PHOTO CREDIT: britexxusa.com
After a night out in buzzing South Beach, the perfect morning-after cure is a visit to historical Coral Gables. These welcoming and beautiful coral brick archways can be found throughout Coral Gables along with the signature trees that . Developed in the 1920’s, as a per-curser to the gated communities we know so well today, Coral Gables was designed during the country’s love-affair with Mediterranean revival architecture. This city within a city maintains it’s distinctive style thanks to an early dedication to preserving the area’s history. You’ll find historically preserved locations throughout the city and a charming (and free!) trolley service to shuttle you throughout town!
What I loved most about Coral Gables as a child, and still today are the beautiful tree-lined streets everywhere you drive! The vibrant green canopies of the mature oak and banyan trees cocoon you in a feeling of serenity and appreciation of the beauty of this city. My must-see scenic driving routes in Coral Gables are: Alhambra Circle, Granada boulevard and Old Cutler Road.
PHOTO CREDIT: Wikipedia
At the intersection of De Soto and Granada Boulevards you’ll find the famous De Soto fountain. Located in the heart of Coral Gables, this fountain is another amazing example of the Mediterranean style that makes the city famous. Make sure to pull over and take a quick selfie on your way to my most favorite of Coral Gables landmarks and attractions: the Venetian Pool.
This giant public-access pool, designed to look like a luxurious, half-sunken lagoon in Italy, was made from an old coral rock quarry. Made in 1923, what I love most about this pool, besides it’s rich history, is that it is fed with fresh spring water from an underground aquifer! As a young child, visiting this magical pool was an experience unlike any other! The coral rock waterfall (which you were once allowed to dive off of), the cool grotto and the winding staircases leading straight down into the pool are all one-of-a-kind features that are available no where else but here!
Before you head out into the water, take some time to browse the pool’s gallery of historic photos–my favorite are the “Bathing Beauties” who used to dress up like mermaids and be stationed around the pool. There were also many beauty contests that took place at the pool (my Grandma used to tell me all about them) and you can giggle at the long skirted bathing suits complete with stockings!
Bottom line: this in an unforgettable living piece of history that you can jump, play and swim in–and I guarantee, you’ll never forget!
For other must-see locations during your trip to South Florida, check out: