Coral Gables, or “Our City Beautiful,” has long been an arts and culture destination in Miami.
A quaint, charming centrally located city with wide boulevards and overhanging Banyan trees, Coral Gables has an abundance of galleries, theaters, historical sites, gardens and more – mostly within walking distance of Downtown Coral Gables.
Catch a play or musical at one of the historic theaters, stroll through the exotic agriculture at a sprawling garden, get a quick education in urban and environmental design or walk around on Gallery Walk night – just for starters.
Check the calendar for yearly events like Carnival on The Mile, frequent events at the University of Miami’s many arts complexes and more live music acts and gallery openings. There’s surely more arts and culture in beautiful Coral Gables than you can soak up on one trip; you’ll just have to save some for your next visit.
Whether you’re staying in one of the many hotels in the Coral Gables area or elsewhere in the city, the theatergoer should book tickets to a show at one of two theatres in the area.
GableStage, the theater in the historic and majestic Biltmore Hotel, is a top-quality theater producing Broadway quality shows for the South Florida audience. GableStage brings together international talent and the best of local actors, directors and writers to perform classical, contemporary and new theater. It’s no wonder that GableStage is often chosen as the venue for Southeastern premieres. Check the GableStage calendar during your visit. You might find an up-and-coming local playwright’s show, a contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare and collaborations with companies across the pond or an off-Broadway run.
Right on Miracle Mile you’ll find the historic Actor’s Playhouse at Miracle Theatre, a regional performing arts Company focusing on theatre for both adults and children. Mainstage theatre puts on productions like memorable Broadway musicals and laugh-out-loud comedies in both the upstairs blackbox and large stage.
If you’re traveling with kids or meeting up with family in Miami, a day at the theatre with the young ones is a wonderful way to introduce them to the rich experience of live art. The Actor’s Playhouse is a favorite for kids and parents alike, producing memorable stage moments like a yearly version of the classic A Christmas Carol, fairy tales and unique quirky shows.
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden houses many tropical plants and was built to explore, explain and conserve botanical specimens for research and education. But what’s most striking about Fairchild is its absolutely splendid beauty and unforgettable aesthetic experience. Since its establishment in 1938, Fairchild has accrued a collection of tropical plants, palms, cycads, flowering trees and shrubs from around the world. There’s much more than the living art of horticulture onsite including traveling site specific art installations by world renowned artists like Dale Chihuly and Roy Lichenstein, butterfly gardens, and studios for classes in painting and photography.
Visit Fairchild and hop on a trolley, walk the nature paths and take a tour of the facilities or just wander and enjoy an amazing natural wonderland. For a one-of-a-kind experience visit in July for the Mango Festival where the global mango community celebrates the variety of the species under the shade of the original mango trees planted by the garden’s founder Dr. David Fairchild.
Coral Gables Merrick House
We owe much of Coral Gables’ beauty to George E. Merrick, the founder and developer of the planned city who had the vision for “Our City Beautiful.” The Merrick House, the childhood home of Merrick, is a home and park open to the public and filled with 1920s period furniture, art and the personal treasures of the Merrick family. Visit on a Wednesday or Sunday for a guided tour.
Coral Gables Art Museum
The Coral Gables Art Museum is located in Downtown Coral Gables on Aragon Avenue, a street brimming with the quaint charm of Coral Gables area with a thriving streak of cultural institutions all within a few steps – The Coral Gables Art Museum, Art Cinema and Books & Books. The Museum’s mission is “to celebrate, investigate and explore the civic arts of architecture and urban and environmental design, including fostering an appreciation for the history, vision and cultural landscape of Coral Gables.” Check the museum’s Website for a schedule of current exhibitions, lecturers and events while you’re in town.
Galleries and Gallery Stroll
Coral Gables’ beautiful and artful curated galleries are open the first Friday of each month to showcase the long-established art community within Coral Gables. Dozens of galleries buzz with pedestrians popping in for refreshments, perusing what’s hanging on the walls and chatting with gallerists and artists. The many galleries of the Gables are in the sprawling Downtown area and are centered around Miracle Mile. They focus on a myriad of subjects including contemporary fine art, Latin artists, custom frame work, sculpture, Deco art and more. There are buses to transport the flocks of people in the street to some of the galleries off the main stretch. Park your car once and walk about the area, stop into a local sidewalk café, bar, or restaurant and spend the evening surrounded by art and tasty bites.
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