Key Biscayne, incorporated in 1991, is an island connected to Miami via the Rickenbacker Causeway, which lies south of Miami Beach and southeast of Downtown Miami.
The Village of Key Biscayne is a gorgeous island community comprised of businesses, beautiful beaches, parks, a historic lighthouse, residences, condos, and it is where many families from around the world call home.
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is a 1.25 mile stretch of white sand beach, rated as one of the top 15 beaches in America for the past 10 years by Dr. Beach. The historic landmark, the Cape Florida Lighthouse, built-in 1825, is the oldest building in South Florida. It served as a navigational aid, and in 1836, the site of an Indian War, when Indians attacked and burned the lighthouse during the Seminole Wars. The Park has two restaurants, the Boater’s Grill which overlooks the docks of No-Name Harbor, a peaceful cove at the tip of the island, and is open at night. The Lighthouse Grill is right on the beach for that wonderful tropical island atmosphere. Beach chairs, umbrellas, bicycles, hydro bikes, and ocean kayaks are available for rental.
Crandon Beach Park is on a three-mile stretch of white sand beach with a sandbar for wading. Crandon Beach has been named one of the best beaches in America by a number of magazines including “Family Fun” and “Parenting”.
The Crandon Golf Course is a beautiful and exciting par 72 course on Biscayne Bay, which has hosted many major championship tour events over the years. The Course, with its intriguing design and a spectacular view of the Miami skyline, has challenged golf legends such as Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Chi Chi Rodriguez, and Lee Trevino. Built around nature, the lush and thick tropical vegetation of palms, wild grasses, sea grape trees, twisted mangroves, the cool ocean breezes, the sights of egrets, ibises, and iguanas are all part of the “course”. After a great day of golf, head over to the Links Restaurant and Clubhouse, or relax at the course-side restaurant for a cold drink and light fare.
The Crandon Park Tennis Center and Stadium is home to the annual Sony Ericcson Open, a 12-day tournament featuring the top 100 men and women players in the world, televised worldwide, and considered to be the “Fifth” Grand Slam tennis tournament.
Beginning in August or September every year, many sea turtles lay their eggs on the beaches of Key Biscayne. Upon returning to the sea, the area is then cordoned off with stakes and yellow tape to protect the nests. Crandon Park has an Eco Adventure educational turtle program with an Environmentalist who will allow visitors to get up close and see the hatchlings
Because of its island location on Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, Key Biscayne offers numerous luxurious, sophisticated, waterfront condos with the most stunning views of the Miami skyline, and the sparkling, turquoise waters that surround the island. It is complete with fine dining, and with the addition of the splendid and magnificent Ritz Carlton Resort on Key Biscayne.
Quiet, elegant, grand, beautiful, a secret getaway, a tranquil retreat, we invite you to see why Key Biscayne is a tropical island paradise like no other.
Miami Beach is an oceanfront resort city in Miami-Dade County, Florida, located on a barrier island between Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Incorporated in 1915, Miami Beach has been one of the most loved and famous destinations, and on every list of best beaches in America and the world for over a century.
In 1979, the Art Deco District in Miami Beach, with the largest collection of Art Deco architecture in the world comprising homes, apartments, hotels, and structures, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Former interior designer, Barbara Capitman, who led the movement to preserve the Art Deco District’s architectural heritage, now has a street named in her honor in the District.
Besides its Art Deco fame, Miami Beach is more recognized as a world premiere hot spot. This includes the sun-filled daytime activities and glamorous, glitzy, and pulsating nightlife in the South Beach or SoBe area at the southernmost point, and the numerous popular beach resorts and fine restaurants known to attract the rich and famous, celebrities, dignitaries, presidents, and entertainers through the decades.
Espanola Way, which runs from Collins to Pennsylvania Avenue, was conceived in 1925 as “The Historic Spanish Village”. It is modeled after the romantic Mediterranean villages found in Spain and France, and today consists of art galleries, restaurants and quirky shops.
Lincoln Road is an open-air, popular, pedestrian mall, located between 16th Street and 17th Street, with both sides lined with boutiques, trendy shops, cafes, restaurants, and nightclubs.
