The Top 10 Things To Do And See In Coral Gables, Miami

Photo of Sierra Brown
9 February 2017

Coral Gables is a city in Miami, Florida, developed by George Edgar Merrick during the Florida land boom of the 1920s. The city’s architecture is mostly Mediterranean Revival style. This pedestrian-friendly destination is home to about 140 dining establishments, gourmet shops, and many notable international retailers. Coral Gables offers countless things to do and see – we have selected ten of the best.

Fairchild Vista | Courtesy of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

This attraction is a 83 acres botanic garden with an extensive collections of rare tropical plants including palms, cycads, flowering trees, and vines. Fairchild opened to the public in 1938 and has since continued to preserve biodiversity. In addition, it has many roles including those of a museum, laboratory, conservation research facility, and learning center. Wings of the Tropics is the garden’s newest exhibit. Exotic butterflies from Central and South America fly freely within the Clinton Family Observatory. SInce 2003, the garden has also sponsored a series of exhibits by artists.

Price: Budget

Opening hours: 7:30am – 4:30pm (Mon – Sun)

Watch out for: the seasonal weekend festivals

Address & telephone number: 10901 Old Cutler Road Coral Gables, FL, USA +1 305-667-1651

Venetian Pool

Swimming Pool
Map View
View at a deserted swimming pool in the sunlight, Venetian Pool, Miami, Florida, USA
The Mediterranean-style Venetian Pool was built in 1923 and is fed from a spring | © Image Professionals GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo
Venetian Pool is a historic public swimming pool located in Coral Gables, Florida, completed in 1924. This beautiful pool occupies a shallow quarry displacing about 820,000 US gallons of fresh water from artesian wells, making it the largest freshwater pool in the United States. It ranges in depth from four feet to over eight feet, and features a two-foot kids pool. There’s a sunning area for sunbathers, a café area which has been used for weddings and receptions, and a walking path surrounds the whole complex. The pool’s beauty is accentuated even more by its loggias, porticos, palm trees, and a bridge.

Price: Budget

Opening hours: 11am – 5:30pm (Tue – Fri), 10am – 4:30pm (Sat – Sun)

Watch out for: the two waterfalls and cave-like grottos

345 Caffè Italiano

This Italian restaurant is popular among Coral Gables locals and visitors because it serves a great quality Italian food. They offer paninis made with traditional bread and fresh ingredients directly imported from Italy. Their crepes are a fan favorite, always carefully prepared and filled with salty or sweet treats like ham, cheese, and veggies, or fresh fruit and Nutella. Caffè Italiano serves delicious and traditional gelato that contains the right amount of protein, carbohydrates, and fat to meet your nutritional requirements.

Price: Budget

Opening hours: 10am – 10pm (Mon – Thu), 9am – 11:30pm (Fri – Sat), 11am – 10:30pm (Sun)

Watch out for: the espresso

Address & telephone number: 259 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables, FL, USA +1 305-569-7222

Matheson Hammock Park

Map View
Matheson Hammock Park is a lovely scenic park housing an unusual feature – a man-made atoll pool which is flushed naturally by the nearby Biscayne Bay. The park has an extension of 630 acres and opened in 1930.Also in that year, William J. Matheson and his son donated 85 acres of tropical hardwood hammock forest to be used and maintained as a botanical garden.This park is great for family trips, with its tranquil breeze and the full-service marina snack bar and restaurant, which are built into a historic coral rock building. Price: Budget Opening hours: sunrise – sunset Watch out for: the sailing and power boat school Address & telephone number: 9610 Old Cutler Rd, Miami, FL, USA

Miracle Mile

Shopping Mall
Map View
miracle mile
Miracle Mile | © Coral Gables BID
Miracle Mile is a less than a mile section of Coral Way between LeJeune Road and Douglas Road in Coral Gables, Florida. It’s a main road that goes through the city’s downtown central business district and consists of many shops, art, and financial institutions, and restaurants. Miracle Mile is a hot spot among travelers as well as locals who can’t resist the designer shops, live theater, house-ware shops, and bridal stores. The close proximity of these places makes this a shopping heaven, making your shopping easier and more convenient. Price: Mid-range Watch out for: the Miracle Mile events Address & telephone number: 220 Miracle Mile, Ste 234, Coral Gables, FL, USA

