While some South Beach travelers want nothing more than a sunny beach and a potent cocktail, the Coral Gables Museum offers a monthly Summer Bicycle Tour Series from June through August that provides great cardio and lots of insider information on the History of South Florida. Interested riders can meet up at the museum entrance at 10am to enjoy a guided roll through the shady streets of South Miami that ends at the Venetian Pool with a refreshing post ride swim!
Presented in partnership with Bike Walk Coral Gables, the Museum creates an added layer of interest for active tourists seeking more than an air conditioned shuttle bus and a map of the city. The June ride – called CORAL ROCKS! – rolls past some of the most historically significant Coral Gables homes entirely crafted by hand in the historic tradition using rough hewn local coral rocks. These early Miami dwellings have been updated for modern use, but maintain the unique charm of our earliest settlers who used the materials on hand to build the first residential structures in this tropical paradise.
The Summer Spokes July ride answers the question WHO IS GEORGE MERRICK? Meet at the museum at 10am on July 15 to tour the Merrick House and follow the path of one of the City of Miami’s most important early developers. Learn how George Edgar Merrick (1886-1942) started out as a humble farmer and ended up a revolutionary developer of the City of Coral Gables. One of the earliest planned communities in the United States, Coral Gables was once a citrus grove but through the determination of this intrepid pioneer, it remains one of the most beautiful residential communities in the state of Florida.
August may be hot and humid, but the Summer Spokes riders can keep their minds cool when they THINK FINK! This final ride focuses upon the efforts of George Merrick’s uncle Denman Fink who illustrated and designed the legendary Coral Gables Entrances, some of the most architecturally significant homes and the spectacular Venetian Pool. Riders meet at the museum on August 19 at 10am to roll through the gates of the city, explore the remaining Fink-designed homes and visit the house and studio that was Fink’s base of operations when he crafted the physical imprint of Coral Gables.
Riders are requested to bring along a reliable bike and appropriate safety gear plus a swimsuit if they choose to make a final splash at the Venetian Pool. Tickets are just $5 for museum members and $10 for the general public. Admission to the pool grounds is a separate fee based upon age and residence so locals should bring along a valid Florida ID to enjoy reduced pool fees. Tours are limited to first come, first served riders so reserving a space is encouraged. Call 305.603.8067 for information and advanced ticketing.
Coral Gables Museum is located at 285 Aragon Avenue, Coral Gables, at the corner of Aragon and Salzedo near Miracle Mile Downtown. Tours depart promptly at 10am so riders should plan to arrive at least 30 minutes in advance to join the group. Rides depart the museum and end at the Venetian Pool located at 2701 De Soto Boulevard, Coral Gables. The ride back to the museum grounds is approximately one mile via Almeria Avenue should guests need to retrieve their cars after the ride. Transportation back to the museum is not provided.
Photo Courtesy of the Coral Gables Museum & Bike Walk Coral Gables