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Parks and Recreation in Coral Gables

Coral Gables has a generous amount of green space, including a world-class community recreation center and more than 20 parks. You will find playgrounds for young children and well maintained fields for every type of sport. There are peaceful shady places, refreshing pools with spectacular waterfalls, primaeval nature trails and cool, peaceful picnic areas. The Gables boasts the largest tropical botanical garden in the Unites States and more than 40 miles of inland waterways, bayfront parks, palm-laden sandy beaches and protected marinas. Enjoy championship tennis facilities and world famous golf courses. The University of Miami features nationally recognized athletic programs and state-of-the-art facilities.

Call Coral Gables Park And Recreation: 305-460-5620.

Coral Gables War Memorial Youth Center
405 University Dr. • 305-460-5339
Dedicated to those from Coral Gables that served their country in World War II, the youth center features state-of-the-art facilities for youth and adult activities, and is considered one of the finest recreational centers in the United States.

The property includes a gymnasium, a modern fitness center, a neighborhood theater, indoor and outdoor playgrounds, football and soccer fields, baseball and softball fields, indoor and outdoor basketball courts, a teaching kitchen and a senior recreation room. Classrooms for arts and crafts, indoor sports and many forms of instruction are modern and well maintained.

The city's top-rated Parks and Recreation Department offers an incredible array of programs, classes and activities for every age group, from tots to senior citizens. Individual and family memberships are available at discounted rates for Coral Gables residents.

Coral Gables Venetian Pool
2701 DeSoto Blvd. • 305-460-5356
An example of George Merrick's directive to turn commonplace public spaces into works of art, Venetian Pool was transformed from a coral rock quarry in 1923.

In the midst of one of Coral Gables' residential neighborhoods, hidden behind pastel stucco walls and wrought iron gates, is found one of the most special attractions of this special city. Certainly it is the only swimming pool of its kind with its vine-covered loggias, shady porticos, Spanish fountain, three-story observation towers and cascading waterfalls that spill into a free-form lagoon complete with coral rock caves and palm-fringed island.

This 820,000 gallon pool is fed with cool spring water daily. The buildings are Venetian-style architecture, designed by Denman Fink, uncle of the founding father of Coral Gables, George Merrick.

Together with architect Phineas Paist, they transformed an unsightly rock pit into the world's most beautiful swimming hole. Venetian Pool received a major historic restoration in 1989 and is included in the National Register of Historic Places.

Among the amenities are a shallow swimming area for younger children, a flowery butterfly garden, an outdoor cafe, sunny courtyards and paved walkways.

A small admission fee gains entry. Notice all the historical images displayed in the walls as you pass through the entrance way.

Venetian Pool is available for parties and special occasions, and is popular for children's birthday parties and gala evening events. The cafe serves fast food during the day and catering services are available on request.

Matheson Hammock Park, Marina and Beach
9610 Old Cutler Road.
Matheson Hammock Park is a lovely scenic tropical forest with an unusual feature -- a man-made atoll pool, which is flushed naturally with the tidal action of nearby Biscayne Bay. Its tranquil breeze-swept beach is a haven for families who enjoy its warm, safe waters and beautiful waterside views.

Dock your boat here or use the launch ramps. Learn sailing with the pros at Castle Harbor Sailing School. Join the crowds of wind and kite surfers that enjoy the consistent breezes and shallow warm waters of Biscayne Bay.

The Red Fish Grill, on the beach, serves fresh seafood, pasta, chicken and steak nightly, except Mondays. You can dine inside the historic coral rock building or outside, overlooking the beach and Biscayne Bay. The Grill's snackbar offers casual food for lunch daily, except Mondays.

Matheson Hammock Park also has a scenic lake bordered by a large coral rock picnic pavilion and smaller pavilions with charcoal grills, picnic tables and benches. Nature trails and bike trails weave throughout the park.

The wading beach offers a unique setting amongst the mangrove shoreline, where gentle waves lap in the soft sand. This undeveloped, natural bayfront environment is remniscent of South Florida more than 100 years ago.

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
10901 Old Cutler Rd., phone 305-667-1651
One of the world's preeminent botanic gardens, it boasts extensive collections of rare tropical plants including palms, cycads, flowering trees and vines. Opened to the pubic in 1938, the 83-acre garden offers a variety of programs in environmental education, conservation and horticulture. A narrated tram tour takes visitors through the lush and extensive garden. The garden was designed by renowned landscape architect William Lyman Phillips, a member of the Frederik Law Olmsted partnership, and the leading designer of South Florida parks during the 1930s. An international leader in tropical plant research, Fairchild plays an important part in preserving the biodiversity of the tropical environment.
Biltmore Golf Course
1210 Anastasia Ave.
Once a 36 hole course when it opened in 1925, the southern 18 holes of this public course later became part of the Riviera Country Club. With well groomed fairways and meticulously manicured greens, the Biltmore Golf Course is one of the most popular in South Florida.

The fairways are fairly narrow, and the surfaces of the greens are firm. William Langford and Mark Mahannah have each done redesigns. The course adjoins the Biltmore Resort and Convention Center and is surrounded by notable and historic homes.

Riviera Country Club and Golf Course
1155 Blue Road

This private course features small, slightly elevated, hard to read, fast greens. The fairways are open, but well bunkered. There is water that comes into play on two holes. The course has been redesigned several times over the years, most recently by Brian Silva in 1993. Caddies are mandatory if you choose to walk the course. The signature hole is #12, a 538-yard, par 5, featuring a two-acre lake guarding the left side of the fairway, which threatens both the tee shot and the second shot. The University of Miami and Doctors' Hospital, as well as some of the most notable homes in Coral Gables, are located on the perimeter of this course.

