The City Beautiful
According to the City of Coral Gables official website, its founders imagined both a "City Beautiful" and a "Garden City," with lush green avenues winding through a residential city, punctuated by civic landmarks and embellished with detailed and playful architectural features. Known as The City Beautiful, Coral Gables stands out as a planned community that blends color, details, and the Mediterranean Revival architectural style.
From its inception, Coral Gables was designed to be an international City, and is now home to more than 20 consulates and foreign government offices and more than 140 multinational corporations. As early as 1925, City Founder George Merrick predicted Coral Gables would serve as "a gateway to Latin America." To further establish international ties, the City has forged relationships with six Sister Cities: Aix-en Provence, France; Cartagena, Colombia; Granada, Spain; La Antigua, Guatemala; Province of Pisa, Italy; and Quito, Ecuador (emeritus).
Coral Gables, The City Beautiful, stands out as a rare pearl in South Florida. It is a cohesive community built on a grand scale that blends color, detail, and the Mediterranean Revival architectural style to create harmony with the environment. Early city planners and visionaries were influenced by the aesthetics of the City Beautiful Movement that swept across America in the early 1900s. Inspired by the works of landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead, who designed New York's Central Park, The City Beautiful Movement encouraged the use of wide tree-lined avenues, monumental buildings, winding roadways, green space, ornate plazas, and fountains. All these elements of style have been and continue to be incorporated throughout the City.
The City continues to promote a Mediterranean architectural aesthetic by offering incentives for buildings designed in this style, paying tribute to George Merrick's initial designs that were largely based on the Andalusia area of Spain. Many properties in the City are on the National Register of Historic Places, and more than 1,000 properties are on the Coral Gables Register of Historic Places. In addition, the Biltmore Hotel is a designated National Historic Landmark.
Coral Gables is a major employment center, with almost as many people working in the City as living there. The Coral Gables economy is comprised of local and international businesses, but unlike other parts of Florida, it is not influenced as strongly by seasonal shifts. The City is especially desirable to businesses because of its proximity to Miami International Airport, the Port of Miami, and downtown Miami, while also being convenient for executive housing. In addition, a vintage style trolley connects many of the commercial districts, Grand Avenue and the Metrorail. The City has a strong offering of banking, investment institutions, health care, and professional services, as well as being the international headquarters for Bacardi and Del Monte Fresh Produce. The University of Miami is also located in Coral Gables, and is the City's largest employer.
Coral Gables attracts national and regional retailers along with an abundance of boutiques and retail shops. Miracle Mile is the center of a true downtown district, and is internationally known as the place for every bride to shop for all her wedding needs. For more information, visit www.shopcoralgables.com. The Village of Merrick park is a 780,000 square foot mixed-use retail, residential and office project anchored by Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, and has more than 100 other select retailers including Tiffany & Co., Burberry, Coach and Gucci. www.villageofmerrickpark.com.
The Coral Gables hospitality industry is positioned to support the high-end leisure and corporate traveler, and also has many prominent restaurants boasting more than 100 cafes and restaurants.
The City supports a new museum and art cinema on Aragon Avenue, across from the renowned independent bookstore, Books & Books. In addition to this cultural center, Coral Gables has the distinction of having four live theaters, as well as many fine art galleries. The 230 acre+ campus of the University of Miami also provides the community with access to lectures and performances, as well as an art cinema and the Lowe Art Museum. Visitors and residents also enjoy Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, as well as festivals and performances held throughout the year including the Tropical Baroque Festival and Beaux Art Festival. Coral Gables is one of the few cities in the area to offer a grant program supporting local non-profit cultural programming as well as a Public Art program, encouraging the investment in public art to enhance the community. The City also conducts a Farmers Market each spring in front of City Hall.
UM, a research university lead by Dr. Julio Frenk, is ranked 50th among the nations top-tier institutions in the U.S. News & World Report ratings of "America's Best Colleges." Also located within the City is Northwestern University's prestigious Kellogg School of Management Executive MBA Program. Coral Gables' lower schools offer strong academic and international programs including an international baccalaureate program at Coral Gables Senior High and at Gulliver Preparatory School. Coral Gables Preparatory Academy was awarded the Elementary Blue Ribbon School of Excellence Award by the U.S. Department of Education. The City also houses the first international public-private partnership in the nation with the Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the City of Coral Gables, and the Spanish, Italian, and French education ministries which joined together to open the International Studies Preparatory Academy dedicated to international studies.
In addition to exciting college sports available to attend, such as the UM Hurricanes football, baseball and basketball games, the City offers 22 parks with seven active playgrounds as well as 33 public tennis courts. There are two public and two private golf courses, as well as hiking and bike paths, the Matheson Hammock Park and Marina, and the Venetian Pool, which was named by Travel & Leisure magazine amon the top "World's Coolest Pool."
The City provides excellent municipal services, including an accredited Police Department, as well as a Class 1 Fire Department and a Class 1 Building Division. In addition, Coral Gables has been named a Tree City USA for the last 31 consecutive years by the National Arbor Foundation, and selected as a Playful City USA for eight years in a row by the non-profit organization KaBOOM!
