By  Mike Miller  Updated December 22, 2022

Coral Gables, Florida Things To Do, Lodging, Dining, & Real Estate At End Of Article

Coral Gables is a beautiful city in the Miami Metro area, located about eight miles southwest of downtown Miami. Locals refer to their town as "The Gables".

Vintage Postcard of Coral Gables Venetian PoolVintage Postcard of Coral Gables Venetian Pool


The city was developed by George Merrick during the Florida land boom of the 1920s.  

He had inherited citrus groves from his father, and in 1922 began to develop the acreage into the City of Coral Gables.  

Merrick was a writer and poet among many other interesting accomplishments.

One of his poems describes what he planned to accomplish with his new city:

"I dream of the home of the Fairies and Fays, 
on the isles of the calm southern sky, 
Of the fanciful turrets and towers ablaze 
In the flood of the rays from on high..."

The Gables was one of the first planned communities in America. It has strict architectural and zoning regulations. 

The city's architecture is almost entirely Mediterranean Revival Style.

By 1926, the city covered 10,000 acres and had brought in over $150 million in sales with over $100 million spent on development.

Biltmore Hotel, Coral GablesBiltmore Hotel, Coral Gables

The centerpiece of the community was the massive Biltmore Hotel

It still stands as an upscale luxury hotel in the heart of the Miami Metro area, and is a large part of the ambiance of Coral Gables.

Merrick designed the downtown commercial district to be only four blocks wide and more than two miles long. The main artery bisected the business district.

He was proud to say that every business in town was less than a two-block walk.

The city used to have an old electric trolley system, and today it has a modern trolley bus that runs down Ponce de León Boulevard.

Merrick donated 240 acres for the University of Miami. The university is just west of U.S. Highway 1 about 2 miles south of downtown.

The great hurricanes of the late 1920's and the Great Depression ruined Merrick financially, but he lived long enough to see most of his dream come true. 

Coral Gables Venetian PoolCoral Gables Venetian Pool


Today Coral Gables has a population of about 50,000.

It is a pedestrian-friendly community with many upscale retailers and restaurants along Coral Way, also known as the "Miracle Mile".

Coral Gables Miracle MileCoral Gables Miracle Mile

The photograph above is in the heart of the downtown area near Miracle Mile and Ponce de Leon Boulevard.

The neighborhood along Miracle Mile in Coral Gables has about 140 restaurants, and many famous stores including Nordstrom's.

The town is located only 4 miles south of Miami International Airport.

It is one of the most beautiful towns in Florida. Among its beautiful and historic landmarks are the Venetian Pool, Douglas Entrance, the Biltmore Hotel and hundreds of fine residences.

Coral Gables Lodging

There are many places to stay in The Gables and the surrounding area. Here is one of the most historic and one of the best.  

  • Biltmore, 1200 Anastasia Avenue. Tel: 305-445-8066 Ext. 4306. This is a fantastic historic hotel originally built by George Merrick and lovingly restored a few years ago. It includes a golf course, restaurants, spas, tennis courts, and is a place you should try at least once.


  • Venetian Pool
    2701 De Soto Blvd, Coral Gables, FL 33134 | (305) 460-5306

    Owned by the City, this public pool is on the National Registry of Historic Places. It is a spring fed swimming pool that used to be the coral quarry used to build much of Coral Gables.

    The pool also offers a sandy beach area and a shallow pool for children. Whether you're looking to swim, sunbathe, or explore, the Venetian Pool is a must-visit.
Coral Gables Venetian PoolCoral Gables Venetian Pool
  • University of Miami
    1320 S Dixie Hwy, Coral Gables, FL 33146 | (305) 284-2211

    Just visit the campus and look at the beautiful buildings and landscaping. It was an original gift from developer George Merrick. Enjoy watching the Miami Hurricanes play football.

  • Douglas Entrance
    800 Douglas Rd, Miami, FL 33134 | (305) 444-1941

    The Douglas Entrance, located at the junction of Douglas Road and Tamiami Trail in Coral Gables, Florida, is a historic site designed by architect Phineas Paist and completed in 1924.

    Listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, this picturesque property now serves as an office building. Its exterior resembles a charming Spanish-walled city complete with a bell tower.

    Inside, visitors can enjoy the signature promenade, lush landscaping, private courtyards, mature trees, and stunning fountains. It also features a lavish staircase and a restored event space with vaulted ceilings, making it a unique and elegant location.

  • Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
    10901 Old Cutler Rd, Coral Gables, FL 33156 | (305) 667-1651

    Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is a lush oasis of exotic plants and beautiful landscapes. We enjoy the walking paths that wind through various themed gardens, from tropical rainforests to desert environments.

    Visitors like the butterfly garden and the many rare and unique plant species. The garden hosts numerous events, including art exhibits, plant sales, and educational programs. It's a great place to learn about botany and conservation.

