17 and a Half Reasons to go to Wynwood, Miami (Like you need any)

Miami highlights - street art


Wynwood is the street art district of Miami and possibly the most colourful neighbourhood in the world. I had heard about it from some other crew members and first went there about two years ago. Since I finally figured out how to get there without a car or reliable access to the internet (and therefore Uber), I go there every chance I get. If you’re the type of person who stops to appreciate street art no matter where in the world you are (i.e. if you have a soul), Wynwood is a must-see for you.

If you need more convincing, here’s a couple of reasons why you should go:


Wynwood Art District entrance

1. It’s easy and inexpensive to go there from Downtown
I like ‘free’ a lot. If you take the Miami Trolly on the Biscayne route to Midtown it won't cost you a cent. Get off as soon as it turns left (I can’t remember the street name). Then walk over the train tracks and in a South Westerly direction. If the street art gets better as you go, you’re going the right way! Apparently, there’s another complementary trolley that you can take when you get there that does a route through Wynwood. I just prefer to walk.

Wynwood Graffiti
Getting closer

2. The Wynwood Walls
This is the title of the outdoor art gallery, the area where you will find the official curated street art. (Also free!) This is why you came. Various artists from around the world have been carefully selected to create and exhibit their work here. 

Street art Wynwood

Outdoor art gallery

Plastic flamingo and street art


Lion streetart
Can anyone spot the South African artist? - Faith XLVII


Just beyond the Wynwood Walls, you will find the Wynwood Doors:


And then there’s the 'Wynwood Whatever'. (Okay, that’s what I call it.)



3. You can take a free art tour
Just outside the main entrance, you can arrange for a free art tour so that someone can explain the significance of the official murals to you. They leave approximately every thirty minutes or so. (I only discovered that right before I had to leave the last time, so I haven’t actually done it yet, but it’s on my list. And the guy who works there seems nice.)



4. The Galleries
After perusing the murals, you can walk into one of the local galleries and drop a small fortune to take some of it home with you, obviously in smaller more portable variations of what you’ve seen outside. (It’s not that I wasn’t tempted, it just helps if you actually have a home.)




5. Then there’s the less official street art
As you walk the neighbourhood, everything is covered in art, so much so that as you drive away (or ride the bus away), the buildings start to look embarrassingly naked. While the official walls are curated, the backroads seem more like a free for all, and in some cases, you discover some incredible masterpieces: 




streetart wynwood


Rats - streetart

If you’re a creative who thinks no one appreciates your work, just remember that this piece is in a fancy gallery a few blocks north of Wynwood in the Design District:


And, this is on some Wynwood backroad somewhere: 

Eye streetart Miami
(Yeah, I could cry too.)


6. There’s also good old fashioned graffiti





(If you’re into that sort of thing, anyway. I’m not. Tagging is to me like selfish street art. Paint your face, not your name!)

7. And some creepy relief sculpture-type street art (if you happen to stumble upon it)

Baby street art - Wynwood


8. When you’re done being disturbed by traffic light poles, you can look down and be inspired by the pavement:

Pavement art

When you walk around Wynwood, looking down equates to looking up. While some graphics adorn the ground (mostly stencilled)… 

Wynwood pavement

Wynwood pavement

Wynwood pavement
(Okay, some of it's disturbing too)

…you’ll also see a lot of inspirational quotes:

Wynwood pavement

Wynwood pavement

Wynwood pavement

And some poetry:

Wynwood pavement


If you have visited any major city in the US you may be familiar with this one: 

Wynwood pavement
Left half = Wynwood 2016, Right half = Boston 2017

When I spotted it in Boston last year I googled it. 

It’s hard to tell from this picture, but the “Art” is always in a different colour. The artist goes by the name “Uncutt Art” and the “423” apparently comes from Proverbs 4:23, “Protect your heart for it is the wellspring of life.” That’s all I know because I haven’t done the art tour yet.

If you see it in your travels let me know. 


9. You can challenge yourself to try to spot something that hasn’t been vandalised/decorated. (If there’s a difference?) 
Which will be hard, as here, people will put art on pretty much everything and anything: 

Street art
Yes, that cement mixer was also rotating - #Art

10. It’s a great place to go “Slapping” 
Yes, people, I made my own amateur attempt at vandalism.  (#imsogangsta) I was very careful not to cover up any stickers with my own out of respect for other bloggers, business owners and artists, but when I went back a few weeks later, people had stuck their stickers over mine. Jerks! It’s like these people who go around defacing public property have no integrity! 



11. You can add a love lock to this grate thing 
There is no river running through Wynwood so I’m not entirely sure where you throw the key, but good job, whoever’s idea that was!


12. You can go on a scavenger/motif hunt
If people usually tag you in every social media post that features a certain thing (i.e. unicorns or flamingos, hypothetically speaking (not)…and thanks), search for images of it:





I’m sure Rodrigo is the inspiration for all of this art and it has nothing to do with the fact that flamingos are a thing in Florida.



13. It’s a great place to watch very serious amateur wannabe supermodels/social media influencers pose for photoshoots 
I would assume that Wynwood’s probably the most Instagrammed place in Miami (second possibly to South Beach). 






14. Or you could join them 
Because what good is art if not to be a backdrop for your latest profile picture? 



…And the one before that? 
#guilty





15. You could also try and copy the art itself:






16. You can buy stuff there too 
There are boutiques filled with all things eco-friendly and 'bespoke' (#bespokeismymoist), as well as restaurants and cafes filled with all things 'craft' and 'artisanal'. 


And, even though I never get to go there at night because I live on a ship that sails at 4:00pm, there are also night clubs where you can party with whatever term we are now using for hipsters. 

17. You can watch it evolve
Wynwood is always changing, so it’s worth repeat visits.




17.5. And when you’re done not spending money on transport or art tours, you can blow a lot of it on an overpriced milkshake that you can drink out of a unicorn. 
What? Yes! That is really a thing at an Asian restaurant called 1 800 lucky. I didn’t actually have one because the one time that I went there in the afternoon, I didn’t realise you got to keep the unicorn the milkshake came in! That was before I joined the ship and now that I only have time to go there in the mornings, it’s not open. (It opens at noon.) It may be overpriced, but it's a small price to pay for magic. 



If you want more ideas about stuff to do in Midtown or the whole of Miami read these:


And if you want to read a story about the time a guy in Cuba showed me his penis read this:

(My mother loves this story)


37 cruises down, 15 more to go
Average step count per day in Wynwood according to my phone: 17625 


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Sharon Waugh

Sharon is a writer, cruise ship entertainment host and freelance unicorn wrangler, living it up on the high seas. She also likes to photograph a plastic lawn flamingo in exotic locations because it seemed like a good idea 10 years ago and 53 countries later, it’s probably too late to turn back now.

 Sharon greatly dislikes reading “travel blogs” by people who are just rephrasing press releases or composing lists like “15 ways to travel the world for cheap”, specifically formulated for SEO, with absolutely no evidence that the writer has ever left their bedroom. (This is not one of those blogs.) Sharon also dislikes bigotry and referring to herself in first person, apparently.

To find out more about Sharon and Rodrigo’s travel aspirations read this.

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