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The City Beautiful with Angel Nicolas

Known as the “City Beautiful,” Coral Gables lives up to its name – an idyllic neighborhood made up of meticulously manicured streets shaded by Banyan trees and influenced by early 20th century Spanish architecture. A pocket of serenity in the middle of a sprawling metropolis, the area blends hints of historic old-world charm with new city vibes. Top real estate advisor Angel Nicolas, founder of The Nicolas Group at Compass, calls Coral Gables home and has been selling real estate in the area for nearly a decade. No one knows the city beautiful quite like him. From the best restaurants to outdoor retreats, Nicolas shares his ultimate guide to Coral Gables.


Built in the 1920’s, Coral Gables was inspired by stunning Mediterranean Revival architecture that is still very much present throughout the city, and the homes. You’ll also find newer more contemporary residences for those looking for a more modern vibe. There are areas for every style, from ultra-private gated neighborhoods with waterfront estates to fully amenitized country-club-style communities, and more laid-back areas with charming cottages.

Cocoplum is one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in an ideal location for luxury buyers, where Coral Gables meets Coconut Grove. The neighborhood was originally built as a beach for residents of Coral Gables – in the 70’s it was redeveloped into a single-family home community of about 300 homes. It’s the only gated community with 24/7 security, tennis and basketball courts, a clubhouse, gym, beach volleyball, marina, and so much more.

Nestled on the water’s edge, Gables Estate’s is one of the only communities where you can find an acre or more of waterfront land. It’s exclusive, lush and perfect for buyers seeking a certain level of sophistication.

Old Cutler Bay is centrally located just blocks from Matheson Hammock Park & Marina and Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. It offers gated 24/7 security and roaming patrol, with direct access to the Ocean through its winding, beautiful canals. It is well established and has been around since the early 1960’s. With 136 homes, most on the waterfront, this is an ideal location for boaters and those who love life on the water.

Eat & Drink

Coral Gables is home to one of the best food scenes in all of South Florida—a mixture of fine dining, cozy lunch spots, happening happy hours and hidden gems. The Michelin-Star Fiola is hands down one of the best upscale Italian restaurants you can find. You can’t go wrong with the Lobster Ravioli or the Wagyu Short Rib Rotolo. Redfish by Chef Adrianne overlooks the water and has an amazing atmosphere. It’s the perfect spot to have a relaxing dinner with family and friends while watching the sunset. Local favorite Bulla Gastrobar is the well-known chain’s first ever location – and in my opinion the best! With phenomenal options for both tapas and drinks, it’s authentic with a Miami twist. I love the Spanish Margarita. 

The Outdoors

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is an iconic spot to spend the day. The 83-acre garden is filled with rare and tropical plants, it’s magical. Fairchild is the best place in town to spend time outside with family and friends – especially during ‘season’ when the Night Garden experience is at full peak. Old Cutler Trail is a great for jogging and biking along a path shaded by beautiful banyan trees. Matheson Hammock Park is just South of the Gables on a peninsula that extends into Biscayne Bay, with beautiful trails and a marina. I also enjoy spending time at Merrick Park and Miracle Mile to walk around, grab a bite and do a little shopping with my girls. Miracle Mile recently underwent a face lift with the announcement of several new shops, restaurants, and experiences. There are also so many incredible golf courses including The Biltmore, Granada Golf Club and Riviera Country Club. 

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By ML Staff. Images courtesy of Angel Nicolas


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