15 Best Things to Do in Margate (FL)

Written by Bart Meeuwesen
Updated on
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Located on the southern portion of Florida’s eastern Atlantic coast near Coral Springs and Coconut Creek, Margate is a principal city in the Miami Metropolitan area which is home to more than six million residents.

Unlike other cities directly on the ocean, Margate lies just inland of Pompano Beach to the west, and between West Palm Beach and Miami to the north and south respectively.

Known for its golf, theme parks, and seemingly endless expanses of beautiful beaches, the area is a magnet for nature lovers, thrill seekers, and sportsmen of all stripes.

Below are 15 things to do in and around Margate, Florida.

1. Calypso Cove Aquatic Center

Calypso Cove Aquatic CenterSource: City of Margate, Florida Government / Facebook
Calypso Cove Aquatic Center

When the heat and humidity make it painfully unpleasant to be outdoors during much of the summer, it’s imperative to find a few water-related activities to cool things off; the Calypso Cove Aquatic Center in Margate is such a place.

Its amenities include three swimming pools, slides, splash pads, and a zero depth pool that’s perfect for little ones who aren’t too familiar with water.

It’s the kind of place where many families choose to spend a few hours or more, but it can get crowded during peak times, so if you’re looking for a little peace and quiet, it may not be a good fit.

2. Oriole Golf Club

Oriole Golf ClubSource: Oriole Golf Club / Facebook
Oriole Golf Club

For nearly 50 years, Oriole Golf Club has been a favorite Broward county destination for players who’d rather not spend an arm and a leg just to get in a few hours on a nice course.

The club is semi-private, which means members may have preference on busy days and access to amenities that casual players don’t, but for a great course with reasonable greens fees, it’s really in a class of its own.

The par 72 course is appropriate for most skill levels and features open fairways, small greens, and a variety of sand and water hazards that make it challenging but not overly so.

3. Fern Forest Nature Center

Fern Forest Nature CenterSource: DaSpader / Wikimedia
Fern Forest Nature Center

Located on Lyons Road in Coconut Creek, Fern Forest Nature Center is full of a variety of species of plants and animals in addition to its exhibits, boardwalk, and reptile house.

The center features numerous trails, and though they’re not all wheelchair accessible, parts of the Cypress Creek Trail are.

The raised boardwalk leads guests through a surprising diversity of natural environments, and it’s not uncommon to see swamp and wetland creatures like gators, snakes, and a variety of birds.

If you’ll be visiting during the summer months, bring water, mosquito repellant, a good hat, and a pair of shades.

4. Tradewinds Park and Stables

Tradewinds Park and StablesSource: Felix Mizioznikov / shutterstock
Tradewinds Park And Stables

Comprised of more than 600 acres, Tradewinds Park and Stables is probably the most activity-packed facility in all of Broward County, and it’s been open since the mid-’70s.

The farm and equestrian sections of the facility include guided educational tours, trail and pony rides, kid’s farming camps, and a model steam train that conveys delighted little ones around the area in style.

There’s so much to see and do it can be a little overwhelming, so consider checking in at the visitor’s center first to get an idea of the dizzying array of recreation options you’ll have at your fingertips.

5. Butterfly World

Butterfly WorldSource: Serenethos / shutterstock
Butterfly World

Coconut Creek’s Butterfly World is a Florida institution that’s been a favorite destination for locals and visitors for decades.

Florida’s balmy and wet weather is perfect for a variety of butterfly species, and there’s no better way to see them all in one place and learn about the fascinating life-cycles of these amazing insects.

The park is a favorite of families with kids, but adults usually find it equally alluring. Visitors will also discover hummingbirds, macaws, and plenty of other nifty things to occupy their minds and wow their senses.

Butterfly World is located on Sample Road not far from Margate.

6. Hillsboro Lighthouse and Museum

Hillsboro Lighthouse and MuseumSource: Richard Semik / shutterstock
Hillsboro Lighthouse And Museum

The Hillsboro Lighthouse traces its roots back decades to when the Florida coast was much more rugged and unpopulated than it is now.

The historic lighthouse and museum are managed by a local preservation society that’s dedicated to preserving the historic site and making it available to the public.

Many guests choose to join a guided tour; they’re the perfect way to get a unique local insight from a knowledgeable and enthusiastic history aficionado.

To learn more about their historic past as well as tour options, hours of operation, and prices, check out their website before making a special trip.

7. Stranahan House

Stranahan HouseSource: Rosemarie Mosteller / shutterstock
Stranahan House

Built at the turn of the 20th century, the Stranahan House is a unique historic site that takes visitors on a trip back in time to when the area around Margate was much more rural and undeveloped than it is today.

According to local historians, it’s the oldest surviving home of its type in Broward County, and is a must-visit for those looking to escape the crowds that can get maddeningly thick at more commercial tourist attractions.

You’ll have to sign up for a guided tour if you want to see it, but you’ll be glad you did, as you’ll get insights into the home and area that you wouldn’t otherwise get.

8. Children’s Science Explorium

Children's Science ExploriumSource: Children's Science Explorium / Facebook
Children’s Science Explorium

Sugar Sand Park on South Military Trail in Boca Raton is one of the area’s go-to destinations for value-minded travelers interested in visiting one location with a variety of entertainment options.

One of the park’s most popular attractions for families traveling with children is the Children’s Science Explorium.

With a variety of interactive exhibits and activities for children in their preteen years, the Explorium allows kids to get their hands dirty while learning about the natural world.

