Coral Gables Overview

Founded ninety years ago by an intrepid visionary, George Merrick, Coral Gables is one of the earliest planned communities in the United States. It is also my favorite area in Miami and where I live.

Coral Gables is a pristine and charming neighborhood inspired by Spanish and Mediterranean architecture. One can't ignore its welcoming streets and boulevards filled with beautiful and timeless oaks and banyan trees.  Coral Gables primarily offers single family homes with perfectly manicured landscaping. The jewels in the neighborhood are the Old-Spanish homes that were originally built in the 20's, many which have been updated to fit a modern lifestyle. The homes that followed in the 1950s and 1960s offer smart, ample and bright spaces, and are mostly found in the South part of the Gables.  A small percentage of newer townhouses and apartments are also available and scattered in the perimeter of the neighborhood. 

Prices are typically high in Coral Gables, with entry points in the $500,000s for smaller starter homes. However, residential and commercial investments have historically held their value in this neighborhood, and Coral Gables is always a coveted area for families and affluent professionals.

 What I love the most about Coral Gables or "The Gables" as locals call it:

  • Its tree-lined streets, its beautiful homes (not one is the same), but every single one is full of charm and character.

  • It's a city with history. One of the best cities to go on a walk or bike ride.

  • It's in the heart of Miami with everything accessible nearby – including the airport (15-30minutes ride)

 Whether you are a history buff or future Gables resident, I highly recommend to visit the Historic Coral Gables Museum which is filled with memorabilia and facts about the early Miami days and the true visionaries who built and believed in this town.



Local Insight: Valeria's Favorite Spots in The Gables

I am always out and about discovering new places. Recommendations are usually hidden gems or establishments that are truly authentic or what they do, they do it well. 

  • Do as the locals do. For a vintage Gables experience, join me any day of the week at Burger Bob's, a local diner and Gables jewel, hidden inside the Granada Golf Shop (2001 Granada Blvd.).

  • Best healthy lunch: I hate to be fooled by new and expensive healthy/gluten-free/dairy-free restos. I stick to the classic Gables Green Cafe for a healthy and filling lunch (327 Alhambra Circle). Understated, usually packed at lunch time, it never disappoints.

  • Best sinful treat: Chocolate Croissant @ Chocolate Fashion (I prefer the more modern bistro setting in their newer location @ 396 Alhambra Circle. It offers indoor and outdoor seating, but randomly located inside the lobby of a newer office building). 

  • Best Gables lunch deal: Izakaya Sushi, 159 Aragon Avenue ($12 bento box, with plenty of options and combinations) or more the legendary Matsuri on Bird Rd (open since 1988 - the place where I tried sushi for the first time). 

  • Best boutique shop: a den of hidden and delightful home and kitchenwares: Aragon 101 (this boutique also offer cooking classes and events; overall, it's a great spot for gifts). 

  • Best spot to take out-of-town guests: Biltmore (seat by the pool during lunch or by the courtyard during lunch weekend brunch at Fontana).

  • Best coffee shops: Green Berry (305 Alcazar Avenue) is my favorite healthy lunch spot; Chef Sucre Cafe (475 Biltmore Way) is a crowd pleaser; Small Tea is a heavenly spot with endless tea combinations and beautiful treats (205 Aragon Avenue); if you rather stick to the traditional, there's always Cafe Demetrio.

Restaurants in the area are plentiful. I personally don't have a favorite in the neighborhood. There are some obvious choices and the competition is fierce. The crowd is young and bustling at lunch time, and happy hour is always loud and happening wherever you go (especially at Bulla!). Don't venture to Tap42 unless you are in on a hunting expedition or enjoy the "Miami scene" and ridiculously loud spaces with poor soundproofing. 

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