Excellent municipal services, high quality of life, convenient access, responsible growth and a diversified economy make Coral Gables a highly desirable place to live, work and play. For more information, click here for an electronic brochure.
What to do in Coral Gables
|The Venetian Pool
The Venetian Pool is truly a unique aquatic facility unlike any other in the Country. The Pool has been enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world. It was created in 1923 from a coral rock quarry. The most distinguishing feature of the pool is the 820,000 gallons that is fed by spring water from an underground aquifer. There are two waterfalls that provide fun and a scenic background and the caves and grottos provide a fun experience for swimmers. The Venetian Pool's beauty is accentuated with its loggias, porticos, palm trees and signature bridge. It truly is an experience you will never forget! It is located at 2701 de Soto Blvd., Coral Gables, FL 33134. For more information, call 305-460-5306.
|Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
The Garden is an 83-acre natural preserve on the edge of Coral Gables that offers something for everyone. There are guided walking tours, tram tours, and special seasonal events. The botanical garden's winding paths provide magnificent views of exotic plants, tropical flowers and fruits, flowering vines, palms, and oaks. The hidden trails wind around 11 lakes, rain forest displays, wild undergrowth, ferns and orchids. Located at 10901 Old Cutler Road, Phone: 305-667-1651. For directions, click here.
Experience the Granada or Biltmore golf courses, the perfect spots for players looking for a relaxing round of golf amid beautiful scenery.
The City operates the Granada Golf Course, the oldest 9-hole course in Florida. Generous fairways, newly remodeled greens, minimal bunkering and no water hazards make Granada accessible to golfers of all abilities. Located in the heart of Coral Gables, Granada is surrounded by some of the most historic homes in the City. It is located at 2001 Granada Boulevard. For more information, call 305-460-5367. For directions, click here.
|The Biltmore Golf Course is a rare golf course because it is both challenging for the experienced golfer and playable for the novice. It is well-run and maintained, and above all, affordable. It has the historic Biltmore Hotel as its backdrop, and unlike most Florida golf courses, the Biltmore is not overrun with water and houses. Water comes into play on only 6 holes - just enough to keep you on your toes. The few homes that line the perimeter of the course are some of the most beautiful in the City. The Biltmore Golf Course is at 1210 Anastasia Ave. For more information, call: 305-460-5364. For directions, click here.
|Matheson Hammock Park
Known worldwide for its beautiful flora and fauna, this 600-acre park has attracted nature-lovers and boaters for years. Matheson Hammock has a new, well-marked 45-minute nature trail where you will encounter many species of native vegetation and wildlife. Walk through the hammock to enjoy 15 native hardwood trees such as the Gumbo Limbo, Jamaica Dogwood, West Indian cherry, Stoppers, Live Oak, Wild Coffee and a wide variety of flowering shrubs and vines. You will also see squirrels, gray Everglades foxes, opossums, skunks, and colorful butterflies. A man-made island pool, flushed naturally by the tidal action of nearby Biscayne Bay, features warm, safe waters. A nearby restaurant is built into a historic coral rock building and offers beautiful waterside views. Amenities include a full-service marina, a snack bar, picnic pavilions and nature trails. The park is located at 9601 Old Cutler Road. For more information, call 305-665-5475. For directions, click here.
|Coral Gables Merrick House
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this house stands as a tribute to the history of South Florida. The Merrick House was the home of Reverend Solomon G. Merrick, his wife Althea and their six children. The Merricks' oldest son, George, founded and developed the City of Coral Gables. An example of early Coral Gables architecture, the house exists much as it did in the 1920s and is operated as a museum. It is filled with the Merrick family's artwork, photographs, furniture, and personal treasures. The Merrick House is located at 907 Coral Way. For more information, call: 305-460-5361. For directions, click here.
|Lowe Art Museum
Located on the University of Miami campus, the Lowe Art Museum's 12,000-plus freestanding objects, including: Greco-Roman Antiquities; the Kress Collection of Italian Renaissance and Baroque Art; 17th-20th century Art of the Americas and Europe; Asian, African and pre-Columbian art. The collections span 5,000 years and represent the best of Western and non-Western art, from classical to the contemporary. The pieces are rotated among large and intimate gallery spaces. The Lowe Art Museum is located at 1301 Stanford Dr. For more information call: 305-284-3535. For directions, click here.
|Fine Art Galleries
Coral Gables is an art lover's paradise. Known as one of South Florida's premier centers for the arts, the City is home to dozens of art galleries. On Gables Gallery Nights, a favorite event among locals, more than 4,000 people walk or ride the trolleys to downtown Coral Gables to admire works by local, national, and international artists. For a list of Coral Gables galleries, click here.
|All Aboard the Trolley
Visitors can ride the vintage-style trolleys a free and convenient way to move around 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 sight
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Updated: 22nd May, 2019 6:27 AM.