Granada Golf Course
2001 Granada Blvd.
Since it was completed in 1926, this public gold course has enjoyed a reputation for being a quick play of nine holes and 6,000 yards -- conveniently located only two blocks from city hall. Today, it is the oldest continually operated golf course in Florida, featuring open, tree-lined fairways with small, elevated greens. It is a well-bunkered course. There are no water hazards, which is good for the higher handicap players. There are three dogleg fairways. The country club across the street and "Burger Bob's" adjoining the pro shop are very popular places in this upscale neighborhood of historic homes.
Deering Bay Yacht and Country Club
13610 Deering Bay Dr
South on Old Cutler Road, near the Chapman Field Agricultural Research Center, this bayfront course has well-bunkered fairways that are wide open. The large greens are undulating and Biscayne Bay or the small lakes come into play on every hole.

Situated at the southern tip of scenic Coral Gables, Florida and on the shores of Biscayne Bay, Deering Bay Yacht & Country Club offers all the amenities of a world-class, private country club in a pristine and tranquil setting. Inspired by Mediterranean architecture of the 14th century, Deering Bay's exquisite scenery, outstanding sports facilities and superb service bring a touch of elegance to an area rich with history and splendor. Many refer to Deering Bay as South Florida's hidden gem.

Deering Bay's superior amenities include South Florida's only Arnold Palmer designed, bay front golf course that is widely considered to be the top private club in the area. Meandering through 6740 yards of beautiful Florida landscape including mangrove forests, awe inspiring wildlife and calm waterways, this par 71 course is challenging and breath-taking for all.

Deering Bay also offers perhaps the finest dining and service in the area with artfully prepared cuisine enjoyed in a relaxed setting where staff members welcome them by name. In addition to Deering's dining and golf facilities, members and their guests enjoy seven Har-Tru clay tennis courts, a fitness center, yoga studio, Junior Olympic sized pool and social events for all ages. Within walking distance from the clubhouse are their three private, deep-water marinas offering dockage space for vessels from 25 to 120 feet in length.

http://www.dbycc.com

William H. Kerdyk Biltmore Tennis Center
1150 Anastasia Ave. • 305-460-5360
With 10 lighted courts and a recreation center, the Kerdyk Tennis Center rests in the shadow of the Biltmore Hotel under a giant banyan tree.

This public facility includes a tennis pro shop with tennis instruction professionals on site.

The courts are next to the Biltmore Business Center and adjacent to the championship golf course.

Salvadore Park Tennis Center and Playground
1120 Andalusia Ave.• 305-460-5333
Salvadore Park, located in a quiet residential section just a block south of Coral Way on Columbus, features 13 tennis courts. Beneath the giant banyan trees and surrounded by historic and notable homes, the park includes a children's playground. Covered picnic tables, swings, slides and shady benches make this a perfect place to spend an afternoon.

For tennis enthusiasts, after-school programs, Saturday classes and camps are available.

Country Club Tennis Courts
1001 South Greenway Drive
Just west of Granada Boulevard and the Granada Golf Course Pro Shop on South Greenway Drive are the tennis courts of the Country Club of Coral Gables. The courts are reserved for country club members and their guests, but residents may inquire about fees for using the courts.
Jaycee Park
1230 Hardee Rd.
Just a block south of US1 and just east of the waterway complex, Jaycee Park offers a modern assortment of youth playgound equipment and facilities. The park is very popular with families in the neighborhood and children of all ages are often found enjoying the playground.
George Merrick Park
400 Biltmore Way
Directly across from City Hall, George Merrick Park is shaded by majestic old oak trees and carpeted by lush green grass. Between January and March, the park is home to the Coral Gables Farmers' Market on Saturday mornings. It's also the site of the Merrick Festival in mid-April. After the Thanksgiving holiday, Merrick Park is decorated as Santa's Village, then transformed into the site of the Junior Orange Bowl Parade and festivities on New Year's Eve.
Fred B. Hartnett Ponce Circle Park
2810 Ponce de Leon Blvd.
Fred Harnett was one of the most beloved mayors to serve the people of Coral Gables. The park that bears his name is an integral part of festival life in Coral Gables when the streets are closed and the public enjoys this large public space for special events throughout the year. The St. Patrick's Day Festival, the Merrick Festival and other public events have been held here for many years.
Coral Gables Parknership Program

The community has a unique program that unites public, corporate and private interests for the support of neighborhood parks.

The Parknership initiative, developed by Commission William Kerdyk, Jr. successfully leads the effort to raise funds that enable Gables residents to have public recreation facilities in every neighborhood.

Neighborhood Parks
in Coral Gables

Alcazar Plaza
700 Alcazar Ave.

Coral Bay Park
1590 Campamento Ave.

Robert J. Fewell Park
950 Coral Way

Freedom Plaza
900 E. Ponce de Leon Blvd.

Lola B. Walker Pioneers Park
200 Grand Ave.

Loretta Sheehy Park
401 Sunset Rd.

MacFarlane Park
100 South Dixie Hwy.

Nat Winokur Park
150 Ruiz Ave

Nellie B. Moore Park
202 Jefferson Dr.

Phillips Park
90 Menores Ave.

Pierce Park
101 Oak Ave.

Pittman Park
115 Merrick Way

Ponce de Leon Park
1201 Ponce de Leon Blvd.

Riviera Park
6611 Yumuri St.

Sunrise Harbor
25 Sunrise Harbor

Washington Park
4920 Washington Dr.

Young Park
950 Castile Plaza

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