Located in southern Florida’s Broward County, Deerfield Beach was named after the large herds of deer that once resided in the area.
Though most of them are long gone, the city is still a historic gem that’s surrounded by the metropolitan hustle and bustle of nearby Miami.
Deerfield Beach is just a short drive from many of the area’s most popular attractions. Whether you’re into golf, beaches, fine dining, or the natural world, you’ll likely find something that piques your interest nearby.
Below are 15 things you’ll want to see and do while visiting the Deerfield Beach area.
1. Quiet Waters Park
Located just inland, Quiet Waters Park is a natural oasis comprised of more than 400 acres. It features multiple lakes that are popular with boaters, fishermen, and those just looking for some alone time in a natural setting.
You’ll also find the Splash Adventure Water Park, which is anything but quiet during peak times.
The good news is that the park is big enough to find your own little corner. For those who’d like to pitch a tent and sleep under the stars for a night or two, there are nearly 30 campsites.
The park entrance is on Powerline Road in Deerfield Beach.
2. The New Art Gallery
Though it’s not exactly a new fixture on South Florida’s art scene, the New Art Gallery is home to a fantastic collection of fine art produced in a variety of mediums.
Whereas some museums are known for their specialization, others – like the New Art Gallery – are known for their eclectic collections, which are cool and trendy conglomerations quite popular with visitors.
The gallery’s staff also provide custom framing services if you’ve got a piece of your own that’s in dire need of a little professional attention.
The museum is located on West Hillsboro Boulevard in Deerfield Beach.
3. JB’s on the Beach
There’s really no better way to cap off a day in the sun than with a great dinner overlooking the water.
JB’s on the Beach is one of Deerfield Beach’s most popular restaurants and is known for its classics that include seafood gumbo, mouth-watering burgers, and steaks.
Often featuring live entertainment, many guests prefer to sit outside and enjoy their dinner and drinks on the covered veranda.
There are often crowds between happy hour and dinner time, so be prepared to relax with a cold drink until a table becomes available.
JB’s is located on NE 21st Avenue near downtown Deerfield Beach.
4. Butler House at Deerfield Beach Historical Society
The Butler House is home to the Deerfield Beach Historical Society Museum and was built in the 1920s, when the area was more rural and agricultural than it is today.
Built in the Mediterranean style, the home’s architecture is reminiscent of a seaside Italian villa.
Many of the home’s furnishings are original and give visitors an authentic insight into the lives of area residents more than a century ago.
For much of its life, the house was a private residence, but in the ’70s, it was deeded to the historical society.
The society holds a variety of free public events which are open to city residents and visitors alike.
5. Ski Rixen USA
Though originally from Europe, Ski Rixen has been operating in America for more than 30 years, and its park in Deerfield Beach was one of the first boat-less waterskiing facilities of its kind in the country.
If you’re confused with the whole idea of water skiing without a boat, it’s simple – instead of being bulled along behind a loud, dangerous, and environmentally unfriendly powerboat, guests are propelled by a system of powered cables that pack just as much punch without the aforementioned drawbacks.
Depending on their budget and experience guests can choose from wakeboarding, kneeboarding and even waveless surfing.
Lessons are available for newbies, and there are even options for little ones and your not-so-fit travel companions. Check out their website for a complete list of options and prices.
6. Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge
Though there’s still a wild population of Florida panthers in the state, they’re becoming rarer with each passing year. The state’s wildlife management agencies have made it a point to preserve their natural habitat, which will hopefully increase their numbers.
Located about half an hour east of Naples in Immokalee, the refuge connects with other area parks and preserves to create one of the largest habitats for the big cats in the state, outside of the Everglades.
Though you probably won’t see the elusive cats on the refuge’s trails, you’ll see lots of other animals in a naturally beautiful setting.
7. Deerfield Beach Arboretum
Located on Deer Creek Road, The Deerfield Beach Arboretum is dedicated to preserving the state’s unique natural environments that are home to an amazingly diverse group of plants and animals.
The arboretum contains hundreds of varieties of trees, plants, and flowers, many of which are native to the state’s varied habitats and climates.
Clearly marked and well-maintained trails lead to the arboretum’s distinct gardens; you’ll also find a number of informative plaques describing what you’re seeing.
Check their website for the instructional and educational programs that the park’s staff offers at different times of the year.
