Growing up in Miami, I spent a number of years commuting more than three hours each day to schools located in Coral Gables. Although the long school bus rides made for hilarious childhood antics amongst my friends and I, my favorite part of the ride to and from school was looking out the window and taking in the beauty that was Coral Gables. It seemed every time I looked out the window, there was a gem of a house that I had not seen before, or some beautiful detail on a house I loved but had previously failed to notice. Today, with the help of strict zoning regulations and historical preservation laws, Coral Gables is still just as stunning (if not more) than it was back then.
A Mediterranean jewel encompassing a large portion of Miami’s southern region, Coral Gables is one of South Florida’s most prestigious and well known cities. Credited as one of the United States’ first planned communities, the city was designed in the early 1920’s to resemble a Spanish villa. The city was founded by esteemed real estate developer, George Edgar Merrick, in 1925 and has proven to be his greatest accomplishment. According to the city’s website, Merrick intended for the city to be “a gateway to Latin America”1, an intention that is well displayed with its Mediterranean Revival Style architecture. With a vast number of foreign consulates and multinational corporations choosing to have their offices located in the Gables, the city is not just a gateway to Latin America, but a gateway to the world. Today the city stretches over 37.2 square miles, has a population of 47, 401 and is one of Miami Dade county’s most profit bearing neighborhoods.
Coral Gables’ international culture is even apparent in its schools. Run by the Miami-Dade School district, the majority of primary and secondary schools cater to the development of foreign language. With schools such as Sunset Elementary and George Washington Carver Elementary, students can begin learning French, Spanish, German, or Italian as early as first grade. The city is so dedicated to the promotion of foreign studies, that it recently collaborated with the education ministries of Italy, France, and Spain, as well as the Miami Dade County School District to open a high school, called the International Studies Preparatory Academy. Students who wish to have their diplomas recognized by foreign countries not only have the option of attending the International Studies Preparatory Academy; they can also choose to attend Coral Gables Senior High or Gulliver Preparatory School, which is a private school. Both schools offer the rigorous and well respected International Baccalaureate program. Coral Gables is also home to the University of Miami, a privately owned institution that is considered the number one college in Florida and forty-forth in the nation2, according to US World News.
The city of Coral Gables offers up more than just beautiful architecture and fine education, it is also known as a prime source of entertainment. Those interested in fine dining and luxury shops will not be disappointed by the city’s downtown area, known as Miracle Mile or by the high end fashion mall known as the Villages of Merrick Park. For theater lovers, Coral Gables also offers “the highest concentration of live theater in Miami-Dade County”1, according to the city’s website and art lovers can enjoy “Gables Gallery Nights”, where art is showcased by the area’s eighteen galleries. Nature enthusiasts can enjoy the beautiful 83-acres of Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens or cool off in the natural spring waters of the Venetian Pool.
When it comes to choosing where you and your family should reside, location is (more often than not) the deciding factor. Coral Gables’ rich history, beautiful homes and wonderful amenities are centrally located and can be found minutes away from everything.