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People's Guide to Coconut Grove With Manuel Morales

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Manuel Morales via Twitter/Alice Wainright Park via @mad19

The People's Guide is Curbed Miami's tour of neighborhoods led by our most loyal readers, favorite bloggers, and other luminaries of our choosing. Today, we welcome Coconut Grove resident and police commander Manuel Morales, the man keeping Grove residents and frequenters safe.

Tell us something we don't know about Coconut Grove:

Morales: In 2015, the grove was the safest neighborhood in the City of Miami with the highest overall crime reduction and the fewest reported crimes.

Hidden gem:

Wainwright Park - Tucked away in the north grove very close to Vizcaya, it offers breathtaking views of the bay and it's usually not very crowded. I suggest you ride a bike there because there is not a lot of parking. That's the way we like it.

Favorite pizza joint:

Harry's pizzeria - the new kid on the block is tough to beat.

Best overall restaurant:

Green Street - Can't beat the weekend brunch.

Best park:

Kennedy Park - This is a great open space along Bayshore Drive with plenty of room for residents and visitors to engage in outdoor activities. Plus, it has a rubberized walking trail - easy on the joints.

One thing you wish you could change or is in need of change:

I would like to see a Grove trolley that would help us to cut down on vehicular traffic.

What differentiates the Grove from the rest of Miami?

It's a great place to raise a family because it is safe, beautiful, and close to everything with a classic Miami feel.

Is it a good place for kids?

The Grove is great for kids. I am not only fortunate enough to be the Grove police commander, but I am also a Grovite. As a father of four boys, I know they enjoy the open spaces. I like the accessibility to great dining options and the abundance of family friendly events.

What is the biggest change in the Grove over the last few years?

The rebound of our Grove Business Improvement District - the Grove is alive with new businesses, crowds of shoppers and families enjoying our great restaurants and unbeatable atmosphere.

Favorite annual event:

The Coconut Grove Arts Festival is a world-renowned event that offers the best in art and entertainment.

Will Coconut Grove repeat as Curbed Cup champion in 2016?

Are you seriously asking? Of course, in 2016 the Grove will only get better!