With too many to mention, a few of the famous dining experiences on Miami Beach are at Joe’s Stone Crabs, Prime 112, Smith &Wollensky’s Steak House, The Setai, The Clevelander, and the 24-hour News Café This Ocean Drive landmark is a favorite any time of day, from its sidewalk dining to people-watching simply enjoying the ocean breezes.
From Lummus Park at night, located on Ocean Drive from 5th Street to 15th Street, is a beautiful view of the Art Deco hotels along Ocean Drive with their antique-lit neon signs and designs.
With over seven miles of white sand beaches, three golf courses, 20 parks, arts, dining, and nightlife, Miami Beach has boasted for decades about its rich history of being the world’s elite playground, from the Rat Pack to Versace, for socialites, sun worshippers, art enthusiasts, shopaholics, and a constant stream of visitors arriving annually from all corners of the world. As the most desirable destination to own a luxury home or condo, or just visit, Miami Beach is a tropical paradise you will never want to leave.
Several communities exist within Miami Beach, many of which are private, gated, exclusive, man-made islands, such as Palm Island, Hibiscus Island, La Gorce Islands, Sunset Islands, Venetian Islands, and Star Island, home of many celebrities, entertainers, and corporate leaders.
Though located in the heart of Miami, Coconut Grove provides locals and tourists with a chance to escape from the dynamic city life and enjoy serene ambiance. Known as Miami’s oldest neighborhood, The Grove as locals frequently refer to it, has been recognized for its charming tree-lined streets, vibrant ethnic eateries, and hippie coffee spots. With a mix of residential and business areas surrounded by lush greeneries and breathtaking water views, the Grove feels like a city on its own.
The neighborhood features both trendy and classy restaurants with a fusion of South American, European, and North American influences on the menu. No matter whether you crave exotic Spanish meals, traditional Italian pizza, or a delicious burger plate, Coconut Grove has something for all appetites. You can also find plenty of unique restaurant spots in the area, featuring a diversity of styles such as a rustic Italian tavern or a shadowy garden ambiance.
In Coconut Grove, you have plenty of residential options. From modern high-rises to picturesque single-family homes and multi-million-dollar waterfront mansions, the neighborhood appeals to those who seek to combine luxury and comfort with scenic panoramas. New residential projects located east on Biscayne Bay provide more fascinating scenic views and remarkable amenities.
If you want to experience Miami’s true city spirit, head to Brickell. Brickell has it all, from swanky office buildings to ultra-luxurious residential high-rises and dynamic nightlife venues. If you ever get tired of the dynamics that is constantly present in the air, simply cross the small bridge at the end of 8th Street and you will find yourself in the serene oasis of Brickell Key, a small residential neighborhood surrounded by astonishing water panoramas.
Luxury condos on both sides of Brickell Avenue invite potential residents and investors to become part of their sophisticated world. Spectacular newly-constructed high-rises in the Mary Brickell Village provide first-rate amenities, unparalleled city views, and easy access to major local attractions. For those who value privacy, spacious single-family homes are also available in the neighborhood to accommodate larger families and those who enjoy outside patios.
You will find world-famous, high-end dining venues in the heart of Brickell. If you look for luxurious decors, a waterfront setting, and extravagantly served drink and food specials, check out the culinary options inside the five-star hotels located on the east side of Brickell Avenue. If you prefer a variety of ethnic choices, head to the bustling Mary Brickell Village to enjoy people watching, diverse local crowds, and polished neighborhood spots. Italian, Mexican, and Japanese restaurants are located right there to satisfy the culinary fantasies of food lovers from all over the globe. And if this is not enough, wait until the Brickell City Center opens, which will feature more diverse selections of restaurants and coffee shops.
Downtown Miami is both a neighborhood of the past and a spot of the present. Featuring eclectic elements of the city’s past combined with the modernistic grander of Miami’s present, the neighborhood has much to offer to the curious tourist and those who have decided to call the area their home. Though small, downtown boasts numerous interesting features as well as abundant opportunities for diverse activities.
