Coral Gables

Located to Miami’s southwest in Miami-Dade County, Coral Cables, or The Gables, is famous for being one of the world’s first-ever planned communities and the inspiration for later gated communities and homeowners’ associations. Developed during the 1920s by George Edward Merrick, Coral Gables was intended to be compact area, done in the Mediterranean Revival Style of architecture. Its original commercial district had a width of a mere four blocks and a length of two miles. No business in The Gables was over a two-block walk from any other business. In the past, the city had an electric trolley, and today it has a free circulator trolley, running down Ponce de Leon Boulevard.

Tourists come from all over to sample from the city’s 140 restaurants, such as Randazzo’s Little Italy, Spris, La Dorada, Tarpon Ben, Le Provencal, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse, and Don Chile Mexican Restaurant, as well as to see local landmarks such as the Venetian Pool, the Biltmore Hotel, a national historic landmark that served as World War II hospital and VA hospital and was once the tallest building in the state, with one of the largest swimming pools on the planet, the Douglas Entrance, the Coral Way scenic drive, Miracle Mile, DeSoto Fountain, named for Hernando de Soto, the Spanish explorer, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, John C. Gifford Arboretum, Jerry Herman Ring Theatre (the University of Miami’s student theatre, named for its famous alumnus, Jerry Herman, most famous for composing the score to the classic Broadway musical, Hello, Dolly), Lowe Art Museum, and the Montgomery Botanical Center.

People can also take in shows at The Actors’ Playhouse, GableStage at the Biltmore Hotel, Miracle Theatre, the New Theatre, Miami Children’s Theatre, and the aforementioned Jerry Herman Ring Theatre. The Steinway Piano Gallery has occasional concerts, as well, as does the Maurice Guzman Concert Hall. Museums in the area popular with tourists include Casa Bacardi, which celebrates Cuban history and culture and is located at the Institute of Cuban and Cuban-American Studies at the University of Miami, Coral Gables Merrick House and Gardens, Coral Gables Museum, and PIAG – Museum & Gallery.

Those craving some exciting nightlife can find it at such bars and clubs as Alley Cat, Crazy Pianos, Azucar, Flavor, Martini Bar Miami, and Alcazaba Night Club.

Local hotels include the aforementioned Biltmore Hotel, the Westin-Colonnade Coral Gables, Hyatt Regency, Hotel Chateaubleau, Coral Gables Hotel, Hotel Place St. Michel, Terrace Inn, and Gables Inn.

The city is perhaps best known, worldwide, as the location of the University of Miami. As far as other education goes, the Coral Gables High School serves the area, along with private schools, such as Gulliver Academy, an elementary school that runs from Pre-K through 8th grade.

Coral Gables is only four miles away from Miami International Airport, where the majority of people come and leave the area, when going to or arriving from other states.

For more information:

Coral Gables (sometimes referred to as The Gables) is a city in Miami-Dade County, Florida, southwest of Miami, in the United States. The city is best known globally as the home of the University of Miami.
The population was 42,249 at the 2000 census. According to U.S Census estimates in 2005, the city had a population of 42,871.
Coral Gables was one of the first planned communities, and prefigured the development of the gated community and the homeowners association. It is notorious for its aesthetic regulations.[citation needed] The city was developed by George Edgar Merrick during the Florida land boom of the 1920s. The city's architecture is almost entirely Mediterranean Revival Style. By 1926, the city covered 10,000 acres (40 km2), had netted $150 million in sales with over $100 million spent on development.
Merrick designed the downtown commercial district to be only four blocks wide and more than two miles (3 km) long. The main artery bisected the business district. Merrick could boast that every business in Coral Gables was less than a two-block walk. The city used to have an old electric trolley system which was replaced by the popularity of modern automobiles, but now a new free circulator trolley system, initiated in November, 2003, runs down Ponce de León Boulevard.
In 1925, roughly simultaneous to the founding of Coral Gables, the city was selected as the home to the University of Miami, which was constructed that year on 240 acres (0.97 km2) of land just west of U.S. Route 1, approximately two miles south of downtown Coral Gables.

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