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The Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables
Photograph: Shutterstock/Galina Savina

The definitive guide to Coral Gables

Explore Coral Gables, Miami, with our guide to the neighborhood's best restaurants, bars, entertainment and things to do.

Falyn Wood
Written by
Falyn Wood

Established in 1925 as one of the country’s first planned communities, Coral Gables (aptly nicknamed the “City Beautiful”) is classically glamorous, not like those flashy velvet-roped spots on Miami Beach. With its impressive palm tree-lined boulevards and Mediterranean Revival-style architecture, the neighborhood is fiercely historic in a place notorious for bulldozing so many of its beautiful, time-worn landmarks. 

What will you find in Coral Gables?

Downtown Coral Gables centers around Miracle Mile, a manicured, terracotta-roofed business district where you’ll find plenty of independent shops and some of Miami’s best restaurants—including several that recently earned nods from the Miami Michelin GuideOne of the most beautiful natural swimming pools in the world, the historic Venetian Pool, is also located here. Though perhaps its biggest claim to fame is being home to the University of Miami, one of the nation’s top private universities, cheekily nicknamed “Suntan U” for its bougie country club vibes back in the 1940s.

Several interesting spots remain in the streets immediately north of Miracle Mile, from the Old Fire House & Police Station that now encompasses one of the best museums in Miami and the building that now houses one of the city’s finest independent bookstores, Books & Books, to the tiny Miami boutique hotels scattered about. Coral Gables, Miami, with its many fountains, plazas and picturesque corners, has plenty of Old-World charm to offer.  

Where exactly is Coral Gables?

Located seven miles southwest of Downtown Miami, Coral Gables can be accessed by train or car in 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the time of day. Soon, it’ll also boast a verdant, seven-mile bike and recreational path complete with public art and other amenities as part of the 10-mile Underline Park running beneath Miami-Dade’s elevated Metrorail system (like New York’s High Line or Chicago’s 606 trail).

The perfect day in Coral Gables

Check in at the THesis Hotel, a modern spot where you’ll find two farm-to-table concepts helmed by acclaimed Miami chef Niven Patel. Grab a cosy, casual Cuban breakfast at Tinta y Café before perusing the well-stocked shelves at longtime purveyor Books & Books. For an action-packed happy hour, hit up the Rathskeller, UMiami’s energetic on-campus bar, before exploring the glistening grounds on foot. End your day with dinner at contemporary American restaurant Beauty and The Butcher, followed by a rooftop nightcap back at THesis’ Mamey on 3rd.

Plan your trip 

The Gables’ unofficial season kicks off with the iconic Biltmore Hotel’s annual New Year’s Eve ball and fireworks show. The cooler months of January through March are a great time to visit–on Saturdays, make yourself a picnic at the Coral Gables Farmers’ Market at Merrick Park.

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