Miami Stories and Tips

Coral Gables

Biltmore Hotel Photo, Miami, Florida

This part of Miami is famous for its wide boulevards lined with magnificient Mediterranean style mansions, coral rock pool, graceful fountains, tropical gardens, quaint shops and charming restaurants.

It is a very wealthy and luxurious area with a strong emphasis on conformity. The houses are large and beautiful and come with a lot of rules attached. Your grass has to be a certain length; your garage door is only allowed to be open half an hour at a time; for sale signs outside the property are to be no larger than a postcard; trees either side of the road must be the same type - the list goes on. Breaking the rules means a fine is imposed.

The Venetian Pool has cascading waterfalls and coral coves. It is 22,000 square feet and has 600,000 gallons of water which is fed by a spring. The water is drained and replaced weekly. There are waterfalls, coral caves and a small, sandy beach. It is included in the National Register of Historic Places. It was transformed in the 1920's from a limestone quarry into the beautiful pool it is today. Some claim it is the world's most beautiful pool. It is open year round. Esther Williams and Johnny Weissmuller once swam in the Venetian Pool.

The Biltmore Hotel is also very beautiful and an interesting building. It is very luxurious and the spectacular lobby will take your breath away. It was restored in 1926 and was modelled after the Giraldo Tower in Seville. It was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1996. The hotel was transformed into a hospital during World War II. It was used as the setting for the movie Bad Boys, plus television programmes such as Miami Vice and CSI Miami. In its heyday it played host to European (and Hollywood) royalty.

FD Roosevelt had a temporary White House office set up at the hotel for when he holidayed on his fishing trips to Miami.

The pool is very luxurious. It is supposedly the largest hotel pool in the USA. Johnny Weissmuller was a swimming instructor there in the past.

Miracle Mile - the shopping area, is as you would expect, full of designer shops and high quality restaurants. The street is half a mile each side, apparently people say has its name, because it would be a miracle if a lady could go to the shops here and not buy anything.

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