Art is a powerful medium. It can express emotions, depict historical events, or capture someone’s character in a portrait. It may provide commentary on social and political issues. And, in Miami, it revitalized a neighborhood of abandoned warehouses into the lively Wynwood Arts District — a top tourist attraction and one of America’s best hipster neighborhoods.
Made up of 70 art galleries, boutique retail shops, eateries, and bars, the Wynwood Arts District has become a can’t-miss attraction when visiting the Magic City.
In fact, the Wynwood Walls — an outdoor collection of large and vibrant murals created by world-renowned street artists — is ranked the No. 3 thing to do in Miami by TripAdvisor users and the No. 4 best things to do in Miami by U.S. News & World Report.
During my Miami vacation in March 2015, I visited the Wynwood Walls with a couple friends, Greg and Carl. The guys drove down from the West Palm Beach area, stopping to pick me up at my Surfside hotel. From there, it was about a 30-minute drive to Wynwood, where we fairly easily found parking and set off the explore Miami’s street art scene.
Pro Tip: If you’ll also be driving to the Wynwood Walls, I’ve included a really helpful website to find pay-to-park lots and garages later in this post. 🙂
Walking into Wynwood Walls, we immediately passed this colorful wall painted by FUTURA, a New York City graffiti artist.
Full of pop culture icons, Ron English’s art at Wynwood Walls features a “hulk boy” and a camo deer. I love how the artist described Wynwood Walls as “Woodstock for artists” and believes that art can revitalize cities.
This Wynwood Doors artwork features a portrait of Henry Flagler, the railroad and oil tycoon who established Miami’s Overtown neighborhood for his black workers. Located 15 blocks south of the Wynwood Walls, the historic “Colored Town” thrived during the Jim Crow era but saw a decline after the 1950s due to urban renewal and construction of Miami’s highways, I-95 and the Dolphin Expressway, in the neighborhood.
The close up shot above of a mural by Cryptik showcases the LA-based artist’s use of ancient script to create works described as “trance like.” Stare at this for a moment too long and you may get dizzy!
On an 80-something-degree day, I was pleasantly surprised to find this “cool” art.
If I had to describe the artistic style of London-based Lakwena, I’d say bold, vividly colorful, and graphic. Her mural which states “I remember paradise” is located outside Wynwood Walls and was created for Art Basel, the annual contemporary and modern art show, in 2013.
Created by Sheryo, a Brooklyn-based artist originally from Singapore, in 2013, the street art pictured above features characters inspired by the cartoons she watched as child. “Miami Spraycation” is located outside Wynwood Walls, and you can find more of Sheryo’s art in the Wynwood Doors.
What To Know Before Visiting Wynwood Walls
A short drive from downtown Miami, the Wynwood neighborhood has become an artistic haven that centers around the Wynwood Walls. Old warehouse buildings have become artists’ canvases showcasing vibrantly colored murals and urban street and graffiti art. The surrounding Wynwood Arts District is home to 70 art galleries, retail shops, cafes, and bars.
Location: 2520 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33127
Hours: Monday – Thursday 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. | Friday & Saturday 10:30 a.m. – Midnight | Sunday 10:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Parking: Pay-to-park lots within a few blocks. You can find parking ahead of time here.
Cost: Free, but bring money for parking, shopping, and dining at the Wynwood Kitchen & Bar or other neighborhood breweries and eateries
Tours: Guided tours of Wynwood Walls are available. You can book the official Wynwood Walls tour with Miami’s Best Graffiti Guide. You’ll also find a variety of Wynwood neighborhood tours via Viator.
More Resources For Planning Your Visit:
- Explore the Wynwood Walls in Miami | Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau
- Wynwood Walls – things to do in Wynwood Art District | TimeOut
- Video: Tour the Wynwood Arts District in Miami | Visit Florida
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Have you been to Miami’s Wynwood Walls? Which artwork was your favorite?