Things to Do in Coral Gables, Florida

Things to Do in Coral Gables, Florida

Coral Gables, Florida, often referred to as "The City Beautiful," lives up to its nickname with its stunning Mediterranean Revival architecture, lush green avenues, and vibrant cultural scene. Situated southwest of Downtown Miami, this enchanting city offers a plethora of activities and sites for residents and visitors alike. Whether you're a lover of the arts, an avid shopper, a history buff, or someone who appreciates the great outdoors, Coral Gables has something special for you. Here’s a comprehensive guide to the best things to do in Coral Gables.

Historical Exploration at the Coral Gables Museum

Begin your adventure at the Coral Gables Museum, highlighting the city’s rich history and architectural heritage. Located in the old Coral Gables Police and Fire Station, this museum offers fascinating exhibits on the city's development and its founder, George Merrick. The museum's walking tours, lectures, and special events provide deeper insights into the vibrant history and cultural nuances of Coral Gables.

Stroll through the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

For nature enthusiasts, the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is a must-visit. This 83-acre botanic garden is home to a vast collection of rare tropical plants, including palms, cycads, flowering trees, and vines. Enjoy guided tours, tram tours, or simply meander through the lush paths on your own. The garden also hosts annual events like the International Mango Festival and the Orchid Festival, which are delightful for visitors of all ages.

Experience the Venetian Pool

Take a refreshing dip in the historic Venetian Pool, an 820,000-gallon pool carved out of a coral rock quarry. This unique swimming pool, fed with spring water from an underground aquifer, features waterfalls, grottos, and a scenic bridge. Originally opened in 1924, it is the only pool listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a perfect spot to cool down on a hot Florida day.

Shop and Dine at Miracle Mile

Miracle Mile is the heartbeat of Coral Gables' shopping and dining scene. This stretch is renowned for its boutiques, bridal stores, and specialty shops that offer everything from bespoke menswear to contemporary art. Dining options are just as diverse, featuring local and international cuisines. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite or a fine dining experience, Miracle Mile has you covered. Don't miss out on the street's frequent art and cultural festivals, which add an extra layer of charm to the area.

Delight in the Arts at the Actors’ Playhouse

For a touch of drama and entertainment, head to the Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre. This historic theater hosts a variety of performances, ranging from musicals and comedies to children’s productions. With its rich programming and intimate setting, the theater provides an excellent evening out for those who appreciate the performing arts.

Explore the University of Miami

The University of Miami offers more than just educational opportunities; it's a hub of cultural and recreational activities. Visit the Lowe Art Museum, which features a permanent collection of Renaissance and Baroque artworks, American and Native American art, and modern pieces. The university's lush campus is also ideal for a leisurely walk or an invigorating jog.

Golf at the Riviera Country Club

Golf enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to the Riviera Country Club, known for its challenging course and immaculate greens. Nestled in the heart of Coral Gables, this private golf club has been a local favorite since 1926. While the club is members-only, attending an event or being invited by a member can offer non-members a glimpse of this prestigious venue.

Attend a Festival

Coral Gables is host to numerous festivals and events throughout the year that showcase the city's dynamic culture and community spirit. The Coral Gables Art Festival, one of the largest outdoor art festivals in Florida, attracts artists and visitors from around the world. Additionally, the Coral Gables Food Wine & Spirits Festival offers an opportunity to taste a variety of dishes and drinks from renowned local chefs and international wineries.

Visit the Biltmore Hotel

No visit to Coral Gables would be complete without seeing the iconic Biltmore Hotel. This historic hotel exudes 1920s grandeur with its classic Italian, Moorish, and Spanish architectural influences. Tour the beautiful grounds, enjoy a meal at one of its acclaimed restaurants, or indulge in a Sunday brunch that is simply out of this world. The hotel also offers a luxurious spa and a renowned golf course.

Conclude with a Walk in Matheson Hammock Park

Finally, unwind at Matheson Hammock Park, a waterfront oasis with a man-made atoll pool, which is flushed naturally by the tidal action of nearby Biscayne Bay. The park's breezy trails, picnic areas, and marina make it an ideal spot for families and individuals looking to relax amidst nature.

From its historical landmarks and lush gardens to its vibrant cultural scene and outdoor activities, Coral Gables offers a rich and varied experience that caters to all interests and ages. Whether you're visiting for a day or planning an extended stay, this guide to Coral Gables' top attractions ensures you'll have plenty to explore and enjoy in this picturesque city.

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*Header photo courtesy of flickr | Daniel X. O'Neil

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