You don’t need to know how to play the game to experience the magic of Domino Park!
Nobody may know exactly when the first domino game was played in Maximo Gomez Park, but its rich history and continued cultural significance to all of the residents of Little Havana have made it one of the most emblematic places in Miami. Maximo Gomez Park, better known as Domino Park, is located at the corner of 8th Street (Calle Ocho to the locals) and 15th Avenue in Little Havana. The area surrounding this Cuban-American touchstone is a variety of attractions from the Tower Theater to the ever popular Azucar Ice Cream Company (or the Sugar Spot). Both bring a little bit of contemporary flair to the area that is surrounded by a variety of stores and restaurants all dating back to the 1970’s.
Maximo Gomez Park is more than a park!
Named after a revolutionary who fought against the Spanish in Cuba in the early 1900’s, the park continues to be an enduring symbol for the Cuban community in Miami, reflecting not only the culture of their island but their identity as Cuban-Americans. This is especially true for the older local gentlemen, who have mastered the game over the years and gather in the park not only to play, but to share with their friends (and the multitude of tourists who visit) the memories and stories of the island that they left behind. But don’t let this sentiment fool you – they play a mean game of dominoes too!
Domino Park is a meeting place for generations!
It may seem like just a free park, open to the public daily from 9AM – 6PM, where older men play dominoes. But these friends are a family with whom they will share their morning coffee along with their worries and deepest fears to their hopes and greatest of joys! It encapsulates the true heartbeat of Little Havana and the undying Cuban culture that makes the Magic City sing.
Words cannot describe the simple magic of Domino Park – it must be felt (not seen) to be believed! If you plan on experiencing it for yourself, make sure you book a stay with us at Hilton Miami Downtown. We’re conveniently located less than five miles away from all of your Little Havana adventures with our friendly staff always on hand to point you toward other places you won’t want to miss!
Photo Credit: GMCVB