Located in Broward County, West Park is in southern Florida, just 16 miles north of Miami and 215 miles south of Orlando.
With a population of just 14,156, the area of West Park is relatively small but is surrounded by a host of the nearby regions that are well worth day trips, such as Hollywood and South Beach, Miami.
If you are looking for somewhere quiet to stay that’s within reach of the big city, then this is the place for you.
Easily accessible by northeast 2nd avenue and 6th northeast avenue from Miami, it’s also just 12 miles from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
Here are the best 14 things to do in West Park.
1. West Lake Park
West Lake Park is only a short drive out of town. It includes a mangrove estuary that stretches for three miles, with a shoreline of 20,600 miles.
If beautiful scenery isn’t enough for you, there are a host of other activities for you to do as well.
There’s a basketball park, a picnic area, a playground, racquetball and tennis courts, and a nature trail. There are also opportunities for fishing.
2. Oleta River State Park
If biking is your thing, then be sure to head to Oleta River State Park, where there are ten miles of bike trails. If you enjoy biking but are new to it, be sure to check out the four miles of novice trails. There are also some paved trails.
Canoeing and kayaking are also options at this park, at Biscayne Bay. You can rent some equipment on your own and follow one of several trails in the park, or you can go on an organized tour.
If you wish to stay overnight, there are also plenty of camping spots where you can pitch your tent or park up your R.V. You can swim off Biscayne Bay in the salty waters or even tie the knot at Oleta River State Park if the occasion calls for it!
3. Greynolds Park
Greynolds Park was once a quarry, though it’s hard to believe today. This 249-acre park is covered in palm trees and beautiful sands. It is named after A.O. Greynolds, a local businessman who gifted the land to the American people.
Activities at Greynolds Park include a guided historical nature walk and the chance to learn all about the local wildlife and plants that grow in the park. There is also a campfire program where you can learn about the history of America from a different perspective; Native American will share stories around the campfire.
4. Anne Kolb Nature Center
This nature center is one of the largest parks in Florida. First opened in 1996, it took years to build this 1,501-acre, man-made structure.
It includes an amphitheater, a meeting room, a boat dock, and it’s possible to fish and even get married at the venue.
But the best reason for visiting these nature trails is to get a sense of some of the incredible wildlife that inhabits this area of Florida. There are many endangered species here that you can see up close in a safe and caring environment.
5. Snake Creek Trail
This 6.5-mile trail is an easier hike than some of the others in West Park, and it has the added bonus of some spectacular views along the way.
It has fitness stations for working out first thing in the morning; one of the perks of living in such a beautiful state where the sun is always shining.
The Snake Creek Trail is great for both runners and riders, as you can jog or cycle along the path.
It also has a picnic park for those that want to bring their own food and lounge the day away beside the fabulous canal. It is in an area of town where country parks are much needed.
6. Highland Oaks Park
Highlands Oaks Park is a rare thing – a freshwater wetland, one of the last of the Oleta River.
It’s wide and has lots of open fields, which means it’s great for a game of baseball or if you fancy a jog. There’s even a volleyball sand court. But be sure to bring your sun protection and a hat to guard against the blazing sun, particularly around midday.
If you have kids who love sports and you need a break, be sure to check out the North Miami Beach Little League team who train at Highland Oaks Park. Also, take a look at the famous spirit tree, which was planted a little over ten years ago and has significance in the local community.
7. Maule Lake
Located near Biscayne Bay, Maule Lake is the perfect place to get some sailing in on your Florida trip. There are a total of four docks if you wish to moor your boat here.
There are numerous restaurants on the lakefront if you’re looking for some great food with an incredible view, including a tuna restaurant, which is locally famous.
Also nearby is a golf course if you feel the need to indulge in some more leisurely recreational activity overlooking an incredible panorama.
8. Vintage Tours Miami
This spot is a five-mile drive out of town, but well worth it. You’ll be transported back to the golden age of Art Deco design and vintage cars.
Tours generally take place around Miami Beach but also take in other areas, such as Little Havana and Wynwood.
Take a car tour with models such as the 1960 Buick Electra, the 1959 Edsel Corsair, and the 1959 Ford Skyliner. Of course, if classic cars aren’t your thing, you can always take a bus tour to see some of the sights.
9. Ojus Park
Located off West Dixie Highway, this park is an excellent example of an area for both recreation and physical exercise. There is a basketball court for you to compete against your friends, as well as a children’s playground for the kids.
Ojus Park is a local neighborhood, so if you’re looking for a sense of how the locals live, then this is a place to explore where you will see fewer tourists.
10. Wild Lime Adventures
If you want to experience an eco-tour of the nearby area, be sure to check out Wild Lime Adventures, who offer amazing tours into the Everglades.
Located less than a mile out of town, the tours will generally pick up early in the morning and take you out for a full day to one of the 10,000 islands, where you will see dolphins and pelicans. There’s also a visit to the museum of the Everglades and a nature walk.
The company offers other tours too, not just to the Everglades, but down to the spectacular Florida Keys as well.
11. Zinkil Park
This park is one of the quieter ones in the West Park area. A short 30-minute walk, Zinkil Park is located on Washington Street. It does have lots of amenities for visitors to enjoy.
These include a fitness center with ten exercise stations, two playgrounds for the kids to enjoy, and an interactive water feature.
The two playgrounds also contain two different materials to keep the kids entertained: one is woodchip and the other is artificial turf.
12. Hard Rock Casino
If you’re looking for a great night out, then the Hard Rock Casino is the place to go. An extravagant venue with waterfalls beside the entrance, it’s enough to rival some of the casinos in Las Vegas itself.
The sprawling 4.5-acre complex has an outdoor swimming pool with a mountain slide, and jacuzzis which can be used at no extra cost.
Inside, there are a huge variety of tables with different games – from poker to slot machines. You can also stay at the resort to ensure the fun never ends on a long weekend. There are sometimes regular concerts from chart-topping bands such as Maroon 5.
13. Snake Warrior’s Island Natural Area
Purchased by Florida State in 1922, these preserved wetlands are the perfect place to explore.
There is a whole host of birds to watch out for during the day, including wood storks, little blue and tricolored herons, anhinga, white ibis, and osprey. It’s the perfect place to come and explore as a bird lover.
Snake Warrior is also part of a Wildlife Trail known as the Great Florida Birding Trail, so you could combine the two.
14. Hollywood Parasail
If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, try your hand at parasailing. Located near the Marriott Hotel in Hollywood, this is a perfect way to spend an afternoon.
With a reputation for being one of the best parasailing companies in the area, they take pride in ensuring all their equipment meets the rigorous safety standards to ensure you feel secure. Trips can take up to one hour.
As well as going for a parasail, you can also go for a ride on a banana boat with up to six people. This is ideal if you’re up for a bit of fun but are not quite feeling the adrenaline rush of parasailing.