Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Venetian Pool: Going Back To Old Florida With My Oldest Friends

Last year during my annual trip to visit my sisters and bebes in Florida, we visited the Venetian Pool in Coral Gables for the first time.  How we lived our entire lives in South Florida never visiting this state treasure is a mystery to me.  The Venetian Pool is enchanting!

This year, our crew grew.  Those who we sad to have missed it last year made sure to get in on this year's adventure.  That, plus knowing what to expect, made it such a fun day!

A brief history.

The Venetian Pool began in the 1920's as a casino in an abandoned coral rock quarry, which was used to build many of the grand homes and buildings in the local Coral Gables area of Miami.  And in it's early years, the pool as often drained to allow the Miami Symphony to perform in it, taking advantage of the great acoustics.  

The pool is the largest fresh water pool in the USA, with fresh water draining daily from artesian wells.  Though now that the world knows natural resources such as aquifers are not in fact endless, the water both drains from and back into the wells, as to be less wasteful.  

Outside of the kiddie pool, the most shallow spot in the main pool is 4' deep.  And because it's fresh water, it's not warm, even mid summer in Miami.  It's lovely and refreshing but it's surprisingly chilly when you first jump in if you are more accustomed to Florida bath water pool temps.  

There are several waterfalls, a grotto, and a cool spot to jump into the water above the grotto area.  It's definitely unique and a fun way to daycation if you are local.  

So beauty aside, I want to level with you about a few potential drawbacks of the Venetian.  Because knowledge is power, even on a fun day in the sun.  

First, by 11AM it is packed with local camps.  Which means it goes from being small family groups to masses of excited kids being watched over by small numbers of teenage camp counsellors.  Second, it's slippery.  There are mats down but I saw people slipping all over the place, including my Goddaugher, who thankfully was holding my hand at the time.  The walk over the grotto to do the big leap into the pool is both steep and slippery.  I am sure there is a method to the madness but I can't emphasize enough how much more well suited the experience is to older kids.  Third, and what is in my opinion the biggest down side, the pool is very deep!  If you go with kids who are strong swimmers, this won't be a huge issue.  However, be prepared to do your best doggy paddle in the middle of chaotic camper fun and waterfalls while attempting to prevent yourself and at least one child in your party from drowning.  I highly suggest swim float things for younger kids, even if your kids swim in your backyard daily.  

A few other notes...

There is a kiddie pool and it's kind of delightful.  We never spotted it the first year but it was a life saver this year.  At one point all of us, adults included, were hanging out in the tucked away kiddie pool.  Also, at one point, Godsister and I were doing the shallow pool squat stand that adults do in kiddie pools while her daughter, almost four, was standing out of said kiddie pool.  So two adults in the pool, one toddler having a toddler moment out of the pool.  It was funny at the time!  

Pool chairs are an additional fee but worth their weight in gold if you want to keep your pool bag dry.  Also, bring dry clothes as there is a nice changing area and no one likes driving home for an hour in a wet bathing suit.  

And finally, the surrounding neighborhood is stunning.  Grab yourself an ice coffee and take an extra 30 minutes to drive around and admire all the amazing old Florida architecture and mature tree-lined avenues.  Even if you're not a native Floridan, it's easy to imagine what life was like a century ago when this area came to life!

All in all, our second visit to the Venetian Pool was fantastic!  My notes are really just so that you feel like you have a full grasp of the pool should you plan to visit.  I definitely recommend it to all who find themselves in the area!  I'm so happy everyone in our group has been able to see this hidden Florida treasure!

Thanks for planning another outstanding visit to the Venetian, bestie Florida!  


1 comment:

MCW said...

Looks so pretty...but don't know how I would feel about the cold pool temps. Maybe if it was REALLY hot out! And surprised they take camps there with it being so deep and slippery.


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