Posted Oct. 24, 2012
By ANDRES CORREA
CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Couples sit outside to sip coffee and discuss their day while business people are at a table just a few feet away making deals at one of several high end restaurants in the area.
Women stroll past the many boutiques, just to window shop like it’s any other day, though other women a block away are prepared to finally purchase their wedding dress. It’s a scene unlike any other in a city that’s already so unique.
These are the things a casual observer witnesses when strolling down the street at Miracle Mile in Coral Gables, a suburban area not far from downtown Miami.
Natalie Selig is an employee at Frankie, a recently opened boutique on Miracle Mile. She admits that the atmosphere there is different, though not always for pleasant reasons.
“We opened the store in March,” Selig said. “The dynamic between the store owners here is very competitive.”
Perhaps that is because, in a fashion-centered metropolitan area like Miami, Miracle Mile stands out as one of the most popular areas to go shopping. Not only is the street full of competing boutiques like Frankie, but if you are attending a wedding in Miami, chances are the bride bought her dress on Miracle Mile.
According to the Miracle Mile website, shopcoralgables.com, the area has more than three dozen shops and salons that cater directly to brides known as “Bridal Row.”
The shopping experience at Miracle Mile is certainly unlike any other near Miami, but that is far from the only thing that makes this area one of the most memorable places to visit in the city. Miracle Mile also features many high end restaurants. This makes it among one of the many best places for business people to meet up and “do lunch.” However, there’s no need to be a business person in order to be able to afford these restaurants. Many of the customers are just boutique employees enjoying a wonderful lunch break.
“There are so many nice restaurants,” said Selig. “It’s a good place to meet people or just go out with your friends after work. You can go to Tarpon Bend, Seasons 52, or Hillstone. There are a lot of options.”
The idea of being able to shop all day and then take a long and luxurious lunch break is what defines the Miracle Mile experience. It’s the perfect area for families or a group of friends to plan a day around. Visit the Mile on your average weekday and you will see women spending a day with their friends walking from boutique to salons and stopping at restaurants like Seasons 52 for a break.
“Seasons 52 is an awesome place to stop for lunch after shopping,” said Nicole Matos, a regular visitor to Miracle Mile. “They have the best flatbreads I’ve ever had.”
Once night falls in Miracle Mile, these restaurants become the perfect setting for couples to go and spend a romantic evening. Tess Oliver has been with her boyfriend for more than a year now. Perhaps it helped that it was a perfect night in the Miracle Mile area during their first date.
“The first thing I noticed once we arrived was the beautiful lighting and classy decor,” said Oliver. “Tiny lights shimmered throughout the trees making it feel like all the stars had come out to play.”
Those that happen to be passing through the Miracle Mile area in the evening would notice scenes like this up and down the streets. Something about leaving these nice restaurants and taking a walk under the lights gives couples the urge to hold hands and walk a bit closer to each other. It’s one of the few places in Miami where couples can go and avoid being bothered.
“The atmosphere was very personal,” Tess said. “It was not crowded, or loud, or terribly busy. It was the perfect environment for taking a stroll, having a chat, and enjoying the beautiful scenery.”
The atmosphere is what makes Miracle Mile what it has become to the city of Miami. In one of the fastest moving cities in the world, it is a place where people can go to slow down for a bit and have some time to themselves. For those looking to take a break from all the sexiness of South Beach or something more laid back than the bar scene in downtown, this is the place to be. Miami is a city full of highways and intersections, but visitors to Miracle Mile can still find a “perfect environment for taking a stroll.”
IF YOU GO
Westin Colonnade, 180 Aragon Avenue, Coral Gables, Fla. 33134, 305-441-2600.
Hyatt Regency Coral Gables, 50 Alhambra Plaza, Coral Gables, Fla. 33134, 305-441-1234.
Hillstone, 201 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables, Fla 33134, 305-529-0141.
Seasons 52, 321 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables, Fla. 33134, 305-442-8552.
Tarpon Bend Food & Tackle, 65 Miracle Mile Coral Gables, Fla. 33134, 305-444-3210.