Coconut Grove vs South Beach: Which Miami Neighborhood is Better?

Two of Miami’s older and more established neighborhoods are Coconut Grove and South Beach, which make them both very desirable. They both offer an incredible quality of life, especially for those who want to be close to the sea. But they are also very different Miami neighborhoods. So how can you know which neighborhood is right for you? Will the lush fauna and laid-back vibe of Coconut Grove and its family friendly atmosphere suit you? Or is being able to ride your bike to the beach (or better, walk) on your list? Here, we’ll compare Coconut Grove vs South Beach to give all the inside information so you can make the best decision.

Although both neighborhoods have had their share of history and fame, and have earned great reputations among tourists, living in them also has its perks. They share some similarities in walkability, art fairs, and waterfront activities, but the truth is each neighborhood has its unique charm and character. Let’s break down how Coconut Grove and South Beach compare to one another for those considering making either of them their home.



— Lifestyle: Coconut Grove vs South Beach

Coconut Grove is older than South Beach and older than the city of Miami itself. This historical neighborhood boasts a rich history and laid-back Caribbean lifestyle, surrounded by natural beauty, with direct access to Biscayne Bay. Coconut Grove has always appealed to artists and those who love to live outside the box, and now is home to many architects, developers, and design-related professionals. The Grove also attracts boating and sailing aficionados who want to enjoy a lifestyle of fun in the sun on the bay, and the several marinas here.

Coconut Grove, FL -- MarinaCoconut Grove, FL -- Marina

Coconut Grove Marina - FL


Majestic tropical trees line the shady streets with species ranging from banyans to grand poincianas. There’s also a lush display of flora and fauna featuring plenty of exotic birds like wild macaws, and quaker and Amazon parrots that have escaped the pet trade and set up colonies in the canopy. And living in “The Grove” means sharing your streets, driveways, and roofs with friendly, wild peacocks that roam the neighborhood (and your rooftop).

Sobe (Miami Beach) FL -- Ocean Drive
Ocean Drive - South Beach, FL


South Beach, on the other hand, was founded in the early 1900s and is one of Miami’s most colorful and lively neighborhoods, famed for its distinctive Art Deco architecture, boutique hotels, VIP party lifestyle, and of course, its stunning, sandy beaches. A haven for tourists from around the world, many celebrities and VIPs from around the globe have purchased vacation homes in some of South Beach’s most exclusive and glamorous neighborhoods, such as Fisher Island, the Venetian Islands, and
South of Fifth or SoFi, as the locals call it.

Both neighborhoods are relaxed and cater to a shorts-and-flip flops lifestyle that’s blended with a healthy dose of wellness and fitness. In both neighborhoods, you’ll see many people running, biking, exercising, doing yoga, and living la pura vida.



— Business: Coconut Grove vs South Beach 

Both Coconut Grove and South Beach are ideal settings for small businesses offering professional services such as attorneys, doctors, architects, or real estate agents, as well as major hotels. There are also retail boutiques and unique restaurants, as well as art galleries, fitness centers, yoga studios, spas, and health food stores.

Coconut Grove, FL -- Miracle Mile
Miracle Mile - Coconut Grove


Coconut Grove is a cozy neighborhood where residents walk their dogs or ride their bikes under the shady canopy and patronize the small businesses in the area. Adjacent to the
University of Miami in Coral Gables, The Grove is home to UM faculty and students alike, with plenty of excellent venues catering to college students.


Shopping on South Beach (Miami), FL
Shopping on South Beach


Meanwhile, as South Beach is more touristy, you’ll find big-name stores all along the open-air mall at Lincoln Road, as well as supermarkets, a Macy’s, Target, and the sort. In addition to this, there are many restaurants and nightclubs, as well as an array of day spas and beauty salons. Some of Miami’s most well-known hotels come with internationally known restaurants, glamorous bars, nightclubs, and specialty spas. 

Finally, there are also co-working spaces in each neighborhood, like Buro.



— Walkability and Transportation: Coconut Grove vs South Beach 

Both neighborhoods win in this category. Coconut Grove and South Beach have always been characterized by a highly walkable lifestyle, even when public transportation in Miami had not reached the level that it has today. In a city where few areas have allowed residents to enjoy living car-free, these two neighborhoods are a pedestrian paradise.

Miami Metro Mover
Metromover - a free public transportation system


The Grove is served by both the Metrorail and the free Metromover, as well as the free Coconut Grove Trolley. Several buses also connect Coconut Grove to other areas of Miami. Within the Grove, a bicycle will get you pretty much anywhere you need to go and if you don’t own one, you can also rent with the Citi Bike.

