Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Coral Gables, FL

  • Published 2022/09/23

Coral Gables, in Miami-Dade County, is one of the major cities in the enormous Miami metropolitan region, which has a population of over six million people.

With a population of more than 50,000, Coral Gables has a charming vibe compared to Miami.

Still, it’s also one of the most elite and expensive communities in a region rife with them.

It’s adjacent to some incredible beaches, world-class shopping, and natural, cultural, and artistic treasures, so no matter what your budget or hobbies are, you’ll never be bored.

Here are the best things to do in Coral Gables, Florida:

Appreciate the Astounding Scenery at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Dale Chihuly Exhibition at Fairchild Tropical Garden

Mia2you /

After visiting many attractions in the city, now it’s time to feel the genuine calmness of nature.

The Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, located on over 90 acres of gorgeous property on Old Cutler Road in Coral Gables, is one of the city’s most popular locations, and not just because of its stunning gardens and lovely ambiance.

Other than its relaxing scenery, there’s much more!

Dale Chihuly Exhibition at Fairchild Tropical Garden

Mia2you /

The garden’s largely volunteer staff offers a range of educational and instructional activities aimed toward children and includes topics such as botany, ecology, and the value of natural habitat preservation.

A study center, museum, and onsite laboratory are among the garden’s features.

Throughout the year, they also organize a few notable events, such as the International Chocolate Festival.

Palm Trees in Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

mariakray /

Shop at the Shops at Merrick Park

The grounds of the Shops at Merrick Park

Village of Merrick Park, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Like many other South Florida communities around Miami, Coral Gables has a reputation for being a haven for people seeking to indulge in higher standards of living, even if they come at a hefty premium.

The Shops at Merrick Park are for people who wish to reward themselves for something exceptional or at least do a little window shopping and fantasize.

A Sign Outside of Shops at Merrick Park

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They feature international luxury brands like Gucci, Burberry, and Tiffany & Co.

The stores feature a fitness facility and a range of food places, making them more than simply a shopping therapy retreat.

Buying the high-class brands of clothes and other accessories in this shop will give you no regrets at all!

Visit the Exciting GableStage

Located in Anastasia Ave, the GableStage has always provided thrilling and powerful shows in the theatre.

GableStage maintains that theatre’s success depends on the development of the young viewers and creativity; thus, an annual Educational Outreach Program and numerous venues to promote potential new playgroups, playwrights, and theatrical artists, is an essential element of its purpose.

The said GableStage countered the multicultural audiences of Florida with their unique productions that tackle contemporary issues and simultaneously entertain.

Hence, their theatre is exciting and entertaining and makes the youth aware of the general issues in the present world.

These exhibitions would be perfect for watching with family and friends; why not give them a try?

Visit the Historical Coral Gables Merrick House

Exterior of Coral Gables Merrick House

James Kirkikis /

Since you are already at The Shops at Merrick Park, why not visit this iconic historical home at Coral Gables?

The iconic mansion known as the Coral Gables Merrick House was erected in 1906 and is named for its architect and the founder of the city of Coral Gables, both of whom were Merrick family members.

History marker of Coral Gables Merrick House

PhillipJR /

It has been a general historical site since the early 1970s. It’s filled with antique paintings, antiques, and handicrafts that give visitors a glimpse into the past.

Site tours are offered biweekly and are guided by qualified and passionate docents.

It’s the ideal way to spend an average of two hours learning about the history of South Florida for history and culture buffs.

The grounds of Coral Gables Merrick House

PhillipJR /

Discover More About the City in Coral Gables Museum

Exterior of Coral Gables Museum

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Coral Gables Museum was built downtown and comprised thousands of square feet of interior and exterior space. It is located in the city’s historic police and fire station structure.

The museum’s galleries include many historical exhibitions of artifacts and modern artworks created in various genres, and the outdoor public spaces are breathtaking.

Its fields are large, and those who want to sweat a few calories and gain a valuable perspective that land-bound visitors would miss out on can take guided tours by walking, by bicycle, or even by paddle.

