How to Coral Gables Like a Local
November 22, 2017
It might be a young city, but Miami’s neighborhoods are filled with vibrant history that can still be seen in the way some buildings tower over others or the angle at which trees branch over streets. For many locals, Coral Gables is a place of peaceful escapes and worshipping beautiful architecture where our city’s creative past still shines through every day. But aside from the draws like Miracle Mile and other obvious destinations, The City Beautiful has much to offer everyone. Whether you’ve been there a hundred times or have still yet to venture out, here’s how to discover it the way the locals do:
Take in History
You might head to the Gables to eat or shop but first things first, we must always pay our respects to those that came before us. Seeing the magnificent Biltmore Hotel for the first time is pretty life-changing, especially knowing that it went from war hospital to gangster den to lying abandoned before re-birthing in all its glory. Swing by the Merrick House on Coral Way to tip your hat off to one of Miami’s innovative founders and the man behind Coral Gables. Or take your little friends to Venetian Pool for a historical, Italian plunge.
Get Active Outdoors
If there’s anything Coral Gables isn’t lacking its beautiful scenery, and with winding streets to match, it’s perfect for some bike riding, walking or running at the very least to catch the views of some pretty wonderful houses. The area around the Granada Golf Course is a local favorite, usually bustling with groups getting their sweat on…or you can actually use the course and get a nice 9 holes in. The Youth Center, although having undergone renovations for quite some time, is another great choice especially for the younger athletes. Of course, walk down Giralda Plaza every day or during their monthly Giralda Under the Stars events for some calorie burning in between meals.
Get Active Indoors
Coral Gables might be a pretty residential area for the most part, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. These sort of neighborhoods mean local businesses and when it comes to getting a good workout in–a great selection of small gyms and studios. Prana Yoga is a local destination for all things yoga near Ponce, and IMX=Pilates also located on Ponce is a perfect little studio to get the non-impact kind of sweat in. Orange Theory, which has taken over the city with its unique interval-style workouts, has its flagship gym in the Gables too.
Sip Roasted Coffee
With the rise of the small-chain and locally-sourced coffee shop, The City Beautiful is actually a pretty popular spot to get some of the delicious brew. From historic spots like Cafe Demetrio along Alhambra with its classic fare and quaint back patio, to local favorites like Chocolate Fashion where residents can be found pouring onto the sidewalk waiting for their fresh pastries and sweets. Cafe Curuba is another newcomer to the neighborhood, small and trendy as it is, then there’s Crema located inside The Colonnade for an airy alternative, or even Small Tea for an herbal alternative.
Have Brunch…or Just Eat
If there’s anything we’ve all come to realize is that brunch is pretty much the best meal of the week and Coral Gables has some of the city’s go-to spots for the feast. From Threefold Cafe along Giralda Plaza and their towering avocado toasts, to Tap 42 and it’s increasingly popular digs where a younger crowd gathers for bottomless drinks and solid fare. Eating House at the very edge of the neighborhood is one of Miami’s best restaurants and has been featured the world over, and then their’s always Swine–with their exceptional BBQ and twists on breakfast classics.
Grab a Drink
Whether you’re looking for something mixed and hand-crafted or a simple local beer, Coral Gables has everything you need in the libation department. Tarpon Bend and Cibo Wine Bar are two always-packed favorites. Bulla is a classier take on a solid happy hour and Saturday brunch spot. John Martin’s Irish Pub is a local vestige along Miracle Mile, serving a classic bar atmosphere for nearly 30 years. And then there’s always places like The Bar or Fritz & Franz who have never done anyone a disservice.
Take in Culture
Last but not least, Coral Gables is a refuge for history and culture, brimming with options for even the most obscure tastes. There’s always the Coral Gables History Museum if you’re looking to brush up on why the neighborhood is so magical or even just to peruse a whimsical gift shop. The Coral Gables Art Cinema is a city-wide destination for independent and international flicks with great late-night screenings of cult classics every weekend. And finally, a list wouldn’t be complete without praising the laways lovely Books & Books who, after taking over Miami’s independent book scene, will be celebrating 35 years this weekend.