Biking on South Beach
Biking on South Beach


In South Beach, there are a lot of options for getting around the beach itself, such as the Free Trolley, several local buses, and Citi Bike stations, and everything in the neighborhood is within walking or cycling distance of most homes. The Miami Beach Airport Express (150) bus runs every half hour and provides service from 5:15 a.m. to 8:45 p.m. There are also plans to extend Metromover service to South Beach in the near future.

Looking to live car-free?
Don’t miss our article on other Miami neighborhoods where you can live without a car.


Parks and Greenspace: Coconut Grove vs South Beach

Coconut Grove offers access to a wide variety of out-in-nature experiences, including shaded streets that are ideal for walking, greenspaces such as Kennedy Park and Peacock Park, where you can enjoy outdoor sports like volleyball or flag football, and direct bay access where you can launch your boat, and sail, or rent a boat and enjoy a relaxed bay cruise. Other sports such as kayaking, paddleboarding, and snorkeling are also available.

Family playing in the park


There are also
excellent (public and private) golf courses and shady areas where dogs can enjoy being off-leash, and historic sites such as the beautiful Vizcaya Museum and Gardens and Barnacle Historic State Park provide unforgettable outdoor experiences that combine history, architecture, green space, and local culture.

In comparison, South Beach is all about beachfront living, with direct access to the Atlantic Ocean and beach parks such as South Pointe Park, where the ocean meets the bay. You can also try fishing, kayaking, and jet skiing, as well as swimming at various waterfront locations.


Miami Beach
Lifeguard station on South Beach


Flamingo Park has a great public pool as well as tennis, soccer, handball, and basketball courts, and Lummus Park features areas for skateboarding, rollerblading, and kids’ playgrounds, as well as direct ocean beach access. Finally, there’s also a public golf course.

Again, both neighborhoods have incredible outdoor spaces and foster an indoor-outdoor lifestyle. You can’t lose living in either one. It’s really a question of whether you prefer a lot of lush greenness or you’re a blue water and sand-in-your-toes kind of person. Hard call, we know.



— Arts and Culture: Coconut Grove vs South Beach

Both Coconut Grove and South Beach provide plenty to enjoy if you love arts and culture. Both neighborhoods feature great street fairs and local galleries, and while Coconut Grove is home to the lavish Vizcaya Museum, an architectural wonder that features a collection of amazing antiques surrounded by European-style gardens and a natural mangrove forest, South Beach is home to the edgy Bass Museum of Art, where regularly updated contemporary exhibits feature work by international visionaries and experimental creators, in addition to select Baroque and Renaissance pieces from the Museum’s permanent collection.

Coconut Grove, FL -- Vizcaya Museum
Vizcaya Museum - Coconut Grove


Art fairs and cultural festivals abound in both neighborhoods, including the Grove’s popular King Mango Strut, Goombay Festival, Coconut Grove Arts Festival, and The Coconut Grove Food & Wine Festival. On the other hand, South Beach wins for being the host of the annual
Art Basel Art Fair – an international art fête at the Convention Center for the world’s top collectors, Design/ Miami, The Food Network’s South Beach Wine and Food Festival, Fashion Week Miami, which features the latest in beachwear, and several fitness events and music festivals that happen several times a year.


Art Basel


Besides, South Beach is also home to
Oolite Arts, which hosts an array of subsidized artist studios that are open to the public and the Florida International University Wolfsonian Museum and Library. Finally, South Beach’s long-running Winter Antiques Mall on Lincoln Road has been a favorite for decades.



— Eating and Shopping: Coconut Grove vs South Beach

South Beach excels in both eating and shopping experiences, but Coconut Grove can also hold its own. The sheer number of tourists that visit South Beach each year means that you’ll have an endless variety of dining options year-round, including a couple of Michel-starred restaurants like Stubborn Seed and The Den. For a more relaxed environment, try the happy hour on the bay at The Standard Hotel.

The Den at Azabu Miami Beach, South Beach
Photo courtesy of The Den at Azabu Miami Beach


Besides being packed with restaurants and nightclubs, South Beach also has eclectic and brand-name shopping along the Lincoln Road promenade and around, including an Apple store, Macy’s, Anthropologie, Zara, and H&M, among many others. On 5th Street, you’ll find Target, TJ Maxx, Ross, and other big box stores.

Rendering of Cocowalk - shopping center in Coconut Grove
Cocowalk in Coconut Grove


The Grove, on the other hand, is known for its laid-back, outdoor cafes, sports bars, and boutiques, as well as the popular CocoWalk, with an array of food, retail, and entertainment.  Eateries range from upscale restaurants like Ariete or Los Félix to exotic Indian fare at Bombay Darbar.



