“Almost everything strange washes up near Miami.” – Rick Riordan
That’s not far from the truth, especially after a quick look at the Wynwood District in Miami. What began as an outdoor museum, quickly morphed into an entire neighborhood of strange and funky street art explosion. And one of the best parts is that it is entirely FREE!
It’s no secret that the cost of living (& the cost of visiting) South Florida is not for the faint of heart. Miami, South Beach, and West Palm are all full of wealth, privilege, and celebrities. It has even been said that the name Miami stands for Money Is A Major Issue. So, to find an activity that is absolutely free is major feat.
On a work trip to Miami, I was able to spend a quick afternoon exploring Wynwood. My Instagram feed was blessed for days after my visit with all of these funky and colorful pictures!
Wynwood Walls (the outside museum) began in 2009 as an effort to revitalize Miami’s warehouse district. In an effort to bring more businesses and pedestrians to this boring neighborhood, the Walls were painted by artists from around the world.
Outside the Walls
Soon, murals began to pop up on other buildings in the Wynwood neighborhood and the term ‘Outside the Walls’ was used to explain this phenomena. The area is now full of art galleries, craft breweries, boutiques, and bars.
Aside from Wynwood’s Art District, there is also a Wynwood Fashion District where celebrities and celebrity stylists have been known to shop. This offbeat neighborhood offers chic trendy stores full of custom fabrics, designer clothing, and exclusive fashion items.
It seems there is no end in sight to the expansion of what Forbes has named one of America’s Best Hipster Neighborhoods.
Tips for Visiting Wynwood Walls
Wear Comfortable Shoes
The outdoor museum isn’t huge, but you will want to branch out and look around the neighborhood. The art Outside the Walls is every bit as impressive as the Wynwood Walls themselves. Comfortable shoes are a must, as this is a BIG neighborhood with a lot to see.
Plan to Have Lunch or Dinner
Along with thriving art and fashion scenes, Wynwood has become a culinary hot spot. There is an endless array of eateries in Wynwood that, just like their quirky neighborhood, are full of eclectic flavors. Wynwood hosts many events throughout the year and draw in food-trucks from around the city, making it’s food scene even more appetizing.
Wear ‘Cool’ Clothes and Stay Hydrated
With such beautiful backdrops, I know it’s tempting to bust out your favorite outfits no matter what they may be. However, it’s important to remember that Miami is in a tropical climate. That means it’s hot – very hot and very humid. Leave your jeans behind and opt for shorts, skirts, and tank tops. You can thank me later.
Along this same line, make sure you drink plenty of water while you’re out and about. The last Facebook post you’ll want to make on your visit to Wynwood Walls is of you in an ER due to heat exhaustion.
Bring Some Money
While entrance into Wynwood Walls is completely free, you will want a little bit of spending money to buy food, drinks, some trendy clothes or accessories, and maybe a souvenir or two. Also, you will need money for parking.
Bring a Camera
It seems like a no-brainer to bring a camera when you are visiting the most Instagrammed spot in Miami, but I made that mistake. I was on a work trip and didn’t think I would have enough free time to explore, but I was wrong. My biggest regret from this visit to Wynwood Walls was that I didn’t have my camera!
Get There Early
As the largest street art museum in the United States, Wynwood Walls attracts thousands of visitors. My visit was on a Saturday afternoon and it was extremely crowded. Everyone was trying to find an open spot on the walls to take their pictures. I even saw what looked like a professional model and photographer trying to do a fashion shoot.
However, I had driven by earlier that morning and there didn’t seem to be much of a crowd at all. The museum opens daily at 10:30. If you are wanting awesome photos without crowds in the way, I recommend arriving as soon as they open.
(It would be wrong to come here and NOT take a selfie )
I was able to spend an afternoon wandering around Wynwood, snapping pictures, and sampling some of Miami’s best food truck cuisine. It was an afternoon well spent, one that I would love to recreate in the future.