8 Tips for Visiting Wynwood in Miami, Florida

June 24, 2019

Miami’s Wynwood Art District is arguably one of the most iconic neighborhoods in Miami. Filled with art and local eateries, Wynwood is full of culture and life. I’ve been to Wynwood Walls and the Wynwood Art District several times and am now sharing my mistakes what I’ve learned with you!

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GO EARLY

When the official Wynwood Walls was unveiled in 2009, Wynwood was still synonymous with being a relatively shady, unsafe neighborhood in Miami. Even when I initially visited in late 2015, I was warned by locals not to stay too far after dark in the area. I returned to Miami in early 2017, and again in spring 2019. Every time I return, it’s amazing to see just how much more the neighborhood has developed and grown in a short amount of time. As a result of Wynwood’s increased exposure and popularity, it is much safer than when I initially went. Due to this, if you want to get that perfect shot against the walls, you’ll need to go as early in the day as possible to avoid crowds. I recommend going on a weekday vs. a weekend, if possible.

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NO EXPECTATIONS

What keeps me coming back is that the walls are constantly changing. Coming only a year and a half apart, half of the walls I saw on my first visit had been painted over with something new. You’ll likely never have two visits that are exactly the same. With that being said, don’t come expecting to hunt down a set of specific walls you saw on Instagram. While yes, several have been around for years, certain walls change more quickly than other. Between my second and third trips, a wall I photographed {left} was painted over to the mural on the right. If you’d like a feel for the walls currently in the area, I recommend looking under the most recent images on the Wynwood Walls Instagram geotag.

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COME TO WYNWOOD WITH AN EMPTY STOMACH

The cafés, restaurants, and bars in Wynwood are known for their artsy feel and cultural flair. For a night out with your friends, Wynwood really can’t be beat. Have a casual bite at Coyo Taco, or a sit down meal at one of my personal favorites, Joey’s Italian Café. Joey’s was actually the first restaurant to open in the Wynwood Arts District back in 2008! Wynwood Kitchen and Bar is a Wynwood Walls staple – an open air restaurant that allows you to dine within the gates of the official walls. The restaurant itself has its own 20 foot art installations by various muralists. It opens up to a piece by world renowned muralist, Shepard Fairey aka Obey the Giant. I’m a huge Shepard Fairey fan myself, and this mural is what initially got me into his work! It remains one of my favorites. Despite being a chain, the Joe and the Juice on 2nd Ave is one of the cutest spots on the whole block. It also has some fantastic juices and smoothies!

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WEAR SOLID COLORS

I wholeheartedly believe that the best color to wear at Wynwood Walls {if you don’t want to do five outfit changes}, is white. This way, you know your outfit won’t clash with the walls you want to shoot at. Any bright color will also do to help you stand out against the walls!

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EXPLORE OUTSIDE

Wynwood Walls technically refers to the gated set of walls located at 2520 NW 2nd Ave, however the art expands way past that! Wandering up and down 2nd Ave as well as the surrounding side streets will open your eyes to some really amazing installations. For the true art aficionado, Wynwood is also full of unique art galleries to explore as well. The mural below on the left is by famed artist Alec Monopoly, but is located a few blocks outside of the official Wynwood Walls.

HOW TO GET THERE

As public transportation in Miami is nonexistent scarce, driving or Ubering is really your best option. Street parking in Wynwood is $1.50/hour from 7am-2am, seven days a week, with a $10 limit. During special events, it goes up to $5/hour. It’s also very limited. You’ll need the PayByPhone app to park on the street. If you’re going to Wynwood during peak hours, expect to park several blocks away as your chances of parking nearby will be slim. Out of driving or Ubering, I would recommend Ubering or taking a Lyft to avoid the hassle of parking. Wynwood is close to Miami’s downtown area, and is a reasonably priced ride from South Beach.

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TIPS FOR PHOTOS IN WYNWOOD

Wynwood wouldn’t have become as Instagram-iconic as it is without having some amazing photo opps! If you’re posing in front of the Instagrammable walls, keep these things in mind:

  • The neighborhood gets very little shade. If you visit on a sunny day, you will have a lot of direct, harsh light in your images. Avoid noon and early afternooon, especially. I recommend morning golden hour for the best photos without the crowds.
  • Stand away from the wall. This will help prevent strange shadows, and help to keep you in focus.
  • Bring a wide angle lens. As the outside walls are relatively squeezed in there, having even my 18-35mm lens meant that my photographer had to stand halfway in the street to get the shot. iPhones are underrated when it comes to shooting in Wynwood. The lens of an iPhone 7 or 8 is equivalent to a 28mm lens while the lens of an iPhone X or XS is equivalent to 26mm. If you don’t have a wide angle lens, shooting on an iPhone is a great alternative for casual photography at Wynwood. I oftentimes take advantage of the panoramic camera feature while I’m there!
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WYNWOOD TOURS

Like any popular destination, Wynwood is full of tours. While tours typically really aren’t my thing, I do think that Wynwood has some particularly interesting ones. Visit TripAdvisor or Expedia to read reviews on several of the most popular tours. Wynwood Art Walk is one of the leading tour services. Their Golf Cart tour and Wynwood Street Art and Gallery Tour both offer a great overview of the Wynwood neighborhood. For those of age, they also offer a Wynwood Brewery and Art tour.

xx,
E

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