Posh Coral Gables, called the “City Beautiful,” is filled with old European-style homes: Italianate villas, Mediterranean mansions, mini-Alhambras, and cookie-cutter Cordobas shaded by living walls of banyan trees and ficus copses. You’ll also find 1920s-era historic landmarks like the Biltmore Hotel.
After driving around looking at the homes, head up Granada Boulevard to Anastasia Avenue to marvel at the palatial Biltmore Hotel. Then, zip up diagonal De Soto Boulevard, past the gurgling stone fountain in De Soto Plaza, to the sculpted landscaping, waterfalls, and palm groves of the Venetian Pool. For a little respite, go east, passing wedding-cake houses and an organic pavilion of banyan branches on your way to Miracle Mile, a sparkling stretch of Coral Gables’ finest shopping outlets. If you have extra time, Books & Books is a must for literary-minded travelers, and art lovers should check out the Lowe Art Museum.
Some sightseeing tours of Miami include stops in neighborhoods like Coconut Grove and Coral Gables. Also, the Coral Gables Museum and Visitors Center offers bike tours.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Venetian Pool amenities include locker rentals and a snack stand.
- Guided tours are available at the Lowe Art Museum.
How to Get There
About a 25-minute drive southwest of downtown Miami, Coral Gables borders Coconut Grove and Little Havana. The easiest way to get around the area is by car. Otherwise, take the Dadeland South metro line to University Station Rail Northbound, which is located near the University of Miami.
When to Get There
Miami summers can be hot and humid—for milder weather, go sometime between early November and late April. Or, time your visit to a concert or college basketball game at Watsco Center (aka BankUnited Center), on the University of Miami campus.
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
In nearby Coconut Grove, Vizcaya Palace offers another glimpse into Floridian history. The expansive home is full of 15th- to 19th-century furniture, tapestries, paintings, and decorative arts; the grounds, which border Biscayne Bay, boast gardens, fountains, sculptures, pools, a Florentine gazebo, and more. Book a guided tour to explore the property.