Dubbed “The City Beautiful”, Coral Gables is a city located southwest of Downtown Miami, known for its old-world charm, affluent feel, and meticulously planned city grid. First incorporated in 1925, The Gables owes much of its character to George Merrick, who first developed the area as a way to attract wealthy northerners to South Florida. In doing so, Merrick was insistent upon executing a very specific vision: he mandated the use of Mediterranean Revival architecture to imbue the city with a royal, elevated feel, and implemented strict zoning and planning rules to offer residents easy access to local businesses, no matter where they lived.
Today, Merrick’s thoroughly planned paradise still carries that same appeal, with 20th century Spanish architecture, winding canals, low-lying canopies, impeccably manicured landscapes and limestone-carved street signs reinforcing The Gables’ worldly atmosphere of quiet serenity.
And as you might expect, it’s prompted the development of some the wealthiest neighborhoods in all the United States, with communities such as Hammock Oaks, Tahiti Beach and Cocoplum headlining the roster with an array of waterfront mega-mansions. More modest – yet still relatively pricey – accommodations lie closer to the city’s center, with a mix of single-family homes and luxe downtown condos and high-rises offering a more modern, urban twist on The Gables lifestyle.
And within that lifestyle exists a rich tapestry of cultural landmarks and outdoor wonders, headlined by the historic Biltmore Hotel, the 83-acre Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, and the Venetian Pool—the largest freshwater pool in the US. The Gables is also home to a number of outdoor shopping promenades like Giralda Plaza and Merrick Park, each rife with boutiques, art galleries and restaurants. And no mention of “shopping” is complete without highlighting The Gables’ iconic “Miracle Mile”: a half-mile long stretch of Coral Way between LeJeune and Douglas Road that functions as the city’s main east-west thoroughfare.
Beyond those typical landmarks and amenities is one of the city’s most distinct, defining features: its university. Established the very same year as the city, the University of Miami supports a student body of roughly 18,000, with national prominence in the fields of marine science, law, business, and engineering. It’s how The Gables – even with all its heritage and history – still manages to project a youthful, innovative energy.
Despite its numerous walkable, pedestrian-friendly areas, a car is still recommended as the best way for getting around The Gables—the city itself spans over 37 square miles. You can also hop on the City of Miami’s Metrobus for a short local trip, or The Gables’ own free trolley service, which runs on a continuous circuit up and down Ponce de Leon Boulevard throughout the day. For further trips, there’s the city’s Metrorail rapid transit system which serves the area at 2 stations: Douglas Road and University. Keep in mind that you’ll be roughly 20 minutes away from the busier, more centrally located areas of Brickell and Downtown Miami.
With nearly 100 years of art, culture, and history to its name, Coral Gables’ mix of worn-in comfort and trendy, up-start energy makes it one of the most desirable places to live in all of Miami.
Historic freshwater swimming pool located on a 4-acre lot, first opening in 1924.