Exploring Coral Gables, Florida, USA

I love being a tourist in my own state. Sure, it's fun globe trotting but to get to see towns in the area more intimately is just as fun (and a lot more affordable!). We just got back from a house sit in Coral Gables, Florida. It's a two hour drive south and we lucked out (again) with another great house sit!

We were fortunate to housesit for a family with young kids, which meant there were some serious perks for our girls. First and foremost, their kids left welcome letters on their front door for my girls. How sweet is that?! And, they left out a double stroller for us to use. In this charming and pedestrian friendly city, it worked out so well. In fact, on Saturday we walked over to a local park for an Easter egg hunt (and used the double stroller!). This is the kind of town where you can stroll, jog, go biking or whatever. Just being outdoors is a treat because it's a beautiful city that accommodates nature lovers.

The house was lovely and comfortable. And, I got to know the homeowner a bit via cell phone (messaging). For non-parents, it may be easy to pick up the phone or video chat but with kids (young kids in particular) there is something about being on the phone that makes kids suddenly become louder. So, chatting via messenger meant I could respond at my leisure and so could she. She sent me a few short videos of the house and pets. So by the time we arrived, we were able to settle in easily.

So, let me tell you about Coral Gables -- while I'm not a huge South Florida fan (traffic and cost of living) I can tell you that if I was made of money and lived in South Florida, I'd probably call Coral Gables home. It's a quiet town filled with beautiful homes. The homes aren't garish and tacky like some places in Miami. The homes here are more architecturally charming, unique and look more historic - plus they are landscaped beautifully. The streets are surrounded and covered by magnificent trees (I believe they are Ficus trees). They are like beautiful beasts of trees that walked out of a fairytale and into this town.

There are ample sidewalks that make strolling comfortable and safe. And the shade helps with the warm temperatures (generally speaking - after all, it is Florida and it's hot here most of the year).

The home owner recommended going to the Coral Gables Country Club and we suggest you do as well (if you have kids). It's super kid friendly and there are oversized windows that kids literally climb out of and play in the "front yard" while families eat. It's fantastic!

And, of course, it's nearby to Miami Beach (South Beach). I have to admit that I'm not a South Beach fan. It's overrun with tourists and it reeked of cigars while we were there. Yuck! I'm a fan of secluded beaches so this just isn't my scene. We checked it out but left well before our parking time ran out. Plus, the only traffic we dealt with was in route to the beach. Blah. Wasn't worth the drive at all.

Back to the perks though ... in addition to eating at the country club (open to the public and non-members), we also stumbled upon #burbowl which is literally a burger join in the back of a delicatessen. Go figure! It was impossible to find because the signage for the front of the store was for the deli and not BurBowl but once I figured it out, it was fine. The food was tasty and I always like to try new places. Their fries (not so yummy) but the burgers were.

We only stayed for a short weekend so we didn't get to explore everything I wanted but it was a great little weekend away.

And, if you are in the area, I suggest swinging by the Biltmore Hotel. It's a magnificent building.

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If you are interested in house sitting, I recommend the website I use. So far we have completed house sits in Cyprus (the European island), Gainesville (Florida), Durham (North Carolina), Montpelier (Vermont) and have two more coming up. One in the USA and one overseas.

Here's a referral link

And you can see more photos on Instagram @liesl.bee







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