This Mesmerizing Florida Swimming Pool Is Also A Unique Historic Landmark

Venice, Italy may be a small island city, but its grandeur and intriguing canals have made artists and architects desire to somehow bring the feeling of Venice to other parts of the world. Like Venice, the Venetian in Las Vegas even has singing gondoliers and a massive replica of the St Mark's Campanile Tower just like the real one in Venice. Another famous attempt at capturing the magic of Venice is of course Venice, California with its small canals and arched building facades. 

On the other side of the United States is a third notable homage to Venice, and what must be one of the world's coolest pools. Less than 10 miles away from Miami Beach is the Venetian Pool in Coral Gables, Florida. This popular Florida tourist destination was born out of creative necessity and city founder George Merrick's affinity for all things Mediterranean. The result is a public pool with a nostalgic resort feel. Like its Mediterranean inspiration, it has a sandy beach, bridges, palm trees, and boat fastening posts to give visitors a taste of European sea life.

The Venetian Pool has long been a highlight of Coral Gables

George Merrick loved to incorporate design and architectural themes from around the world, even crafting pockets of Coral Gables to resemble places like France, Spain, and other places in the Mediterranean. He also wanted to get rid of the area from which Coral Gables generated its building materials because the town was quickly growing around it. He teamed up with architect Phineas Paist and artist Denman Fink to plan the Venetian Pool. 2024 marks the 100th anniversary of the pool's opening.

Aside from being so visually appealing with its waterfalls, light beige buildings reminiscent of Italy, and cultivated plant life, the Venetian Pool is also an engineering feat. The pool can fill up and drain out with clean water from the underground Biscayne aquifer. No chlorine necessary! After a full day of fun in the sun, the Venetian Pool avoids becoming wasteful, as the drained water actually goes back into the aquifer. It is no wonder that the Venetian Pool is the only pool on the National Register of Historic Places.

Arrive to the Venetian Pool in the morning to beat the crowds

Coral Gables is a hotspot for the performing arts with multiple venues around the town, such as the Actors' Playhouse at Miracle Theater and the award-winning GableStage at the Biltmore Hotel. Surprisingly, the Venetian Pool has played a role in this too. Over the decades, orchestras have performed in the pool — after draining the water, of course. The Venetian pool is open Tuesdays through Sundays to anyone over three years old and above three feet tall. Prices fluctuate depending on the season but only expect to pay a maximum of $21 per person during the pool's busiest months. Arrive early to secure a spot and relax in one of its shady spots, the sandy beach, or on the pool deck. 

"[The pool] is a lounging space. If you're not hanging back and taking a nap on your chair or towel, you're floating on your back or with a lifejacket, you're cooling off, going for a nice swim, or standing in the shallows." lifeguard Oliver Robles told Coral Gables Magazine. "It's got magic. There's an ambiance to it."