Located in Palm Beach County on the southern shores of Lake Okeechobee, Belle Glade has the somewhat dubious nickname, ‘Muck City.”
The city of about 17,000 is located in a particularly wet and swampy part of the state, hence the name. Although it’s relatively equidistant between the state’s central and east coast portions, most residents associate more with the Heartland area.
Belle Glade is near enough to a variety of natural and historical attractions to make day-trips to most parts of the state easy options.
Below are 14 things to do in and around Belle Glade, Florida.
1. Glades Pioneer Park
Located on State Route 715 in Belle Glade, Glades Pioneer Park is open from sunrise to sunset and is spread over more than 60 acres that are full of recreation options for active visitors.
From baseball fields and basketball courts to a 13 station exercise trail, there are plenty of calorie-burning amenities on-hand. For those who’d rather spend time in the shade reading a book or enjoying a picnic with friends and family, there are a number of covered pavilions and seating areas.
Some of the park’s amenities require an advance reservation to be used exclusively, and there’s an indoor swimming pool and aquatic park that are open seasonally as well.
2. Belle Glade Municipal Golf Course
With an overabundance of courses of nearly every size and shape, there’s really no excuse for avid golfers not to squeeze in at least one round on their trip to the Sunshine State.
The Belle Glade Municipal Golf Course is an 18-hole facility that features a variety of tee-box options to accommodate those of most ages and skill levels; it’s considered by many locals to be one of the area’s best values.
Playing about 6,600 yards, the par-72 course is slightly shorter than many of its competitors, but it’s just the right length for those who prefer to get their round finished in about three hours.
3. Dupuis Nature Center
The Dupuis Nature Center is a unique natural attraction in that it’s part nature preserve and part environmental studies facility. It’s largely dedicated to providing the community with a number of interactive, field-based study programs that are among the best of their kind in the region.
The nature center’s grounds include more than 20,000 acres located in both Palm Beach and Martin Counties, and it’s all conveniently located just a short drive from Belle Glade.
The center’s natural habitats include marshes, glades, and wet prairies that are home to an amazing variety of plant and animal species, many of which are commonly seen as part of guided tours.
4. Jonathan Dickinson State Park
Jonathan Dickinson State Park has won several awards over the years, and most of their accolades come from previous guests who found the park accessible, well-managed, and full of recreation options appropriate for most ages.
The park is open every day from 8:30 AM until 5 PM and is only closed on major holidays and for annual maintenance during two weeks in September.
From mangroves and marshes to pines, scrub, and rivers, the park’s a natural wonderland that’s connected by a network of trails, which are open to bikers, walkers, and runners. There are often staff-led activities, so check their website for details.
5. Big Cypress National Preserve
Big Cypress National Preserve is one of Florida’s most extensive and often visited natural attractions, and it provides habitat for a diverse array of wildlife including the elusive Florida panther.
At more than 700,000 acres, the preserve is a mixture of swamplands and forests that’s relatively accessible from a number of areas.
The preserve’s attractions include visitor and interpretive centers, road and trailside vista points, and elevated boardwalks.
Several ranger-led programs and activities are offered on a seasonal basis, and many of them are appropriate for families traveling with children, so check their website periodically before making the trip.
6. Clewiston Museum
The Clewiston Museum is located on Central Avenue and is known for its engaging and extensive exhibits that focus on the area’s natural history, cattle business, and commercial fishing, to name a few.
There’s also a portion of the museum that’s dedicated to the English airmen who trained in the area during World War II. Along with the Native American and hurricane exhibits, most guests find their expectations are pleasantly exceeded.
Consider taking in a historical or agricultural video in the 60-seat theater before moving on to your next adventure. The museum has limited hours, so check before heading out.
7. Mounts Botanical Garden
With its myriad of golf courses, farmer’s markets, and botanical gardens, Florida is one of those states that best experienced outside.
Located on North Military Trail in West Palm Beach, Mounts Botanical Garden is the area’s largest and most historic botanical garden, and features thousands of species of plants, trees, and flowers from nearly every continent.
