Explore Coral Gables, Florida With Nancy Iliffe

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The residential crowd is made up of…native Floridians and local families, snowbirds, university students, successful business owners, and executives of multi-national companies.

The community vibe is…

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Founded in 1925, Coral Gables was born into elegance and promptly nicknamed “The City Beautiful.” Many Mediterranean-style fountains, plazas, and buildings grace its boulevards. Mostly a manicured, upscale Miami suburb, it is home to the historic Biltmore Hotel, many chic restaurants and cafes, Miracle Mile and Village of Merrick Park, and The University of Miami. Coral Gables is known as a pedestrian-friendly destination and is perfectly located four miles from Miami International Airport and within minutes of beaches.

The lifestyle offered is…

Coral Gables offers an experience akin to a small European village where they know you and greet you at the bookstore, coffee shop, bistro, or wine bar, even though you are in the midst of the large metropolis that is South Florida. It’s a perfect place for those who appreciate and enjoy a myriad of cultural opportunities, art galleries, live theater performances, a farmer’s market, and small parks in close proximity. The Coral Gables Trolley makes getting around town a breeze and it’s free!

The most popular building type you’ll find is…

Mediterranean Revival buildings, a new urban planning movement featuring condominiums and apartments for every lifestyle, sought after luxury townhouses within walking distance to shops and dining, and gracious southern traditional family homes on large lots overlooking a waterway or golf course are always in demand. Dramatic waterfront mansions located on waterways only minutes from Biscayne Bay offer a security and the ultimate in luxury. Coral Gables offers many options for the sophisticated upscale buyer.

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The average home price is…$614,000, but waterfront homes start in the $2 million range and can easily exceed $20 million for a home in the exclusive, gated community of Gables Estates.

The area’s greatest highlight is…

Tree-lined boulevards, fountains, swooping Banyon trees, and old-fashioned neighborhoods make Coral Gables one of the most desirable neighborhoods in the Miami area. Fine boutiques, specialty stores, and the Village of Merrick Park are especially popular with stylish shoppers who enjoy luxury shopping. Coral Gables is a city dedicated to fine living.

The area’s best driving-distance getaways are…

South Beach, Key Biscayne, and Coconut Grove are within a few miles of The Gables, and they offer pristine beaches, amazing hotels, nightlife, and entertainment for all ages. The Florida Keys are a popular weekend destination, and Disneyworld is about three and a half hours away, so a weekend visit with Mickey is easy to do!

The best place to dine casually is…

There are too many to mention. Cuban food is a favorite and SW 8th Street borders Coral Gables.

Palme d’Or at The Biltmore

Palme d’Or at The Biltmore

The best spots to dine fancily are…the Palme d’Or at The Biltmore Hotel for romantic atmosphere or Caffe Abbraci for the best Italian food in town.

The best spots to dine with a large group are…

The Biltmore Hotel, Ruth Chris, Morton’s The Steakhouse, and The Weston Colonnade all have private dining rooms.

The best spots to find entertainment are…

Actors’ Playhouse, Coral Gables Museum, Biltmore Golf Course, Gables Art Cinema, and Books and Books are some of my favorite spots, and every first Friday is Gables Gallery Night. A unique pedestrian adventure designed for art enthusiasts is also very popular with locals and tourists.

The best spots to go shopping are…

Miracle Mile offers an incredible array of unique shops in downtown Coral Gables, and The Village of Merrick Park, located only a few blocks south, features upscale department stores and everything from high fashion boutiques to jewelry, furniture, and merchants of every type and description.

The best spot to meet new people is…everywhere! I love to visit “Books and Books.” Located in an exquisite 1927 building, this Coral Gables landmark is famous for hosting local, national, and international writers as part of its award-winning reader series. The open-air courtyard, full service café, and newsstand are the perfect place to meet locals and tourists day or night.

The best spot to soak in a beach view is…Matheson Hammock County Park. You can picnic, sunbathe, or enjoy a day collecting seashells on the quiet beach or lagoon. The park’s restaurant serves lunch and dinner.

The best place to tee off is…The Biltmore Hotel and Golf Resort.

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