By: DESIRÉE BLANCO
Tri-county real estate associate and self-described homebody, Jeannie Montes de Oca knows from experience how important it is to make a house a home. Here, she reveals some insider information on why Coral Gables is the perfect place to hang your hat.
1/ Tell us about the neighborhood. I grew up in Coral Gables. I’m a University of Miami alumna, and I’ve raised my family here, so it’s home to me. The people are friendly, there’s shopping and dining everywhere, and its impressive canopies — courtesy of centuries-old trees — can’t be found anywhere else in South Florida.
2/ What do you love most? As one of the first planned cities in Florida, The City Beautiful has a robust and well-maintained history. To this day you can visit the home of our founder George Merrick, stay at the world-renowned Biltmore Hotel, and splash about in the Venetian Pool.
3/ What’s your favorite activity? I really love walking with my corgi around our iconic golf courses, like the Granada Golf Course, Riviera Country Club or the Biltmore, all of which are both beautiful and challenging walks. I may even find my way to Chocolate Fashion for some freshly baked French bread!
4/ What about the architecture? The dominant style of architecture here is Mediterranean and Spanish — even our streets are named after towns and destinations in Spain — so you can find that everywhere. What many visitors don’t know about is the little villages dotted throughout the city that replicate traditional architecture from all over the world, like the Chinese Village, the Dutch South African Village and the French Normandy Village, my personal favorite.
5/ Are there any cultural opportunities? Absolutely! In addition to Spanish, I also speak French and Italian, so I love catching the foreign films that the Coral Gables Art Cinema screens. The exhibits and events at the Coral Gables Museum and Lowe Art Museum at UM are intriguing and fun for art lovers and families. And local bookshop Books & Books is a great place to mix and mingle with our culturati, as they often host authors and poets.
6/ What about any hidden gems? I feel like not many people are aware of the extensive waterways that weave through Coral Gables. There’s nothing like a day on the boat in South Florida, and here you can wind down 8 miles of canals before dropping off on Biscayne Bay.
7/ Any thoughts on the city’s future? It’s amazing how a city that’s so steeped in history can embrace the future the way Coral Gables has. Construction is booming and new shops, bars and restaurants are springing up. I think more families, couples, and even businesses will be flocking to take advantage of everything the city has to offer.
Jeannie Montes de Oca has consistently delivered exceptional service and unbridled value to her clients for over 20 years. She is a dynamic professional who parlays her vast experience and sharp negotiating skills into successful transactions for her discerning and international clientele. Visit MiamiLuxuryResidential.com for more information.