Coral Gables Is Miami's Best Neighborhood

My colleagues argue that the Beaches, both North and South, are the best neighborhoods in Miami-Dade. Which is fine, I suppose, if you're the kind of person who wants to drag sand into your tiny apartment every afternoon and whatever boozy hookup you picked up every night. It's a fun life for awhile, but most serious people who want to establish a life in Miami-Dade dream of calling only one city home: Coral Gables.

It's "the City Beautiful," after all, and here are ten reasons it's the city best.

See also: South Beach Is Miami's Best Neighborhood, Hands Down

1. Coral Gables knows what it is and stays that way.

Half of the other areas in Miami change identities more quickly than Charlie Crist flip-flops on political positions. South Beach has been an ever-changing hot spot for mafiosi, poor old people, criminals, gays, boozy Europeans, NYC expats, and rich old people at various points in its history. Some neighborhoods go from Puerto Rican enclaves to artsy gallery drags to (eventually) gaudy outdoor megamalls.

Not Coral Gables. Now just a few years shy of it's 90th birthday, the Gables is still exactly what it originally set out to be. Laugh all you want at its strict zoning laws, but Coral Gables is still the same it always was -- well, with a few more pickup trucks recently.

Coral Gables Is Miami's Best Neighborhood
by Harrier223/WikiCommons

2. All the benefits of having a major college, few of the downsides.

It was the founders of Coral Gables who first envisioned plans for the University of Miami (so, you're welcome, rest of Miami), and the city enjoys all the perks of hosting a Top 50 university and few of the downsides. See, UM students may love to party, but it's not much of a party campus. The Gables gets them during the day when they're bright and studious, and then they head to the Grove or the Beach to party. It's a perfect harmony.

Coral Gables Is Miami's Best Neighborhood
via Emilio 74's Flickr/MNT Press Pool

3. Venetian Pool

Yes, living right near a beach is nice, but Coral Gables has one of America's most unique public pools. Plus, admission is discounted for Gables residents. Built on an old rock quarry, the waterfall-adorned pool features fresh water directly from Florida's aquifers.

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4. It's hospitable to drivers, bikers, and pedestrians.

Yes, there are a few major roadways that wind through the Gables, but for the most part traffic is relatively sane. That cuts down on driver stress and leaves plenty of friendly areas for bikers and pedestrians to roam.

5. Banyan trees!

Everywhere banyan trees! Big, beautiful banyans along almost every street. How can you not love banyans?


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