Make sure to take some cameras with you for picture taking, don’t miss such beautiful displays!

Grab Some Books at Books & Books

Even if many committed readers choose to read on their smartphones and Ebooks, plain, old-fashioned print books are still preferred by most readers.

Books & Books, a bookstore established in 1982, is a popular stop for people searching for an excellent beach reading or to grasp its varied assortment of classic and popular works in a range of subjects.

The shop has a café on site and hosts various community events and programs, such as guest lecturers, poetry readings, book releases, and meet the author’s events.

Have a cup of coffee while reading inside!

Watch the Excellent Performance of Arts in Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre

Exterior of Miracle Theatre

Averette, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Actors’ Playhouse at Miracle Theatre, inaugurated in 1988, is Coral Gables’ primary community performing arts facility, with year-round shows suited for a wide range of guests.

The art deco-inspired venue has now had a multi-million dollar renovation, and while it remains a lovely and elegant theater, it also has state-of-the-art sound and lighting equipment.

There should be something for everyone, from severe plays to lighter children’s shows and even stand-up comedy.

So, don’t miss the schedule of events by browsing their websites to be updated!

Enjoy the Classic and Indie Films at Coral Gables Art Cinema

It is always fun to watch a theatre performance with your friends and family, that’s extremely exciting!

If that’s what you are looking for, then you better visit Coral Gables Arts Cinema.

Coral Gables Art Cinema is a boutique cinema that focuses on independent, foreign, and vintage films, unlike the national chain movie theaters found in every mega-mall that play the same first-run movies as everyone else.

It’s one of the city’s most fashionable hangouts, particularly for people who would rather see a stylish French film from the 1960s than eat popcorn and fake butter while watching Sylvester Stallone save the world.

Consider coming by for a show or two that you won’t find anywhere else since the screen is enormous, the seating is comfy, and the air conditioning is excellent.

Relish the Water at Matheson Hammock Park

The waters of Matheson Hammock Park

Philip Lange /

There are endless relaxing scenery and destinations in Coral Gables!

In just 4 minutes of travel time, you can arrive at Matheson Hammock Park.

Matheson Hammock Park in Coral Gables is large by any measure, but it’s also an inner-city paradise ideally placed near many of the city’s major attractions.

Scenic View at Matheson Hammock Park

Katelyn Racanelli /

The park is close to the notable Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden, making it a suitable side trip for people with already packed schedules.

A full-service restaurant and a constructed tidal pool, whose water level rises and falls with Biscayne Bay, are among the hotel’s attractions.

Hiking, fishing, and photography are among the park’s most popular activities; visit their website for hours, directions, and a complete list of activities.

Beachside trail at Matheson Hammock Park

Johnny Michael /

Taste the Flavorful Beers at the Titanic Brewing Company

With just 12 minutes of drive time from Matheson Hammock Park, you can have a variety of high-quality beers.

Titanic Brewing Company is situated near the University of Miami campus on Ponce De Leon Boulevard of Coral Gables.

It is a favored hangout for people who prefer a solid and vivid local craft brew than a washed and generally tasteless glass of suds from a national mega brewery.

They’re also a live entertainment venue and a full-service restaurant, in addition to their brews.

There’s certainly something on the menu to appeal to most palates, from IPAs and bitters to stouts and ears of wheat.

If you’d prefer to try a few selections before committing to a pint, you may purchase a sampler to help you narrow down your choices.

Always make sure never to drink and drive, and drink responsibly!

Enjoy Splashing With Your Friends and Family at Venetian Pool

Beautiful View of Venetian Pool

Galina Savina /

As pointed out earlier, there are endless ways you can enjoy the comprehensive attractions in Coral Gables!

The Venetian Pool at Coral Gables was a posh resort for most of its life.

Though it’s no longer as elite as it once was, it’s still a beloved local landmark with remarkable characteristics that are a fascinating blend of natural and manufactured worlds.

The pool is filled with cold water from Artesian wells, and it can contain over 800,000 gallons when fully stocked.