Evening telescope events, story time, and regularly scheduled science demonstrations are all on their calendar of events, so check it out before heading over.

9. The Yard

The YardSource: The YARD Wilton Manors / Facebook
The Yard

For trendy, laid-back, Bohemian, and quaint, you couldn’t do much better than The Yard in nearby Wilton Manors.

Located near a group of none-too-impressive buildings on Northeast 13th Avenue, The Yard includes scenic and relaxing garden spaces, patios with comfortable and shaded seating, and a variety of artsy decorations that give it its own unique vibe.

It’s the perfect place to relax with a strong cup of coffee and a good book, and there are a variety of food, drink, and shopping options to choose from.

The Yard’s eateries are particularly well-known for their tasty and potent condensed milk coffee and all-natural smoothies.

10. FATVillage

FATVillageSource: Knight Foundation / Flickr

Despite its name, Fort Lauderdale’s FATVillage is not an exclusive weight loss facility, but it is a popular hangout area for artsy travelers and locals looking to get away from the hustle, bustle, and mobs of tourists for which the city is known.

Full of artist’s studios, galleries, and coffee shops, FATVillage is a vibrant and quirky community of creative souls. There are more than enough food and beverage options to keep even the most dedicated and picky epicureans satisfied.

FATVillage is particularly well-known for its art walks that are held the last Saturday of every month from 6 until 11 PM.

The village is located on NW 1st Avenue and is open daily.

11. Boca Raton Children’s Museum

Boca Raton Children's MuseumSource: Boca Raton Children's Museum / Facebook
Boca Raton Children’s Museum

With so much to see and do, Florida is one of the country’s most popular family destinations, but even kids eventually tire of beautiful beaches, airboat rides, and theme parks. Boca Raton’s Children’s Museum is the perfect place to take them when they need to be engaged and entertained.

Featuring a variety of interactive exhibits that touch on science and the natural world, banking and money, and lots of other interesting stuff as well, it may be a bit of a cliché, but there really is a little something for everyone regardless of age and interests.

Check out their website for a complete list of amenities, hours, and pricing.

12. Stonewall National Museum and Archives

Stonewall National Museum And ArchivesSource: Stonewall National Museum & Archives / Facebook
Stonewall National Museum And Archives

Though it’s probably not a great fit for your conservative Uncle Wayne from Omaha, the Stonewall National Museum and Archives is one of the country’s largest repositories of all things relating to the ever-growing LGBT communities around the world.

It’s a not-for-profit gallery that includes significant and interesting historical items, and a variety of memorabilia including art, flags, and articles of clothing worn by gay celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres.

The museum’s library and archives are the largest and most complete of their kind. Though admission is free, most visitors donate a few dollars to help support this one-of-a-kind community resource.

13. Swap Shop

Swap ShopSource: MattHurst / Flickr
Swap Shop

If drive-ins and flea markets sound like the perfect way to spend a few evening hours in a retro setting, then a trip to Fort Lauderdale’s Swap Shop is in order.

Featuring thousands of vendors at its massive flea market and regularly scheduled movies at the drive-in theater, it’s a place that harkens back to decades long past. For families with kids who’ve never experienced watching a film from a car, it’s a not-to-be-missed walk down Memory Lane.

Admission is inexpensive, and there are plenty of reasonably priced food options. For those looking to save a few bucks, it’s okay to bring your own food as well.

14. Secret Woods Nature Center

Secret Woods Nature CenterSource: Kevin Barry Photography / shutterstock
Secret Woods Nature Center

Located on nearly 60 acres in the heart of Broward County, Secret Woods Nature Center is a natural oasis that’s pristine setting is home to a variety of habitats and plenty of local wildlife, like gators, snakes, turtles, and birds.

The park features two trails – one elevated and one ground level – and there’s also a seasonal butterfly garden that’s home to a wide array of beautiful butterflies, most of which are released back into nature when they’re fully developed.

You’ll be ecstatic to learn that there’s no charge for parking or admission, but remember to bring water, comfy shoes and insect repellant.

15. 925 Nuevo’s Cubano’s

925 Nuevo’s Cubano’sSource: Mark J. Benson‎ / Facebook
925 Nuevo’s Cubano’s

With its abundant Latin and Cuban populations and cultural influences, Florida is truly a melting pot that’s home to some amazingly vibrant cuisines. One of the old standbys is the venerable Cuban sandwich.

Located inside a colorful bistro-style restaurant that’s been around since the ’70s, 925 Nuevo’s Cubano’s includes an outdoor garden chockfull of colorful Cuban art, flags, and comfortable chairs.

Though Cuban sandwiches are what most customers come for, they offer a variety of traditional favorites, many of which sport a contemporary fusion twist.

Expect a crowd during peak times and don’t be surprised if they’ve sold out of the item you ordered; get there early to avoid this heartbreaking situation.

15 Best Things to Do in Margate (FL):

  • Calypso Cove Aquatic Center
  • Oriole Golf Club
  • Fern Forest Nature Center
  • Tradewinds Park and Stables
  • Butterfly World
  • Hillsboro Lighthouse and Museum
  • Stranahan House
  • Children's Science Explorium
  • The Yard
  • FATVillage
  • Boca Raton Children's Museum
  • Stonewall National Museum and Archives
  • Swap Shop
  • Secret Woods Nature Center
  • 925 Nuevo’s Cubano’s