    The serene environment makes it a wonderful spot for a peaceful stroll or a family outing. Fairchild Garden is a favorite for nature lovers and those looking to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. 

  • Coral Gables Museum
    285 Aragon Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33134 | (305) 603-8067

    The Coral Gables Museum offers a fascinating look into the history and development of Coral Gables. We enjoy the diverse exhibits that cover everything from architecture to urban planning. Visitors like the guided tours and the engaging educational programs.

    The museum is housed in a beautifully restored historic building, The Coral Gables Police and Fire Station, adding to its charm. It was a WPA project designed by architect Phineas Paist and completed in 1939.

    It's a great place to learn about the vision of city founder George Merrick and the unique features of Coral Gables. The museum also hosts special events and art exhibits, making each visit unique. It's a must-see for history buffs and anyone interested in local culture. 

  • Miracle Mile
    Coral Way, Coral Gables, FL 33134

    Miracle Mile is a vibrant shopping and dining district in the heart of Coral Gables on Coral Way between LeJeune Road and Douglas Road. We enjoy the variety of boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants that line this picturesque street.

    Visitors like the lively atmosphere and the outdoor seating areas perfect for people-watching. The area is great for a leisurely stroll or a night out with friends. With its blend of high-end shops and casual eateries, there's something for everyone.

    The beautiful tree-lined street and historic architecture add to the charm. Whether you're shopping, dining, or just exploring, Miracle Mile is a favorite destination. 

  • Matheson Hammock Park & Marina
    9610 Old Cutler Rd, Coral Gables, FL 33156 | (305) 665-5475

    Matheson Hammock Park is a beautiful waterfront park offering a variety of outdoor activities. We enjoy the scenic walking trails and the calm, man-made atoll pool. Visitors like the picnic areas, marina, and the stunning views of Biscayne Bay.

    The park is perfect for a family outing, a picnic, or a day of relaxation. The on-site restaurant, Noma Beach at Red Fish, provides delicious dining with a view. It was featured on the Cooking Channel and awarded one of the 100 Best Al Fresco Dining Restaurants in the Nation in 2016.

    The park's natural beauty and range of amenities make it a favorite spot for locals and tourists. Whether you're swimming, hiking, or just enjoying the scenery, Matheson Hammock Park is a wonderful destination. 

  • Lowe Art Museum
    1301 Stanford Dr, Coral Gables, FL 33146 | (305) 284-3535

    The Lowe Art Museum, located on the University of Miami campus, is a treasure trove of artistic works. We enjoy the diverse collection that includes everything from ancient artifacts to contemporary art.

    Visitors like the well-curated exhibits and the rotating special exhibitions. The museum offers educational programs and workshops that engage visitors of all ages. It's a great place to explore different cultures and artistic styles.

    The museum's peaceful setting and beautiful galleries make it a perfect spot for a cultural outing. Whether you're an art enthusiast or just curious, the Lowe Art Museum is a must-visit. 

  • Books & Books
    265 Aragon Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33134 | (305) 442-4408

    Books & Books is a beloved independent bookstore with a cozy atmosphere and fantastic selection. We enjoy browsing the shelves filled with a wide range of titles, from bestsellers to rare finds.

    Visitors like the frequent author events and book signings that make it a hub for literary enthusiasts. The on-site café offers delicious coffee and snacks, perfect for enjoying a good book.

    The store's inviting atmosphere and knowledgeable staff make it a favorite spot for book lovers. Whether you're looking for a new read or just a relaxing place to hang out, Books & Books is a wonderful destination. 

  • Coral Gables Art Cinema
    260 Aragon Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33134 | (786) 472-2249

    The Coral Gables Art Cinema is a fantastic place to catch independent and international films. We enjoy the diverse selection of movies that you won't find in typical theaters. Visitors like the intimate setting and the high-quality projection and sound. 

    The cinema often hosts special events, including filmmaker Q&A sessions and themed screenings. It's a great place to experience film in a more personal and engaging way. The friendly staff and comfortable seating add to the enjoyment.

    Whether you're a film buff or just looking for a unique movie experience, Coral Gables Art Cinema is a must-visit.

  • Phillips Park
    90 Menores Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33134 | (305) 460-5600

    Phillips Park is a lovely community park perfect for outdoor activities and relaxation. We enjoy the well-maintained playgrounds and sports facilities, including tennis and basketball courts.

    Visitors like the open green spaces and picnic areas ideal for family gatherings. The park also has a community center that hosts various programs and events. It's a great place to bring kids, play sports, or simply unwind.

    The friendly atmosphere and convenient location make it a popular spot for locals. Whether you're playing, picnicking, or just relaxing, Phillips Park is a wonderful place to spend time outdoors.


If you are on I-95, Exit 1-B, follow SW 3rd Avenue that becomes SW 22nd Street that becomes Coral Way. Follow it into the heart of town.

If you are on SR-826, take the LeJeune Road exit. Go south to Miracle Mile (Coral Way).


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