Located in south Florida’s Broward County, Dania Beach had a population of just less than 30,000 residents at the time of the last census.
Though it’s smaller in size than many of its neighbors, in the past, it was well known as the home of the IFGA Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum, although that attraction has since relocated to the Midwest.
Dania Beach is also one of South Florida’s premier jai alai destinations and has a popular resort casino that draws visitors year-round.
Below are 15 fun and educational things to do in and around Dania Beach, Florida.
1. Secret Woods Nature Center
Located on West State Road 84 in Dania Beach, the Secret Woods Nature Center was one of the first areas in the state to be designated as an urban wilderness area.
The land was set aside in 1978, and the center is comprised of nearly 60 acres that includes cypress swamps, coastal mangroves, and tropical hammocks that are beautiful, fun to explore, and home to a wide variety of unique plants and animals.
It’s common to see manatees at viewing areas along the trails and boardwalk that follow the river. There are designated play areas for little ones, as well as a welcome center full of interactive exhibits.
2. Wiener Museum of Decorative Arts
Dania Beach’s Wiener Museum of Decorative Arts features one of the world’s most impressive collections of ceramic and glass art. In addition to its contemporary pieces, the museum’s collection includes some that are centuries old, from other parts of the world, and made by famous names such as Wedgewood and Royal Doulton.
The museum is located on South Federal Highway on the second floor of the Gallery of Amazing Things.
Admission is inexpensive, seniors and students get discounts, and children under 12 are admitted free of charge.
Most guests spend an hour or so seeing all there is to see.
3. Dania Jai Alai
The Dania jai alai fronton has been open since the early 1950s and is one of only a few that remain in the country.
For those who aren’t familiar with the sport of jai alai, think back to the opening of Miami Vice, when men of Latin American descent clad in white gloves and helmets were hurling balls at super-high velocity with long, narrow baskets.
It’s an exhilarating sport to watch and makes a baseball game seem about as fun as waiting for water to boil.
Check online for the fronton’s schedule and swing by to take a look; it’s one of those unique south Florida attractions that you’ll be glad you checked out.
4. Topeekeegee Yugnee Park
Situated on nearly 140 scenic acres in nearby Hollywood, Topeekeegee Yugnee Park isn’t the easiest south Florida attraction to pronounce, but in the language of the native Seminole people, it means ‘gathering place.’
The park is an easy drive from Dania Beach and is a favorite destination for campers and RV enthusiasts, who appreciate its covered picnic and gazebo areas, amenities like showers, bathrooms, full water and electrical hookups, and free Wi-Fi that makes it possible to check your email before spending a night under the stars.
Park entrance fees are reasonable but increase on weekends and holidays, which is when the park is most crowded.
5. Hollywood Beach Golf Course
At just slightly more than 6,300 yards Hollywood Beach Golf Course is long enough to make it pleasantly challenging but not so long that you’ll need to dedicate the better part of a day to get in an 18-hole round.
The course was designed and built in the early ‘20s and is known for its natural setting and professionally manicured greens and fairways.
There are a number of tee box options to accommodate experts, women, children, and the elderly, and the course’s facilities include a fully stocked pro-shop and showers.
The par-70 course is located on Johnson Street in Hollywood Beach.
6. Dania Beach Antique and Arts District
In addition to being home to one of the state’s last remaining jai alai venues, Dania Beach has long been regarded as one of the area’s most impressive art and antique destinations, and there’s a downtown district dedicated to those things specifically.
The Dania Beach Antique and Arts District lies along US Route 1 and features a variety of shops, galleries, and studios that offer everything from jewelry, blown glass, and crystal to furniture, housewares, and retro clothing.
It’s a great place to spend a few hours browsing and window shopping, and with a little luck, you may find a unique keepsake or two to remind you of your trip.
7. Anne Kolb Nature Center
Named after a local county commissioner who worked tirelessly to protect and preserve South Florida’s natural areas that were being consumed by development at an alarming rate, the Anne Kolb Nature Center on Sheridan Street in Hollywood is the perfect natural destination for those who want to experience nature without spending half the day in the car.
The center is free to visit, and there’s only a small charge for those who decided to join one of the guided boat tours.
The walking trails lead through a variety of natural habitats, and there is an observation tower and guest welcome center as well.
8. Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World
Bass Pro Shops is one of the country’s foremost outfitters of all things related to sporting and the great outdoors.
Located on Gulf Stream Way in Dania Beach, Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World offers a variety of programs in addition to its fantastic array of fresh and saltwater fishing, hunting, archery, and camping gear.
For those visiting Florida, it’s a great place to stock up on all the stuff you’ll need to land a few fish. They sell fishing licenses as well, which everyone needs regardless of whether you’re an in-state resident or an out of state visitor.
9. Juana La Cubana Café
South Florida is home to a huge community of Cuban expats, and many visitors to the area make it a point to explore ethnic Cuban neighborhoods to try their vibrant cuisine.
Located on Griffin Road in Dania Beach, Juana La Cubana Café is just the ticket for those who want to experience Cuban culture and food without traveling south to Miami’s famous Cuban enclaves.
Pressed Cuban sandwiches and knock-your-socks-off coffee are a few mainstays that shouldn’t be missed, but the café offers a variety of traditional entrees as well.
Previous guests have noted that you really can’t go wrong, and that the atmosphere was relaxed and the service attentive.
10. Plantation Historical Museum
Located on North Fig Tree Lane in nearby Plantation, the Plantation Historical Museum isn’t the largest or oldest of the area’s museums, but it features an impressive collection of artifacts, memorabilia, photographs, and first-hand accounts related to the settling and development of Broward County.
The museum underwent an upgrade and expansion in 2008, and many visitors find the exhibits and artwork relating to the Native American Seminole and Tequesta Indian people to be among the most interesting.
There’s an ever-popular butterfly garden, and throughout the year, the museum hosts a number of special events that are worth checking out too.
11. Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse
Located between Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton, the Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse has a fascinating history that dates back more than a century.
Originally commissioned to mark dangerous underwater reefs that were responsible for several maritime accidents, now the museum is managed by a local preservation society dedicated to maintaining the facility, promoting its history, and making it available to the public.
The lighthouse is accessible only by boat from the mainland, so you’ll need to check the departure schedule online and make sure you arrive an hour before it leaves to get signed in.
12. 26° Brewing Company
Nothing complements a day in the Florida sun more than a cold, locally-brewed beer served in a tall, frosty glass.
Known for its wide variety of beers that range from traditional favorites to new-fangled creations sporting lots of non-traditional ingredients, 26° Brewing Company’s brews have won a number of gold medals at national and regional beer competitions. The beers available at their tap house change frequently, so you never know what you’ll find.
Also known for their weekly specials and fun holiday events, it’s just an all-around great place to relax with friends after a long day of work or sightseeing. It is located in nearby Pompano Beach.
13. Little Havana
Located just west of downtown Miami, the city’s Little Havana neighborhood is the epicenter of the city’s Cuban community and features Central and South American influences that make it one of South Florida’s most vibrant food, art, and cultural scenes.
From Dania Beach, you’ll need to spend a bit of time in the car to get there, but it’ll be time well spent. For those who’d like to see the area as part of a tour, a number of options are available which generally include food and cultural attractions.
For do-it-yourselfers, it’s easy to do a bit of online searching for restaurants, galleries, and shops worth visiting.
14. Everglades National Park
Though it’s not the closest attraction to Dania Beach, few other destinations are as iconic to Florida as the Everglades National Park.
Especially for nature and animal lovers, it’s one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that really shouldn’t be passed up.
The glades are known as a ‘river of grass’ and are one of the state’s defining ecosystems. In addition to being a unique and fascinating place to explore, it’s home to a vast diversity of animal species.
In their entirety, the Everglades are comprised of more than 1.5 million acres and offer visitors a variety of historical, natural, and recreation options, including museums, visitor’s centers, and guided tours.
15. Museum of Contemporary Art
In general, Miami is considered to be one of the country’s swankiest cities, and that goes for its fantastic art scene and galleries as well.
Located in North Miami, the Museum of Contemporary Art or MOCA is a world-renowned institution known for its impressive collection which includes works from famous artists as well as up-and-comers.
General admission can only be considered dirt-cheap, and seniors and students get discounts while children under 12 get in free.
The museum is about a 20-minute drive from Dania Beach.