The waters of Venetian Pool

Marco Borghini /

Several caverns and caves have been cut into the surrounding rock, providing a one-of-a-kind swimming and discovery experience.

Waterfalls, entrances, and lots of lounging spaces under the shade of tall palm trees may all be found at the pool.

Don’t miss to enjoy the pool in one of the most visited destinations in the town!

Entrance to the Venetian Pool

Galina Savina /

Spend Time to Pray Together at the Church of the Little Flower

Join the sacrosanct Mass Celebration together with your friends and family with the iconic Church in the town.

On December 8, 1952, Archbishop Joseph P. Hurley of Saint Augustine, Florida, inaugurated the Church.

The Church of the Little Flower is now a tourist attraction in Coral Gables.

In June of this year, fr. Manny Alvarez was chosen the 9th Pastor of the Church of the Little Flower and Saint Theresa School.

Two presidential contenders, Marco Rubio, and Jeb Bush have been linked to the religion.

Undoubtedly, it is always a wonderful feeling to spend the time together with your loved ones to praise and glorify your Creator.

Watch the Breathtaking Games of Basketball at Watsco Center

Exterior of Watsco Center

Barbara Kalbfleisch /

You might be missing watching a live thrilling basketball game, aren’t you?

Well, secure yourself a ticket and get updates on the following games because you can get to watch a live basketball game at the Watsco Center!

The Watsco Center in Coral Gables, Florida, is an 8,000-seat multi-purpose arena on Miami’s grounds.

The stairs outside Watsco Center

Barbara Kalbfleisch /

Concerts, family shows, trade exhibits, lecture series, academic events, and athletic events are all held in the facility, including men’s and women’s basketball games at the University of Miami.

The ticket price will vary, but you can visit the Watsco Center’s website to know the costs and the latest schedules of the games!

Enjoy Coral Gables Trolley’s Free Ride

You might have heard this before; thus, you might be aware of what it looks like.

It is an accessible means of transportation service in the City of Coral Gables with the help of the Florida Department of Transportation, Miami-Dade County Half Penny Transportation Surtax, and the Metropolitan Planning Organization.

The service has demonstrated to be a quick, inclusive, cheap, and environmentally-friendly transit alternative for residents, commuters, and tourists of the City Beautiful since its beginning in November 2003.

The Trolley program was established to alleviate local traffic congestion, minimize parking demand, and connect downtown Coral Gables and neighboring regions.

The Coral Gables Trolley is one successful system that does all of the above as towns seek ways to decrease pollution, ensure open access, and reduce reliance on foreign oil and vehicle journeys.

So, don’t miss the chance to try the iconic free ride that became an excellent means of solving one of the prevalent problems of the town!

Learn How to Play Golf at Jim Mclean Golf School at the Biltmore Hotel

Scenic View of Biltmore Hotel

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Have you ever wanted to play golf but don’t know how to?

No worries, because with Jim McLean Golf School, you can have a golf class that will provide you with comprehensive courses to become the best golf player!

Situated in Anastasia Ave The Biltmore Hotel Miami, this golf school is one of the most popular golf schools in the country.

Exterior of Biltmore Hotel

Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It has been proven in most of the reviews from the former students that the course was practical and applicable in the actual games.

You can start learning golf without complicating the process; how amazing is that?

The golf school is being managed by McLean together with the expert tutors.

So, don’t miss the chance to enroll in this golf school to discover and enhance your skills in a new world of sports!

Golf course of Biltmore Hotel

Johnny Michael /

Stop by Lowe Art Museum to See Recent Displays

Welcome sign of Lowe Art Museum

Ken Wolter /

February 1950, the University of Miami opened the Merrick Classroom Building, which would eventually house the Lowe Art Museum.

The “University of Miami Art Gallery” was established as the first official contemporary art exhibition facility in the City of Miami to benefit local academics, pupils, researchers, and public members.

Sculpture on the grounds of Lowe Art Museum

Ken Wolter /

The Myrna and Sheldon Palley Pavilion for Modern Glass and Studio Arts forms the Museum’s most recent addition, completed in 2008, and provides an additional 4,500 square feet of the display area.

