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Coral Gables Travel Guide

"The City Beautiful"

Glenn Lindgren: Coming to Miami but you don't want to spend all of your time at the beach?

Jorge Castillo: Get away from all of the hustle and bustle of South Beach in Coral Gables.

Glenn Lindgren: Coral Gables in an oasis of beautiful tree-lined streets, historic homes, a historic hotel and three golf courses in the middle of a large metropolis.


Raúl Musibay: We always take visitors for a drive through Coral Gables. After the craziness of Bird Road, they are amazed at how peaceful this neighborhood is.

Glenn Lindgren: The City of Coral Gables was created by developer George Merrick in 1925. His dream was to create a planned community with both residential and commercial areas.

Jorge Castillo: Believe it or not, Coral Gables actually sits on some of the highest ground in Miami. There are actually a few areas where you can almost imagine a hill!

Treelined Avenue
Shady Street

Jorge Castillo: There is a French City Village, French Country Village, Normandy Village, Dutch South African Village, Italian Village, and so on. Check out the Chinese Village at the 5100 block of Riviera Drive.

Glenn Lindgren: Just look for the wall with the bamboo and the houses with the blue tile roofs.


Raúl Musibay: One of my favorite areas is the Church of the Little Flower Historic District. It's between Valencia Avenue, Palermo Avenue, Palos Street, and Indian Mound Trail.

Jorge Castillo: Don't forget the Columbus Plaza -- Coral Way at Columbus Blvd. and Indian Mound Trail.

Staircase Element
A decorative staircase railing in the main lobby of the Biltmore Hotel.
Glenn Lindgren: The section of Coral Way (including the Coral Way Entrance) between LeJeune Road and Red Road is very pretty. You can find George Merrick's House at 907 Coral Way.
Raúl Musibay: There is so much to see, you should really pick up a guide book. Check out the Official Coral Gables website for complete details.

Glenn Lindgren: In addition to the historic Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables features the Omni Colonnade Hotel and the Hyatt Regency Coral Gables. These are world-class hotels, not for the budget traveler.

Jorge Castillo: Even if you don't stay there, make sure you stop for an informal tour of the Biltmore. The architecture here is stunning. The hotel's Giralda tower is a replica of the Giralda Tower in the Cathedral of Seville, Spain. And they also have the world's largest hotel pool and a great golf course.

Biltmore Hotel
Raúl Musibay: Don't miss the nearby Venetian Pool. Even if you don't want to swim, stop in and tour the facility. Very historic.

Jorge Castillo: Coral Gables has many high-class, formal restaurants. Even 3 Guys From Miami like to get dressed up now and then and really enjoy a gourmet dinner.

Glenn Lindgren: Like to shop?

Jorge Castillo: And who doesn't?

Raúl Musibay: I don't. I'd rather be fishing!

Glenn Lindgren: Well for you shoppers, there is the famous Miracle Mile shopping district, a beautiful tree-lined boulevard of shopping. Many small shops offer something for everyone in your group.

Jorge Castillo: There are also many nice restaurants along Miracle Mile and the side streets. You'll find many European-style outdoor cafes, always a great way to enjoy a warm Miami evening.

Raúl Musibay: Coral Gables is a good starting point for many side trips. From Coral Gables you are adjacent to Bird Road -- where you will find many of the restaurants and bakeries that we recommend.

Red Cadillac

Jorge Castillo: We have frequently recommended a run through Coral Gables to out of town visitors looking for a nice shady place to jog.

Glenn It's also a great place to walk -- very peaceful.

Glenn on the staircase
Raul poolside
Glenn Lindgren: What attracts everyone to Coral Gables is the beautiful houses and the variety of architectural styles that went into their design. The Spanish style of architecture is the most common. However, Merrick also created Coral Gables Villages, which have various international themes.

Jorge Castillo: Coral Gables is known for the many formal entrances to the city. The Coral Way Entrance, Douglas Entrance, Granada entrance and so on. Each has distinctive architectural and landscaping features.

Glenn Lindgren: Other highlights of your Coral Gables tour include the Alhambra Plaza, and the Alhambra Water Tower at the intersection of Alhambra Circle, Greenway Drive, DeSoto Blvd. and Anderson Road.

Jorge Castillo: If you get tired of looking at all of the great houses, Coral Gables also has a great 83-acre tropical garden.

Glenn Lindgren: The Fairchild Tropical Gardens is a great place to enjoy native plants.

Raúl Musibay: You will see many plants that we had in Cuba.

Rain forest bridge
Palm trees

Jorge Castillo: You can take a walk on trails that take you around eleven scenic lakes

Raúl Musibay: You'll see many plants, a rain forest, flowers, and fruits.

Jorge Castillo: They also have some beautiful orchids here.

Glenn Lindgren: Finally, take advantage of the many cultural and entertainment venues that Coral Gables has to offer.

Coral Gables: Sights/Shopping

This four-star hotel features stunning architecture and an imposing tower that is a replica of the Giralda Tower in the Cathedral of Seville in Spain. Featuring the world's largest hotel pool, it is surrounded by the renowned Biltmore Golf Course, a championship course designed by Donald Ross. The Biltmore once was the playground for the rich and famous, with guests such as Bing Crosby, Ginger Rogers, and Judy Garland.

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor stayed here, as did gangster Al Capone. You are welcome to tour the hotel lobby, interior courtyard, and grounds. The Biltmore is a relaxing place for lunch by the pool or come for the popular Sunday brunch, a lavish spread of gourmet delights.

Biltmore Coral Gables Hotel

LENGTH OF VISIT: Allow one hour, more if you plan to eat here.

PRICES: (Restaurant) Expensive

The Details

This is the home of developer George Merrick's father. A beautiful example of early Coral Gables architecture, the well preserved home looks much as it did in the 1920s. There is a 45-minute tour of the house on Wednesdays and Sundays.

HOURS: Wednesdays & Sundays ONLY: 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.

ADMISSION/FEES: Adults: $5.00 | Seniors/Students/Group tour rate: $3.00 | Children (6-12): $1.00 | Children (5-under): Free

LENGTH OF VISIT: Allow one hour.

Alhambra Water Tower

This tower, now empty, remains an area landmark with its copper-ribbed dome and imposing stone façade.

Located at the intersection of Alhambra Circle, Greenway Drive, DeSoto Boulevard, and Anderson Road.

Coral Gables Merrick House

First opened to the public in 1938, Robert H. Montgomery created the Gardens in honor of his friend David Fairchild, a world-renowned botanist. The Gardens encompass more than 83 acres of land located just off the Old Cutler Road in Coral Gables. Fairchild holds several festivals during the year, including the widely attended International Orchid Festival and the International Mango Festival.

Fairchild Tropical Gardens

HOURS: Daily, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. | Closed Christmas | Tram tours: Hourly

ADMISSION/FEES: Adults $15.00 | $12 Senior citizens 65 and older | Children 12 and under free

Note: The first Wednesday of each month is Contribution Day, when visitors set their own admission fee.

LENGTH OF VISIT: Allow two to four hours.

More Information: HERE

Coral Gables: Sights/Shopping

Continued on Next Page

Biltmore Coral Gables Hotel
1200 Anastasia Avenue
Coral Gables, FL 33134
Coral Gables Merrick House
907 Coral Way
Coral Gables, FL 33134
Fairchild Tropical Gardens
10901 Old Cutler Road
Coral Gables, FL 33156

There's More! Read On:

Coral Gables Page 1 | Coral Gables Page 2 | Coral Gables Page 3 | Coral Gables Page 4

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