— Schools: Coconut Grove vs South Beach

Coconut Grove is a densely residential area, with many single-family homes, and boasts having some of the best public and private schools in Miami-Dade County, including private Ransom Everglades High School, Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart, Saint Hugh, Saint Stephen’s, Coconut Grove Montessori, the Vanguard School, and Immaculata-LaSalle High School. Public schools in The Grove include Coconut Grove Elementary, Frances S. Tucker Elementary Magnet School, and George Washington Carver Elementary and Middle Schools.

South Beach, on the other hand, has many condos, vacation rentals, and hotels, and as such, has fewer schools. It is served by South Pointe and Fienberg Fisher Elementary Schools, Nautilus Middle School, Miami Beach Sr. High, and private schools such as St. Patrick’s and the Hebrew Academy.

 

For a list of Miami’s top-ranked private schools, see our blog here.


— Architecture and Housing Options: Coconut Grove vs South Beach 

Coconut Grove is a gorgeous mix of old and new, with high-rise and boutique condos, beach bungalows, spacious single-family homes in old Florida cottage style or new modern styles, as well as gated communities featuring waterfront mansions. For families looking for single-family homes, Coconut Grove is your best option.


Art Deco - South Beach (Miami), FL

South Beach also mixes colorful Art Deco architecture dating back to the 1930’s with glamorous new constructions. Luxurious condo living is what you’ll find in South Beach, with many options ranging from ultra-luxury high-rises (like the newest Ritz Carlton residences in South Beach) to boutique low-rises, lofts, and renovated art deco delights. While single-family homes are less abundant than in the Grove, you can find multi-million dollar options on the Venetian Islands, Sunset Islands, and dotted here and there.

View available condo options in South Beach and Coconut Grove.


— Cost of Living: Coconut Grove vs South Beach

Both neighborhoods cater to higher-end buyers and those seeking luxury waterfront properties. Average listings in Coconut Grove range around $1,750,000 million or $789 per square foot and can run as high as $20,000,000 or $3,107 per square foot. South Beach listings average about $750,000 or $504 per square foot, but luxury properties may list for as much as $54,500,000 or $22,959 per square foot. Still, affordable options, as well as single-family homes, can be found in both neighborhoods.



— Which Neighborhood is Better? Coconut Grove or South Beach?

This really depends on you and what kind of lifestyle you prefer, as the two neighborhoods are vastly different in their pace of life. Coconut Grove is much more laid-back than South Beach and is anchored by its community feel of full-time residents. If you want to be on the water, enjoying a family-friendly residential lifestyle surrounded by gorgeous trees, while having access to all the perks of living in a big city, such as restaurants, bars, and great shopping, Coconut Grove can check off all of your needs.

But if you’re a beachgoer who likes to mix a high-low lifestyle with endless options, from riding your beach cruiser in flip-flops to partying like a rockstar shoulder-to-shoulder with a celebrity or two, or going to yoga on the beach and then dining at some of the country’s most exclusive restaurants, South Beach may just be perfect for you.

If you’re still on the fence and would like to know more about other neighborhoods, check out these comparisons to find your match

ARE WE FRIENDS ON SOCIAL MEDIA?
📣 Connect with us on InstagramTikTok and YouTube📣



No matter which one you choose,
Coconut Grove or South Beach, or any other for that matter, our expert local team can help you figure out which neighborhood is truly ideal for you. Give us a call or email us for more information on the perks and benefits of each location, and let us show you our many available properties in both Coconut Grove and South Beach. We’re here to help you choose your dream home in Miami!

Contact Us
Sep Niakan
Broker / Team Lead
(305) 697-7667
sep@blackbookproperties.com
Request Info
By sending you agree to CondoBlackBook's Terms of Use