While the area is primarily a hub for major commercial and business activities, Downtown Miami features a few luxury residential buildings that enhance the neighborhood’s swanky feel. The high-rise buildings are also a fabulous option for people who prefer a dynamic lifestyle and convenient setting within a central location. Check out some of the high-rises on Biscayne Boulevard and immerse yourself in a world of sophisticated ambiance and state-of-the-art amenities.
Downtown hotels are the places to go if you seek a swanky setting and unprecedented elegance.
Downtown Miami has some of the city’s most opulent hotels that feature open-air happy hour bars and waterfront dining, all with a luxury and urban feel with Biscayne Bay panoramas. Also, check out for what’s hot on the agenda at the Perez Art Museum, a cultural hub for art enthusiasts from all over the city. The Perez Art Museum has been a new addition to Miami’s cultural scene and is a one-of-a-kind BBQ and networking event that attracts noted city professionals and entrepreneurs. The American Airlines Arena is home to NBA Miami Heat games that are sure to be exciting to watch.
Drive along the banyan-ruled streets of Coral Gables past bubbling fountains and Mediterranean piazzas, and chances are you’ll forget you’re in the center of Florida’s largest metropolis. Instead, some faraway European city may come to mind, and that’s just how developer George Merrick wanted it. Named after the native rock where Merrick came of age in Massachusetts, Coral Gables was incorporated in 1925 as a planned city with areas designated for business, leisure and residential activities. Mediterranean Revival architecture, known for its arches and Roman loggias in the terra-cotta and sienna shades of the European seaside (which help counteract the effects of the sun), was meticulously chosen and quickly set the old world mood that makes this city of 42,000 stand out.
Even today, history is front and center. There’s a Board of Architects Review Panel, created at the city’s inception, along with a Mediterranean Architectural Ordinance that’s been in effect since 1986. the latter offers cash incentives to builders who conform to the Mediterranean Revival style. Paul George, Ph.D., resident historian at the Historical Museum of Southern Florida and a professor of history at Miami Dade College, believes the beauty of the area lies in the preservation of its history. “What’s been here the longest is what continues to remain some of the most attractive elements of the city,” he says. “The Merrick home, the Biltmore Hotel, the Douglas Arches — all these distinctive places that characterize the city were part of Merrick’s original vision.”
Encompassing 37 square miles, Coral Gables sits between West Flagler Avenue and the Deering Bay Golf Course to the north and south, respectively, and LeJeune and Red roads to the east and west. Thirty percent of the land here is a dedicated green space. There are two public golf courses, numerous pocket parks tucked into residential areas and several canals that can accommodate large yachts, which are often seen docked along the 40 miles of waterfront-lot frontage.
The Coral Gables Waterway leads to the ocean and is a major manatee protection zone. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden offers regular movie and jazz nights as well as art exhibitions by the likes of Dale Chihuly and David Botero whose pieces are integrated into the lush foliage. In the surrounding homes, you’ll mostly find families. Rarely, if ever, do under-30 singles or first- time home buyers descend on the area. At an average price of $400 per square foot for a non-water- front, single-family home, the houses are simply out of their price range. “Property values are high, so you have residents that have made a conscious decision to live here,” says Janet Gavarrete, a planner for the University of Miami, which is in Coral Gables. “Residents all seek the same thing: quality of life within a planned city that boasts tremendous beauty, grace and infrastructure.”
Coral Gables is a great place to raise a family. The traffic circles make it nearly impossible to speed through residential neighborhoods, and the city even has one of the lowest crime rates in Miami-Dade County. It also has its own police & fire departments. Chris Basick, a 14-year resident and real-estate agent with EWM, and experiences the city’s “wow-factor” regularly. “When my clients recognize the safety, the city services, the curb appeal of the homes, they are in awe,” he says.
After living in Miami Beach for nearly 20 years, Gladys Acosta moved to Coral Gables five years ago. “The homes here are not your typical suburban homes. They have character,” she says. “You can’t beat the location. You’re part of Miami, but you don’t get the awful traffic. You have everything you need, but you’re removed from the craziness.”
