Visiting Coral Gables, Florida
Visiting Coral Gables, Florida
If you're planning on visiting South Florida you may choose to look on the internet for information on Miami or South Beach, two of the most popular destinations on the net in South Florida. You will then find hundreds of websites giving you information on where to stay and what to do. It will be a bit over whelming and confusing if you choose just to visit Miami. Why? Because Miami has so many different areas, so many cultures, and so many things to do.
Miami is an incredible city to visit. You just have to plan it well in order to get all of Miami. You have so many beautiful areas that if you miss just one, you may miss the beauty and history of our great city. Some great areas to visit if you come to Florida are South Beach, Miami Beach, Key Biscayne, Downtown/Brickell area, South Miami, and most of all Coral Gables.
Coral Gables is known as "The City Beautiful" because it is just that beautiful. So full of history and Mediterranean Revival Style architectural features, its green lush avenues and landscapes.
Coral Gables is situated in the center of Miami about four miles from Miami International Airport. It is approximately 37 square miles and the citys' population is around 42,800 people. This is the home of the University of Miami. Among it's famous landmarks are the Biltmore Hotel, The University of Miami, Venetial Pool, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, the DeSoto Fountain and the new Coral Gables Museum.
There are several luxury hotels you can stay at if you decide to visit. By far the most historical and elegant of the hotels in Coral Gables is the Biltmore Hotel, it is a National Historic Landmark built back in 1926. They have fine dining, golf courses, tennis courts, spas, and the country's largest hotel pool with private cabanas. You can also stay at the Westin Colonnade in the heart of Downtown Coral Gables. This beautiful hotel is surrounded by shops, dining and close by you will find the Coral Gables Museum. Along Ponce De Leon, the street where the Colonnade is located, you have a complimentary trolley that can take you around the city.
Other places to visit in Coral Gables are:
- De Soto Fountain: A historic landmark and fountain near Venetian Pool which is named for the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto.
- Venetian Pool: A beautiful historic pool created in the 1920's out of coral rock quarry. It has a waterfall and caves to swim through. Also on property is a sandy beach area for the kids to play.
- Coral Gables Merrick House and Garden Museum: This is the childhood home of George Merrick, founder of the City of Coral Gables. The home is filled with personal items, furniture and art work belonging to the Merrick family.
- Alhambra Water Tower, built in 1924, is known as the "lighthouse" which has never seen the sea.
- Actor's Playhouse Theatre: This theatre is located on Miracle Mile in Downtown, Coral Gables and has live performances, it is a great stop for the kids.
- Lowe Art Museum: Located at the University of Miami, it features art exhibits, portrait paintings and sculptures.
- Coral Gables Museum: This museum was recently opened to the public in 2011 and has a variety of exhibits and educational programs.
- Coral Gables Congregational Church: Located across the street from the Biltmore Hotel and is Coral Gables first church and is known for their beautiful weddings.
- Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden: This garden was designed back in the 1930's and has approximately 83 acres of tropical plants, palm trees, vines, fruit trees, birds and butterflies.
- Matheson Hammock Park: This park has 600 acres of nature trails, hardwood trees, a man-made island pool and a wonderful unforgetable view of Biscayne Bay.
In Coral Gables you can also find great restaurants for any budget. If you want to splurge, The Biltmore Hotel serves a Sunday brunch which includes shellfish, carved meats, fresh omelettes, pastas, and desserts.
For restaurants with sit down service you'll find: John Martin's Irish Pub, Havana Harry's Cuban and Latin American food, Ruth Chris Steak House for seafood and steak, Ortanique on the Mile for Caribbean food, Canton Chinese Restaurant, Benihana and Randazzo's Italian Restaurant.
On or near Miracle Mile you will also find a Starbucks, Denny's, California Pizza, Subway, Burger King, Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream, Chicken Kitchen, Einstein Bros. Bagels, Pollo Tropical and a Publix supermarket that has a large deli which serves hot food, subs, and salads.
There are also plenty of places to shop around downtown Coral Gables including: Bridal and wedding shops, shoe stores, jewelers, book stores such as Book and Books, Barnes and Noble, and malls such as The Village of Merrick Park.
If you'd like to venture out to the beaches or other attractions, there are plenty of taxi services available in downtown Coral Gables.