth taking a Wynwood Miami art walk for a more in depth visit.
There are so many Wynwood Miami events happening in the region. These are always changing, so it’s best to take a look at the official events page for more details. Check to see if one of the events aligns with your trip or even plan your visit around one of the events. I’m sure you’ll looking for what to do in Miami outside of visiting Wynwood Walls. For a fantastic list of the best things to do in Miami, check out these 7 reasons to visit Miami. I’ve also stayed at two properties in Miami Beach that were right across from the Mid-Beach area and perfect for a holiday: Circa 39 Boutique Hotel and Hotel Croydon Miami.