With a population of just more than 37,000 residents, Hallandale Beach is one of the smaller cities in the Broward County, but it’s perfectly located to give visitors relatively easy access to most of South Florida’s attractions.
Though Hallandale Beach is small, it’s one of the area’s fastest growing cities and is particularly known for the Gulfstream Park and Casino, which offers a variety of activities including gambling, horse racing and great dining options.
The city has a large community of retirees as well, which means a slower pace and less crime than other areas.
Below are 15 things to do in and around Hallandale Beach, Florida.
1. BF James Park
Conveniently located on NW 1st Avenue in downtown Hallandale Beach, BF James Park has recently undergone a number of renovations and now includes a playground, basketball courts, and a swimming pool.
The cost of admission is relatively inexpensive, and for those who’ll be in the area for a while, season passes are available.
The pool is open daily from 11 AM to 4:45 PM and a number of aquatic programs are offered throughout the year.
The park is within walking distance of several hotels, and the outdoor grounds are a great place for a morning or afternoon stroll. \
2. Gulfstream Park and Casino
For decades, casinos were the exclusive realm of adults and offered little or nothing in the way of family-friendly activities, but that’s no longer the case.
Though Gulfstream Park and Casino has hundreds of slot machines, a swanky poker room, and a high-action horse track, it also features live entertainment and great food that draw families with children, especially when the weather isn’t conducive to outdoor activities.
The park and casino are open year-round; for those who’ve never experienced a live horse race, they’re a lot of fun.
Check the casino’s website to see what’s on their schedule of events before heading out.
3. Strike 10 Bowling
To many travelers who come to Florida for its sun, sand, and surf, spending valuable vacation time in a bowling alley might seem a bit anticlimactic. But during the summer months when the Florida sun is at its most intense, having a few indoor activities to choose from is imperative.
Strike 10 Bowling in Hallandale Beach features 10 lanes with new high-tech scorekeeping consoles, dozens of big screen televisions, and an arcade with pool tables, video games, and even air hockey.
Previous guests have noted that Strike 10 Bowling is really a combination of sports bar, restaurant and bowling alley.
4. Everglades Holiday Park
Everglades Holiday Park is one of South Florida’s premier attractions and is particularly well-known for its airboat tours and alligator shows.
For those interested in exploring the glades and swamps that make up much of the area’s habitat, there’s no better way to do it than by airboat.
They’re loud, exhilarating, and get guests up close and personal with lots of swamp critters, like turtles, snakes, birds, and gators.
The park offers regularly scheduled gator shows that are exciting, educational, and big hits with guests of all ages.
Located on Griffin Road in nearby Fort Lauderdale, it can get downright crowded during peak season.
5. Antique Row
Located along NE 125th Street in North Miami, Antique Row is one of the Miami metropolitan area’s trendiest and most expensive destinations for wealthy locals looking to pick up a priceless antique or two.
Antique Row sports a number of shops and galleries selling everything from furniture and art to jewelry and housewares. Though nearly all of what you’ll see is out of most visitors’ price range, browsing is free.
For travelers who’d rather not stick out like a sore thumb, consider leaving the elastic waistband khakis and fanny pack at the hotel.
6. Captain Jim’s Seafood Market & Restaurant
Captain Jim’s Seafood Market and Restaurant on West Dixie Highway in North Miami is a popular dining attraction known for its relaxed atmosphere, helpful staff, and large portion sizes.
From fresh gulf oysters and jumbo shrimp to tuna and steaks, there’s probably something on their menu for everyone regardless of taste.
The restaurant draws an eclectic Florida crowd and it’s not uncommon to see a Ferrari in the parking lot next to a beat-up contractor’s truck.
Dinner time can get crowded, especially on the weekend, so be prepared to wait a few minutes for a table to become available.
7. Enchanted Forest Park
Many visitors who spend time in Enchanted Forest Park think of it as more of a movie setting than an actual place.
The park is located on NE 135th Street amidst the hustle and bustle of North Miami, making it an easily accessible oasis of natural splendor in an otherwise chaotic area.
The park is comprised of more than 20 acres that are filled with treed areas, a creek, and several paved, well-marked trails.
Enchanted Forest Park is a great place for a quiet stroll or an afternoon picnic. For those looking for something extra special, there’s a pony riding facility for the little ones.