The facility is really a variety of distinct gardens, each of which has its own theme; they’re all connected by easily-walkable and clearly marked trails that make getting around easy.
Informative signs are plentiful, and there are indoor sections that are the perfect places to get out of the sun for spell.
8. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts
Florida’s Palm Beaches are regional hotspots for art and cultural activities, and the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts on Okeechobee Boulevard in West Palm Beach is one of the premier destinations.
Often hosting nationally-known acts that include contemporary and classical music, dramatic theater, and recitals, the Kravis Center is the perfect destination for those who’ve had their fill of the area’s more mindless and often over-crowded and overpriced tourist attractions.
With so much on their calendar of events, it’s wise to check their website frequently and buy tickets in advance of your visit, especially for popular shows that may sell out.
9. Green Cay Nature Center and Wetlands
Boynton Beach is just a short drive east of Belle Glade, and Green Cay Nature Center and Wetlands is another of the area’s popular natural attractions. It’s a favorite destination for activity minded travelers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Green Cay is a relatively new addition to Boynton Beach and is comprised of approximately 100 acres that include mainly wetlands. A number of staff-led educational programs are available to visitors of most ages, and self-guided exploration is okay too.
The center is located on Hagen Ranch Road, and its amenities include a lecture hall, gift center, and live animal exhibits as well.
10. South Florida Science Center and Aquarium
Located in West Palm Beach, the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium features thousands of gallons of salt and freshwater aquariums that are home to a unique collection of marine animals.
The center includes dozens of interactive exhibits that touch on animals, the natural world, planets, and technology. There are a number of regularly scheduled staff-led programs and activities available.
There’s an onsite planetarium that’s considered one of the region’s most state-of-the-art. It is the perfect place to get engaged, entertained, and educated all while pleasantly ensconced in a comfy seat out of the often stifling Florida sun.
11. West Palm Beach Green Market
West Palm Beach offers regional travelers a host of recreation options ranging from artsy and cultural to natural and culinary.
The West Palm Beach Green Market is known for its fresh, seasonal Florida produce and its extensive selection of meats, dairy products, and prepared food items, like honey, pasta sauce, and condiments.
The market is as much a social gathering as it is just another shopping destination, and they’re known for their fresh flowers and tasty baked goods too.
The market is open on Saturdays from 9 AM until 1 PM from early October until the middle of April.
12. Due South Brewing Company
Boynton Beach has its own brewing district, so the bar for companies in the biz is set pretty high from the outset.
Located on High Ridge Road, Due South Brewing Company is one of the most well-loved of the area’s craft brewers. Though much of their business is supplying their products to regional establishments on a wholesale basis, there’s a nice taproom onsite that’s a great stop for beer aficionados.
Due South has a large selection of permanent beers as well as many seasonal ones, ranging from stouts and blondes to IPAs and Belgian-style ales.
13. Oceanfront Park Beach
Even for those who don’t consider themselves big beach people, no trip to the sunshine state would be complete without a little time spent frolicking in the sun, sand, and surf. For those staying in Belle Glade, one of the most convenient beach attractions is Oceanfront Park Beach in Ocean Ridge.
The beach is open every day of the year depending on the weather, and there are lifeguards on duty from 9 AM until 5 PM.
The beach and park feature plenty of parking, a playground, and designated areas for skim-boarders, surfers, and swimmers.
On days of inclement weather, lifeguards may not be on duty.
14. The Schoolhouse Children’s Museum and Learning Center
Located on East Ocean Avenue in Boynton Beach, the Schoolhouse Children’s Museum and Learning Center is a year-round attraction that’s particularly popular when the weather isn’t conducive to being outdoors.
Filled with interactive exhibits that engage and educate children, the center and its activities are appropriate for children of nearly all ages; most parents say they ended up having a much better time than expected, too.
The center’s exhibits focus on creativity, history, science, and the natural world, but keep in mind that only adults accompanying children are granted access unless they’re part of a regularly scheduled tour.