Your Miami Condo Awaits

Recent Posts

All the Bay Harbor Islands Pre-construction Condo Projects You Need to Know About
Real Estate News All the Bay Harbor Islands Pre-construction Condo Projects You Need to Know About
The once sleepy bayfront town of Bay Harbor Islands, sandwiched between Miami Beach and mainland Miami, is undergoing a renaissance. This small neighborhood has recently come alive with a flurry of new construction activity, as old 1950s buildings, past their prime, are bought and cleared for new, boutique, waterfront condos. Clean, quiet, and pristine, this almost forgotten piece of Miami real estate had stood unnoticed for way too long, considering the building boom of the early 2000s skipped over this part of town. With new zoning rules in place and a prime waterfront location, Bay Harbor Islands’ pre-construction projects rival even those from South Beach, offering extra-large floor plans, the quiet luxury of boutique living, and private marinas with ocean access, often at better price points than Miami Beach. Given the recent surge in demand for luxury housing and scarcity of workable waterfront parcels, several big developers are drawn to the area, as South Florida becomes the...
June 2024: Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach Pre-Construction Condo News Update
Preconstruction June 2024: Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach Pre-Construction Condo News Update
South Florida’s pre-construction condo market was abuzz with activity this June. One Hollywood Residences launched sales after a design upgrade and rebranding. Lynd Living started taking reservations for the centrally located Aileron Residences in Dania Beach. And buyers can now tour the exquisite interiors and customizations available at Icon Beach’s new sales gallery. Also this month, the highly anticipated Entourage in the Sun broke ground in Pompano Beach, Selene Oceanfront topped off in Fort Lauderdale Beach, and more news in our complete June 2024 pre-construction condo market round-up for Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach. Read on below. Sales Launched One Hollywood Residences – Hollywood Taking Reservations Aileron Residences – Dania Beach New Sales Gallery Icon Beach Residences – Hollywood Beach Topped Off Selene Oceanfront – Fort Lauderdale Beach Broke Ground Entourage in the Sun – Pompano Beach Planned/Proposed Oculina – Riviera...
The 5 Most Luxurious Condo Buildings in Edgewater, Miami
Real Estate News The 5 Most Luxurious Condo Buildings in Edgewater, Miami
Surrounded by the eight-acre Margaret Pace Park, Edgewater is one of Miami’s favorite neighborhoods if you want to be close to everything, including the water. The previously low-key area has emerged as one of the most desired locations for luxurious, waterfront living in Miami, with some of the most elegant and sought-after new condo developments on Biscayne Bay. Now, to know which are the best condos in Edgewater, Miami, we are ranking the top five most luxurious buildings in this family-friendly neighborhood to give you an idea of the quality of life, level of design and construction, and price point you can expect if you’re looking at a tranquil, yet high-end, bayfront residence in Miami’s best kept secret neighborhood. First, let’s take a look at the neighborhood itself. This article was last updated on Jul. 17, 2024.   — Why Choose Edgewater, Miami? It is one of the hottest Miami neighborhoods right now for several reasons: It’s close to everything. Living in...
The Future of Downtown Miami: Exclusive Interview with Miami DDA's Christina Crespi
Lifestyle The Future of Downtown Miami: Exclusive Interview with Miami DDA's Christina Crespi
At Blackbook Properties, we are passionate about our city’s growth and love to stay on top of what’s happening next in Miami, so we can keep you updated on future Downtown Miami developments. This time, we visited the Miami DDA (Downtown Development Authority) for an exclusive interview with our friend and CEO Christina Crespi to gain insights on all the behind-the-scenes action that’s making Downtown Miami the most thrilling live-work-play-invest destination of the future. Grab a coffee or tea and listen to what she had to say to our very own Sep Niakan, Miami realtor and founding broker of Blackbook Properties!     You’ll discover in our new video interview how the Miami DDA—Miami Downtown Development Authority—was initially focused solely on this core neighborhood’s economic development. However, in recent years, it has evolved into a community development authority that aims to create a great quality of life for its residents and maintain a positive business environment. Plus...
The 5 Most Luxurious Condos in Surfside, Miami
Real Estate News The 5 Most Luxurious Condos in Surfside, Miami
Surfside is a small seaside community immediately north of Miami Beach and just south of Bal Harbour. It’s a tight-knit community that cherishes its ocean-front living options, beach walks, community center, and overall quality of life.  In our years of experience as a boutique brokerage in South Florida, we’ve seen a growing luxurious side to this beach town that has brought us top-tier residences tucked inside some of the most sought-after oceanfront buildings. In this blog, we’ve ranked the top five most luxurious condos in Surfside, Miami, according to their average listing price and we list all their amenities to help you know this coastal community better This article was updated on July 1, 2024. — Why Choose to Live in Surfside? This family-oriented beach town is perfectly positioned between the glamorous Bal Harbour and world-famous Miami Beach. A pocket-sized neighborhood, Surfside is somewhat of an extension of Bal Harbour and is favored by those looking for a mix of...
All of the Ritz-Carlton Residences in Miami, Miami Beach and More
Real Estate News All of the Ritz-Carlton Residences in Miami, Miami Beach and More
One of the most renowned brands within the hospitality industry, The Ritz-Carlton has a long history of being top of mind when it comes to sophistication, attention to detail, and service. They have made it their mission to stand out with these attributes in their hotels and their residence-only condos, The Ritz-Carlton Residences, are no different. When you own in one of these exclusive enclaves, you can expect a living experience and home with the utmost quality, personalized attention, lifestyle enhancements, and unique moments that make your life a luxurious and curated experience. If this sounds like your way of living, you’re in luck because South Florida, with its amazing landscapes, culture, and weather, has five Ritz-Carlton Residences for you to choose from, with two more in pre-construction development—one in Pompano Beach and one in South Beach.  In this blog, we’ll go through all of these incredible properties so you can learn more about what makes each one of them...