8. Charm City Burger Company
Whether you’re in Kansas, Rhode Island, or south Florida, a good burger always hits the spot. The Charm City Burger Company is one of Deerfield Beach’s premier destinations for those who like their burgers big and bold.
Featuring a laid-back and comfortable setting, it’s the perfect place to unwind after a long day.
You won’t find pretentious servers or Ferraris in the parking lot, but you’ll have a great meal at a reasonable price – and you probably won’t need a late night snack to tide you over either. Milkshakes, salads, microbrews, and other non-burger items are available as well.
9. Burt Aaronson South County Regional Park
At nearly 1,000 acres, the Burt Aaronson South County Regional Park is big by any standards; it’s so big that it’s easy to get lost, so make your first order of business getting familiarized with its layout.
The park’s features include a golf course, waterpark, racquetball, and tennis courts, plus lots of open space for walking, picnicking, or tossing a Frisbee with a friend.
Located in Boca Raton, the park is free to visit. It hosts a variety of events and live entertainment too, so check out their website for directions, hours, and a complete list of activity options.
10. Deerfield Beach Boardwalk
Boardwalks are great places to take a relaxing stroll, and for many visitors, they’re reminiscent of ages past.
Featuring a huge variety of shops, restaurants, and bars nearby, the Deerfield Beach Boardwalk is popular with travelers who aren’t big on spending hours at the beach but still want to feel like they have had their time in the sun.
The boardwalk is stroller and wheelchair accessible, has sufficient parking, and is near to plenty of lodging options for those who’d like to stay close to the ocean.
Though it attracts crowds – especially in the afternoon and evening – it’s a laid-back and family-friendly environment.
11. Hugh Taylor Birch State Park
Located between the Atlantic coast and the Intracoastal Waterway, Hugh Taylor Birch Park is easy to get to and offers visitors a variety of recreation options.
The park’s lakes are favorites of kayakers and fishermen, and there’s a paved multi-use trail that’s nearly two miles long open to bikers, walkers, and runners.
For those who’d rather venture into the park’s more remote areas, the Coastal Hammock Trail winds its way through an interesting mix of distinct habitats, including dunes, hardwood forests, and marshlands.
Rumor has it that the area is home to hundreds of species of birds as well, so grab those binoculars and your Audubon book and take a look for yourself.
12. Bonnet House Museum and Gardens
Dating back nearly a century, the Bonnet House Museum and Gardens sit on more than 30 acres near Fort Lauderdale. For much of their existence, this site was both home and playground for wealthy newlyweds.
The professionally cultivated gardens are spectacular year-round, and the home is full of period art, furniture, and housewares that were considered the height of luxury for their time.
In the early ’80s, the home and land were deeded to the state’s historic preservation trust, and since then, it has been open to the public. You’ll need to sign up for a guided tour before showing up, so check online or give them a call.
13. Museum of Discovery and Science
Imagine this – it’s raining cats and dogs and your little ones are miffed because their day at the beach has been ruined. What to do?
Primarily created with kids in mind, the Museum of Discovery and Science is open six days a week and is jam-packed with a variety of engaging, entertaining, and educational exhibits, displays and activities. It’s the perfect alternative to toting around a car-load of ornery and disappointed kids.
Touching on interesting topics like animals, weather, aviation, and dinosaurs, there should be something for everyone regardless of interests; there is an IMAX 3-D theatre, café, and gift shop on site too.
14. Palm Beach Zoo
Including nearly 600 animals from all over the world, the Palm Beach Zoo is full of realistically recreated environments that in many ways, are like traveling to different countries across the globe.
Including mammals, fish, reptiles, and birds, the stars of the show are usually the tigers, monkeys, and snakes. With so much to see and do, you’ll be lucky to view them all.
Tickets are good for a day, and though you’ll spend a lot of time on your feet, there are plenty of places to sit and relax in the shade or grab a bite to eat and enjoy some much-deserved air conditioning.
15. West Palm Beach Green Market
Located on Clemantis Street, the West Palm Beach Green Market is open seasonally from October until April. It’s full of fresh fruits, vegetables, and prepared food items.
Nearly all of what you’ll see is locally grown and made, so most of the money you spend will stay in the area and help local farmers and entrepreneurs.
The market is near enough to the waterfront to visit on foot, so consider grabbing a cup of coffee and some fresh baked goods and having a snack by the ocean. Check the market’s website for seasonal hours, as they vary slightly from year to year.