Top places to go for fun, leisure and history in Coral Gables

Visitors play at Venetian Pool in Coral Gables, Friday, Aug. 2, 2013. The pool is located at 2701 de Soto Boulevard.

Coral Gables offers a host of attractions.

Start your day in the company of Coral Gables’ own founder, George Merrick, and picture his childhood in the famed gabled-roof house filled with his art, furniture and personal treasures.

Subtropical Matheson Hammock Park has a saltwater “atoll” pool favored by families who enjoy its safe beach, bayfront views and peaceful picnic grounds. Not far from Matheson, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is a verdant haven of tropical plants and botanical research.

BROWSE: Miami.com Guide – Coral Gables

Nature’s beauty and man’s ingenuity meet at Venetian Pool, originally a rock quarry and later envisioned as “the world’s most beautiful swimming hole,” with its vine-covered loggias, coral caves, shaded porticos and sparkling waters fed by a pristine underground spring.

Golfers can tee off at the Granada Golf Course and the 18-hole Biltmore Golf Course, adjacent to the breathtaking Biltmore Hotel, whose 300-foot Giralda Tower is one of Greater Miami’s most striking landmarks.

Downtown Coral Gables is home to other historic sites like City Hall and the Old Police and Fire Station, today housing the Coral Gables Museum and Visitors Center. The museum also offers bike tours through Coral Gables.

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Coral Gables
A Dale Chihuly glass sculpture titled Rainforest Fiori on display at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. (Al Diaz/Miami Herald)

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden features collections of rare tropical plants including palms, cycads, flowering trees and vines.

305-667-1651

10901 Old Cutler Rd, Coral Gables, FL 33156

Matheson Hammock Park

A family fishes together at Matheson Hammock on Monday, January 2nd, 2017. (Patrick Farrell/Miami Herald)

Matheson Hammock Park is a 630-acre urban oasis with trails for hiking and a beach.

305-665-5475

9610 Old Cutler Rd, Coral Gables, FL 33156

Venetian Pool

The Venetian Pool in Coral Gables (Venetian Pool)

Venetian Pool recalls the charm of Old Venice with its landscaping, loggias, coral caves and shaded porticos. 2701 De Soto Blvd.,

305-460-5306

2701 De Soto Blvd, Coral Gables, FL 33134

Miami Biltmore Hotel

The venerable Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables illuminated its peak with the University of Miami’s colors, green and orange, in honor of the school’s new president, Dr. Julio Frenk who was inaugurated January 29, 2016. (Eduardo Valdes/Miami Herald)

The Biltmore Hotel is a grand example of Miami’s most majestic architecture with influences from the Mediterranean, Italy, the Moors and Spain.

855-311-6903

1200 Anastasia Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33134

Coral Gables Museum

The Coral Gables Museum was originally a firehouse in 1939. (Allison Diaz/Miami Herald)

The Coral Gables Museum is located in a building made of coral rock. Its mission is to explore and preserve local civic arts through exhibitions and programming.

305-603-8067

285 Aragon Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33134

Coral Gables Merrick House

The Merrick House, 907 Coral Way, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in Coral Gables. The house was the childhood home of Coral Gables Founder George Merrick. Daniel Bock/Miami Herald)

This property, built for George E. Merrick, founder of the city of Coral Gables, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

305-460-5095

907 Coral Way, Coral Gables, FL 33134

GameTime

Spend the day playing video games, watching your teams on the big screens and chowing down at this entertainment center located inside Sunset Place.

305-667-4263

5701 Sunset Dr #330, South Miami, FL 33143

The Great Escape Room

The Great Escape Room is an escape adventure that is part scavenger hunt and part puzzle-solving where groups must work together as a team.

786-322-6619

2315 S Le Jeune Rd #200, Miami, FL 33134