Coral Gables City Hall

Coral Gables City Hall is a historic site in Coral Gables, and was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1974. The hall was designed in 1927 in the Mediterranean Revival style. This three-story building was made of local limestone. It has a stuccoed exterior, tile roof, central three-stage clock tower, and a Corinthian colonnade. This is one of the city’s finest civic buildings and a focal point when entering the city, and it’s definitely a sight to see. The tower interior is decorated with a mural which depicts the four seasons.

Opening hours: 9am – 5pm (Mon – Fri)

Watch out for: the beautiful architecture

Address & telephone number: 405 Biltmore Way, Coral Gables, FL, USA +1 305-446-6800

Alhambra Water Tower

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Alhambra Water Tower is known as ‘the lighthouse that has never seen the sea.’ It was built in 1924 and used as part of the city’s water supply system until 1931. The tower was set to be demolished in 1958 but the city of Coral Gables purchased and restored it based on how it looked in 1924. The water tower consists of two separate structures. The inner steel tank was enclosed in a reinforced concrete and wood frame structure designed to resemble a lighthouse. This hid the water tank inside with an aesthetically pleasing facade. The tower still stands beautiful today, and is one of Coral Gables’ historic landmarks.

Lowe Art Museum

Museum, University
Map View
The Lowe Art Museum is committed to serving the University of Miami as a teaching resource, and the city of Miami as its major general art museum. Lowe has succeeded in its mission, receiving confirmation from ongoing supporters of the museum and its collections. The place is a free-standing museum facility opened to the public in 1952, with the gift in 1950 by philanthropists Joe and Emily Lowe. Its 17,500 object collection is one of the most important in the South-east. Lowe Art Museum features Miami’s most comprehensive collection of art and is considered a ‘Major Cultural Institution.’ Price: Budget Opening hours: 10am – 4pm (Tue – Sat), 12pm – 4pm (Sun) Watch out for: the newest wing, the Myrna and Sheldon Palley Pavilion for Contemporary Glass and Studio Arts Address & telephone number: 1301 Stanford Dr, Miami, FL, USA

Montgomery Botanical Center

This nonprofit botanic garden was established in 1959. It keeps living specimens from wild plant populations worldwide, emphasizing palms and cycads. The scientific collections are available for study in Montgomery’s 120-acre botanical garden, of exemplary design. This botanical center, originally The Montgomery Foundation, was established by Nell Montgomery Jennings in memory of her husband and his love of palms and cycads. Today, Montgomery Botanical Center advances botanical research, conserves rare species, and educates through workshops, lectures, publications, and tours of scientific plant collections.

Price: Budget

Opening hours: 7am – 3:30pm (Mon – Fri)

Watch out for: the living plant collection

Address & telephone number: 11901 Old Cutler Rd, Coral Gables, FL, USA +1 305-667-3800

Coral Gables Trolley

Visitors and locals alike can enjoy a ride on the vintage-style trolleys in Coral Gables. The best thing about these trolleys is that they’re free and provide a convenient way to travel around popular areas, such as the shopping and entertainment destinations in downtown Coral Gables. The trolleys are air-conditioned and have wide windows on all sides to give passengers a panoramic view of the city. On the trolleys, accompanied by the sounds of a vintage-style barbershop quartet, are the ‘Trolley Troupers’ dressed in period costumes.

Watch out for: the new service on Grand Avenue Loop

Address & telephone number: 4133 Le Jeune Rd, Coral Gables, FL, USA +1 305-460-5070

Trolley | Courtesy of the City of Coral Gables
Trolley | Courtesy of the City of Coral Gables

By Sierra Brown

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