History Lessons: The Haute 5 Historical Landmarks in Miami

Toss those textbooks. As one of the most exciting cities in the U.S., Miami boasts locations as fascinating as they are historic. From pools to preserved areas of land, we’re counting down the places in Miami that warrant a page in the history books.

Biltmore Hotel

A fave among the hottest celebs, athletes and socialites since its opening, the Historic Biltmore Hotel of Coral Gables is truly a legend in Miami. As a standard setting resort, the Biltmore Hotel showcases championship golf, cosmopolitan dining, a luxury spa and premier conference facilities, all the while exceeding most refined expectations, says its Web site. Graced with unequivocal elegance and class, the Biltmore Hotel offers a stunning location in the exclusive Coral Gables area of Miami. Adjacent to the gorgeous Spanish-revival Biltmore Hotel stands the William H. Kerdyk Biltmore Tennis Center. Featuring 10 all-weather lighted hard courts and a large practice wall, players of all skill levels will love frequenting this beautiful venue located in the heart of Coral Gables. And afterward, cool off in the famous Biltmore pool.

1150 Anastasia Ave.; Coral Gables; (305) 460-5360

The Miami Freedom Tower

Let freedom ring! The Miami Freedom Tower is a monument to the trials of Cuban Americans in America. According to About.com, the first floor is a public museum detailing such things as boat lifts, life in pre-and post- Castro Cuba and the advances made by Cuban Americans in this country. The old newspaper offices have been converted to offices for the Cuban American National Foundation and meeting halls are set up for events, conferences and parties. The rooftop terrace space, famous for world-class receptions, overlooks beautiful downtown Miami and the Miami Bay.

600 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

Venetian Pool

In the middle 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 – Venetian Pool. According to the Venetian Pool’s Web site, it is perhaps the only swimming pool anywhere to be included in the National Register of Historic Places. 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.

2701 De Soto Blvd.; (305) 460-5306

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

Along with being a National Historic Landmark, this stunningly beautiful retreat in the heart of Miami features a main house, ten acres of formal gardens, a rockland hammock (native forest), and soon-to-be-restored historic village. Built by agricultural industrialist James Deering in 1916, Vizcaya Museum & Gardens has been a diplomatic seat of Miami-Dade County, having hosted some of the world’s most renowned dignitaries such as Queen Elizabeth II, Pope John Paul II, President Ronald Reagan, and King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain.

3251 South Miami Ave., Miami; (305) 250-9133

The Miami River Circle

The Miami Circle archaeological site is regarded as being of local, regional, and statewide significance due to it being believed to be the only cut-in-rock prehistoric structural footprint ever found in eastern North America.  The site, according to its Web site, potentially qualifies for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Architecturally unique, it consists of a perfect circle of 24 holes or basins cut into the limestone bedrock on a coastal spit of land, surrounded by a large number of other holes.

401 Brickell Ave., Miami