Just six miles west of downtown Miami, the city’s location attracts another 40,000 professionals to its downtown business district daily. Recognized as the commercial epicenter for Latin America and the Caribbean, Coral Gables is home to both national and regional headquarters for nearly 200 major American, European, Latin American and even Caribbean companies. With more than 6.5 million square feet of office space in such classic buildings as the Alhambra Towers and Columbus Circle, the city has the highest concentration of multinational companies in the state, with industries ranging from communications and IT to banking, manufacturing and international trade.
Miracle Mile is the east-west artery that divides the 20-square block business district. Suited-up business people, soccer moms running errands, local college professors and even ladies who lunch frequent more than 200 retailers and 70 restaurants daily. The area has long been a hub for high-end furniture stores and bridal salons. Downtown is also home to some of the city’s longest-running galleries and restaurants, such as Cacao and Ortanique on the Mile, where chef Cindy Hutson offers her “cuisine of the sun.” More top eateries include Gusto Fino Italian Deli Market, a gourmet market and café where Basick often picks up a prosciutto sandwich. The market boasts authentic Italian ingredients in a slew of family recipes available for takeout.
One of downtown’s most notable features is the free, air-conditioned, hybrid trolley that travels along Ponce de Leon Boulevard. More than 4,000 people hop aboard one of these trolleys daily, which “expands the circumference of the walkable downtown business and retail district,” says Mari Molina, executive director of the Business Improvement District (BID). “It can even bring them all the way to downtown Miami because it connects to the Metrorail.”
In addition to restaurants and shops, downtown has also experienced a proliferation of condos in the past few years. Currently, about 158 units are for sale, with prices ranging from about $115,000 to $899,000, according to MLS. Despite the real-estate slowdown, condos “don’t stay on the market for long,” notes Molina. About 5,000 residents call downtown home.
While South Florida certainly isn’t known for its perambulators, a pedestrian-friendly downtown streetscape project is in the works. “We want to make downtown even more walkable. Plans to pinch the street will slow cars down, reduce traffic and enable us to widen sidewalks, making room for out- door kiosks, dining pavilions and benches,” reports Molina.
For year-round fun, the BID organizes a number of annual events, such as Coral Gables Restaurant Week, Carnival on the Mile and the Coral Gables Wine & Food Festival. The historic Miracle theatre brings high-caliber plays to the community. Stepping into the theater is like stepping back in time, and the city’s history shines through its 1948 architecture, especially the marquee — visible from nearly anywhere on Miracle Mile. Venetian Pool, built-in 1923 from a coral rock quarry fed by an underground aquifer, is a family-friendly spot to cool off on hot days.
s if all that wasn’t enough, the University of Miami — located on 600 acres of land donated by Merrick, who also pledged an additional $5 million back in 1926 — offers the Lowe Art Museum, the Gusman Concert Hall and the Cosford Cinema. Though on UM’s campus, these facilities are quite frequently visited by many locals who come for the high-caliber art exhibitions, concerts, live theater and even independent films.
“UM was part of Merrick’s great vision. He believed every great city deserved a great university and truly recognized the value it held for a local community,” says Gavarrete. Merrick was right. “When anything happens at UM, the whole city feels it.” Amid all these vibrant activities, historic surprises still remain. In an effort to generate additional sales and diversify the mostly Mediterranean style of architecture, Merrick began adding themed villages to the community. His original plan included 14 distinct villages, such as French Normandy, Chinese, Dutch South African, Italian and Florida Pioneer, which would consist of 1,000 residences. Only seven — about 75 homes — were built due to the hurricane of 1926 and the ensuing depression.
Ralph Sanchez, a local developer, is doing his part to keep Merrick’s vision alive with the creation of Old Spanish Village. Incorporating details of Merrick’s original Spanish Village, such as cobblestone streets and arched entryways, the seven-acre downtown project includes condos and luxury townhomes ranging from $400,000 to $2.5 million. Merrick may be long gone, but his dream continues.