More than 19,250 artifacts totaling over 5,000 years of human innovation in every part of the world are now components of The Lowe’s extensive collection.

It is accessible from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Thursday through Saturday.

Go Golfing with Friends in Biltmore Golf Course

Daytime view of the Biltmore Golf Course

Roberto Michel /

The 18-hole, 71-par Biltmore Golf Course is a renowned championship golf course.

Donald Ross, a prominent architect, developed the original layout in 1925.

In 2018, they modernized the course for the current game.

A bridge at the Biltmore Golf Course

Hernando Sorzano /

One of the most lucrative professional golf championships of its era, The Miami – Biltmore Open, was held on the course early in its legendary history.

The Junior Orange Bowl International Golf Tournament has been held annually at The Biltmore Golf Course since 1964.

The course’s 419 Bermuda grass pathways, 84 of the initial 85 bunkers, and designated greens currently allow players to swing through them as they did when they first started.

Aerial view of the vast Biltmore Golf Course

Felix Mizioznikov /

Admire the Structure of Alhambra Water Tower

Exterior of the Alhambra Water Tower

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The idea that Coral Gables’ founder George Merrick had for the city is exemplified by this “lighthouse,” which has never been in the water.

The water tower comprises two separate structures and is situated in the Alhambra Circle neighborhood in north Coral Gables, completed in 1924.

In reinforced cement, an inner circular tank structure was contained, and a wooden frame building intended to resemble a lighthouse was solely functional in appearance and function.

Top part of the Alhambra Water Tower

Luis Marquez /

This facade, visually charming and architecturally inventive, hid the inside water tank, which was less appealing.

Denman Fink, Merrick’s uncle, created the lighthouse to house the functional, steel-framed water tower.

When you think about the tower, words like serene, unexpected, colorful, magnificent, and historical spring to mind.

View of the Alhambra Water Tower at night

William Silver /

Enjoy a Performance held in Trail Theater

Exterior of the Trail Theater

Rob Olivera, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Trail Theater is a Miami treasure for the Hispanic community.

It is a well-established theater with a selection of live, Spanish-language shows in a small setting.

Thanks to the tenacity of Cuban performer and entertainer Armando Roblán, it debuted in 1930 with a 430-person capacity and was well-known among Cubans.

The Latin Quarter Cultural Center’s males entered the theater to rebuild it after Roblán left since it was about to be demolished.

The theater had 300 stagings, 1,400 performances, and over 300,000 viewers in 2016.

Free Yourself from Stress at Hotel Colonnade Coral Gables, Autograph Collection

Exterior of Hotel Colonnade Coral Gables, Autograph Collection

Wangkun Jia /

The Hotel Colonnade offers an intimate, festive encounter in the center of Coral Gables while honoring the history of tourism and the pleasure of visiting a new location in elegance.

The Hotel Colonnade stands apart from any other resort in Miami, boasting touches of European elegance, chic communal areas, and an unrivaled setting on the Miracle Mile.

This carefully chosen artwork highlights the hotel’s rich interiors, which pulsate with color and energy. The collection is supported and framed by a color scheme of sophisticated greys and cream.

Interior of Hotel Colonnade Coral Gables, Autograph Collection

Elisa.rolle, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The lobby’s original vaulted surfaces and magnificent staircase are now centered beneath a striking stained glass ‘rosary’ styled display and enormous Murano decorative chandeliers produced by a local Miami artisan.

The hotel’s unique art gallery was hand-picked by Dawson Design Associates to portray the shine and glitz of each beautiful new location as envisioned by the designers and to reflect the hotel’s revised attitude.

Visitors may now enjoy these areas across the hotel as an engaging, selected collection.

Final Thoughts

The limitless and expansive places of attractions in the city of Coral Gables are entertaining and entail the development of knowledge, skills, and discovery.

With the not-so-distant places of attractions, it will surely attract a lot of tourists!

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