After enjoying our fine cafe con leches in Little Havana, we decided to get some exercise. Though we had visited the beach the day before, we wanted to test the waters of the Venetian Pool. I know, it sounds weird to visit a pool when you’re in Miami. However, this isn’t just any pool. The Venetian Pool is “world’s most beautiful swimming hole.”
Originally a coral rock quarry, in the 1920s the Venetian Pool was converted into a swimming pool. Today, it’s filled with 820,000 gallons of cool — and I mean cool! — spring water. Featuring two waterfalls, as well as coral caves and grottos you can swim through, this isn’t just the “world’s most beautiful swimming hole” — it’s the world’s coolest swimming hole.
Located in Coral Gables, the Pool is included on the National Register of Historic Places. Playing host to thousands of families and visitors who want to swim in artesian water and pretend — if only for a while — that they’re on a movie set, the Pool is a great way to kill a few hours under the glare of the Miami sun.
Upon entering, visitors enter a small foyer celebrating the history of the Pool.
Thereafter, the building opens up into an expansive courtyard…
…and, of course, the Pool itself. There’s a small island on which people may lounge.
But the focal point of the Pool is definitely the large waterfall in the corner.
The Pool is so big that there are plenty of places to splash and play and not bother other people. In fact, during its heyday, visitors to the site enjoyed gondola rides! Entire orchestras surrounded the Pool, serenading poolside dancers and visiting dignitaries.
Don’t feel like swimming? There’s a good-sized beach on one side of the pool for relaxing.
My favorite part of the Pool is the caves you can swim through. Situated right below where I’m standing when I took this photo…
… the caves are so cool, I spent most of my time in them. I even shot this short video. Come with me on my tour of the caves.
Don’t like caves? Here’s a 360-degree look at the Pool — from inside the Pool.
If you want to chill out in Miami but the beach isn’t your bag, this is the coolest place in town to kick it.
Now that we were cooled off, it was time to do some more sight-seeing. Biscayne Bay, anyone?