When you think of tourism in Miami, South Beach and Coconut Grove come to mind, but there’s more to that story. A new tour gives guests a new take on Miami history. We put on our walking shoes, and got a street-level view of the historic neighborhood of Overtown.

As one of Miami’s oldest neighborhoods, Overtown has become a center for African-American culture in South Florida.

Thanks to a new walking tour, visitors and locals can experience some of that rich history.

Lance Durham, Cultural Heritage Alliance Tours: “We specialize in cultural heritage tours, communities that are often overlooked, like Overtown.”

CHAT Tours wants to keep the story of Overtown alive.

Lance Durham: “This city was built by African-American labor and Afro-Bahamians, from the beginning of Miami’s roots back in 1896. This community would play a huge role in the labor force.”

After meeting at Art Africa Miami, the tour heads to the historic Lyric Theater.

Lance Durham: “This place closed in the ’60s, but it went out with a bang. We’re talking Aretha Franklin, B.B. King, James Brown. The lyric theater dates back to 1913. This was the centerpiece on Second Avenue. This area was often known as ‘The Harlem of the South.’

The tour also visits the homes of some important Overtown residents.

Lance Durham: “This was the former home of Dana Albert Dorsey, the first self-made black millionaire in Miami. Some say of the South.”

Stops include the the Mount Zion Baptist Church and the Overtown Performing Arts Center.

Lance Durham: “They have a culinary program for the youth here.”

Visitors can also see some of the new development in the area.

After working up an appetite, it’s off to Lil GreenHouse Grill, for a taste of the South.

Nicole Gates, Lil GreenHouse Grill: “The culture of soul food is housed right here in Lil GreenHouse Grill. The music, the tempo, the vibe, and then chef Bryan then brings that delicious food.”

Guests get their fill of great food and history.

Julia Gessner, customer: “I didn’t realize there were so many historically important buildings down here, and how much renovation has gone on. I was really positively impressed with that.”

Deanne Connelly, customer: “Loved it. There were interesting places I didn’t know were here, and I’m a local. I’ve been here 30 years.”

So if you’re hungry for a little culture, this tour is the talk of the town.

Cultural Heritage Alliance Tours South Florida
990 Biscayne Boulevard Way
Miami, FL 33132

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