8. NSU Art Museum
Located on Fort Lauderdale’s trendy Las Olas Boulevard, the NSU Art Museum was built in the mid-‘80s and is comprised of nearly 80,000 feet of gallery space.
The museum’s permanent exhibits are spread over multiple floors and include paintings, sculptures, and a variety of other contemporary mixed medium works.
Many of the museum’s pieces feature strong Cuban, Latin, and South American influences; there are some from world-famous artists like Pablo Picasso as well.
Throughout the year, the museum’s staff offer a number of educational and instructional programs that include guided tours and workshops appropriate for most ages.
9. Oleta River State Park
South Florida’s Oleta River is one of the area’s biggest draws for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts of all stripes.
Located on NE 163rd Street in North Miami Beach, Oleta River State Park consists of nearly 100 acres along the Oleta River and is the largest urban park in the Sunshine State.
The park’s habitats include tidal mangrove areas, a manmade beach, and forested areas that are home to a wide variety of unique plant and animal species.
Kayaking and canoeing are among the park’s most popular activities; they’re available to rent for a reasonable price. For those brimming with energy, it’s possible to paddle to Biscayne Bay.
10. Museum of Discovery and Science
Even the most outdoor-oriented families can eventually tire of the beach; when that happens, visiting the Museum of Discovery and Science in Fort Lauderdale would be a great way to mix things up a bit.
It’s full of engaging interactive exhibits that touch on science, the natural world, space, animals, and aviation – to name a few. Though most of what you’ll see is geared toward kids, grownups usually end up having a blast and learning a few things as well.
The museum also features an IMAX movie theater that’s the largest of its kind in the area.
11. Hugh Taylor Birch State Park
Situated on a long strip of land between the Atlantic Ocean and Intracoastal Waterway in Fort Lauderdale, Hugh Taylor Birch State Park is another convenient natural attraction that makes most visitors feel like they’re much farther away from civilization than they really are.
The park is home to a variety of animals that are commonly seen, including turtles, rabbits, and more than 100 species of birds.
The park’s freshwater lagoon is perfect for swimming, fishing, and sunbathing, and there are a number of well-marked trails open to walkers and bikers.
Consider stopping at the visitor’s welcome center first to get an overview of the park’s layout and check out their interesting exhibits.
12. Broward Center for the Performing Arts
The Broward Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Fort Lauderdale is the area’s premier venue for a variety of performing arts productions and has been named one of the world’s most visited theaters of its kind.
Featuring hundreds of yearly performances and welcoming more than half a million guests annually, the center is known for its Broadway style musicals, operas, ballets and dramatic plays. It even hosts contemporary music concerts and a variety of other art-related events.
With so many options to choose from, the best way to keep up to date is to check the calendar of events on their website.
13. Stranahan House
At nearly 120 years old, the Stranahan House is the oldest structure in all of Broward County, and has been maintained and restored over the years so that it’s still in near original condition.
For much of its existence, the house was a trading post that drew farmers and pioneers from near and far. It’s now full of period furniture, art, and housewares that give guests an interesting glimpse into the lives of settlers more than a century ago.
Daily guided tours of the house and grounds are available, and there’s also a boat tour option that takes guests along the nearby New River.
14. Fort Lauderdale Fire and Safety Museum
In 1926, Florida’s Atlantic coast around Fort Lauderdale was hammered by a massive hurricane that caused tremendous damage. What’s now the Fort Lauderdale Fire and Safety Museum is housed in a historic fire station that was once on the front line of the city’s disaster relief effort.
The old station has been restored to original condition and is full of fascinating exhibits that include newspaper articles, photographs, firefighting equipment, and some amazing first-hand accounts from those who survived the storm.
Guests especially appreciate the restored fire engines and old uniforms worn by firemen in the past, and there’s a dedicated children’s area as well.
15. International Swimming Hall of Fame
Located on Hall of Fame Drive in Fort Lauderdale, the International Swimming Hall of Fame doesn’t get as much foot traffic as many other more commercial attractions in the area, but it’s a perfect hot weather escape destination, and one that even non-swimmers appreciate.
The facilities include a massive state-of-the-art aquatic center. Though construction was finished in the mid-‘60s, the center has undergone a number of upgrades and renovations over the years.
Now, in addition to the museum, the center hosts national swimming events, diving, water polo, and even synchronized swimming.
Consider checking out the museum then sticking around for a water polo match or diving competition.