Mediterranean-style parks, buildings and fountains may make you think you’re in another country. Discover an area that’s unique in many ways.
While visiting Coral Gables, notice the Southern European influence in the city’s features and architecture. Drive down streets lined with massive banyan trees, in particular, Coral Way. Enjoy outdoor shopping and dining in exclusive Merrick Park or Giralda Plaza, a pedestrian-only street.
Development of Coral Gables began in 1925. The city is the creation of entrepreneur George Merrick, who had the vision that it would become a cultural center. Visit the Venetian Pool designed by Merrick. Although it has no sand, this is one of the world’s most fascinating swimming areas. Spring-fed waters create a tropical oasis, whose design was inspired by the lagoons of Venice. For exercise and adventures on water, head to Matheson Hammock Park, where there’s a beach that’s great for kitesurfing.
Consider staying at The Biltmore, a hotel that instantly provides a feeling of grandeur. Its popularity among visiting celebrities and dignitaries is not surprising.
Golfers are attracted to the hotel’s course for its beauty and affordability. The Biltmore Golf Course has a minimum number of water hazards and, unlike many of Florida’s courses, houses don’t crowd its fairways.
The city is designed for walkers, with the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden a highlight. Walk among tropical plants, through a rain forest display and around lakes in this 83-acre (34-hectare) natural preserve.
Coral Gables is also an educational center. The University of Miami located here has an amazing selection of museums, galleries and theaters for students and visitors. The Actors’ Playhouse at The Miracle Theater is renowned for its variety of performances and the Visitors Center houses the Coral Gables Museum that was once the location of the city’s police and fire stations. Stop at one more museum, Coral Gables Merrick House, which was the home of the city’s original developer.
Ride for free on the electric Freebee vehicles or vintage Coral Gables Trolley that travels through the downtown core and links with Miami’s rapid transit system. Finding something to do in Coral Gables is not difficult, as the city appeals to a wide variety of tastes and budgets.