Located in south Florida’s Broward County along the Atlantic coast, Miramar is part of the Miami metropolitan area which is home to nearly six million residents.
The city was incorporated in the early ’50s with the idea that it’d be a relatively inexpensive area to live. It was also an easy commute to both Miami and Fort Lauderdale, which were home to many of the region’s largest employers.
Today, Miramar boasts a variety of distinct neighborhoods and is near many of the state’s most popular recreation areas.
Below are 15 things to do in and around Miramar, Florida that shouldn’t be missed.
1. Flamingo Lakes Golf Course
Conveniently located just off Interstate 75, Flamingo Lakes Golf Course is a challenging and scenic par 71 course that many golfers consider to be one of the area’s most well-guarded secrets.
The course is semi-private, which means that it’s open to the public, but during peak hours when tee times are at a premium, members get preference.
By Florida golf standards, the course’s greens fees are reasonable. Although there are parts of the course that are challenging, it’s full of manicured fairways and greens similar to those usually only found on exclusive private courses.
Lessons are available, and there is a restaurant and pro shop on site too.
2. Monster Mini Golf
In sticking with the golf theme, Monster Mini Golf on Miramar Parkway is a popular area attraction that’s jam-packed with family-friendly activities like arcade games, laser tag, mazes, and even bowling.
Of course, the crown jewel is the 18-hole golf course, which features glow in the dark balls and obstacles that give it an eerie and surreal ambiance after the sun goes down, making it a big hit with the little ones.
Portions of the facility are available to rent for birthday parties and other special occasions, though due to their popularity, you’ll need to reserve them well in advance.
3. C.B. Smith Park
Located in nearby Pembroke Pines, C.B. Smith Park is home to Paradise Waters Cove, a real-deal waterpark that’s a big hit with families during the summer months, when the notorious Florida weather can be downright hot, humid and unbearable.
Much more than a traditional park with a duck pond and picnic table or two, C.B. Smith Park offers a variety of activities and is more a kid’s resort than anything else.
Swimming, basketball, fishing, tennis, and batting cages are all popular activities; with so much to do, it shouldn’t be a surprise that it can get very busy, especially on weekends during the summer vacation months.
4. Big Cypress National Preserve
Florida is home to some of the largest cypress swamplands in the American south, and Big Cypress National Preserve is a diverse environment that includes swamps and mangrove forests, which are home to a variety of marine animals, birds, reptiles, and mammals.
Many visitors are surprised to learn that Florida is still home to a small population of panthers too, which are similar to mountain lions.
Gators are also ever-present, so stay aware of what’s going on around you.
The preserve consists of nearly 700,000 acres near Ochopee along the famous Tamiami Trail.
Fishing and hunting are allowed seasonally, but you’ll need to get the correct licenses and permits before heading out.
5. Young Art Museum
There aren’t many places where visitors can explore a cave, ride a subway, and create their own work of modern art in just a few hours, but the Young Art Museum on 121st Avenue in Davie is one such locale.
Not just another children’s museum full of untouchable exhibits, the Young Art Museum’s staff and interactive displays encourage children to think, play, and learn all at the same time.
Previous guests have stated that the facilities were well-maintained and that their experience far outweighed their expectations.
The museum is the perfect place to spend a morning or afternoon when the weather outside is less than pleasant.
6. Everglades National Park
Comprised of nearly 1.5 million acres of protected land, Everglades National Park is one of the country’s large parks, and home to an amazingly diverse group of plants and animals.
Many areas of the park are best visited as part of a guided tour, especially for those interested in getting up close and personal with some popular and intimidating animals – like alligators, manatees, dolphins, and crocodiles.
The park has three main entrances, and due to its vastness and variety of activities, it’s wise to stop at a welcome center to get the lay of the land and some helpful travel tips from rangers before heading out.
7. K1 Speed
K1 Speed on Stirling Road in Hollywood is one of the area’s premier destinations for those hearty adventurers who feel the need for speed.
If you think go-carts are for kids, you may change your tune after a few laps on a 20-horsepower machine that can propel you upwards of 45 miles per hour.
They’re surprisingly quick and handle like they’re on rails too; though you’re sitting down, you’ll get quite a workout just staying on course.
The K1 Speed facilities are the perfect place for a non-traditional corporate event, bachelor or birthday party, and with a variety of track and vehicle options, there should be something to fit nearly everyone in your group, regardless of experience.
8. Oleta River State Park
Boasting nearly 15 miles of multi-use trails within North Miami city limits, Oleta State Park offers visitors an impressive array of outdoor recreation options, including mountain biking, bird-watching, hiking, and fishing.
Regardless of your age or physical condition, there’s likely an appropriate trail; the park’s advanced trails are a big hit with mountain bikers, who appreciate their challenging obstacles and wild, natural scenery.
It’s not uncommon to see wildlife in the park, but remember that alligators are a native Florida species that can reach massive proportions when they’re fully grown, so keep your eyes open and use your best judgment.
9. Hard Rock Stadium
Though many diehard football fans still prefer to call it Joe Robbie Stadium, Hard Rock Stadium is its official name. As it has been for ages, it’s still home to the Miami Dolphins and the University of Miami Hurricane’s football program.
Located in nearby Miami Gardens, it has a seating capacity of nearly 65,000.
It often hosts other live entertainment productions during the offseason, and for those football fanatics who’d like to get a behind the scenes look that’s usually reserved for players and staff, it’s possible to take a guided tour.
Tickets to football games can be difficult to come by, especially when the teams are doing particularly well.
10. Everglades Holiday Park
Since it was founded in 1983, Everglades Holiday Park has been a unique mix of wildlife preserve and family amusement park that isn’t often found elsewhere.
Comprised of nearly 30 acres just off U.S. Route 27 in Fort Lauderdale, the park is open to the public and offers a variety of recreational and educational activities to fit nearly every interest.
Bass fishing and duck hunting are popular during their respective seasons, and the park’s facilities host a variety of live entertainment, from comedians to musicians.
Campsites are available, as are guided tours, which are great options for those looking to relax and enjoy while professionals worry about the details.
11. Extreme Rage Paintball Park
Located on Sheridan Street in nearby Hollywood, Extreme Rage Paintball Park is consistently rated among the top paintball parks of its kind in the south Florida area.
Drawing gamers from all over the state, the park is conveniently close to many of the area’s main highways, and has been a family owned and operated business for more than two decades.
Their grounds include a variety of theaters, with plenty of obstacles and obstructions to make things challenging and tactically interesting.
Check out their website for hours, directions, options, and prices before heading out. Rental equipment is available as well.
12. Flamingo Gardens
Florida is home to a large variety of native bird and plant species; Flamingo Gardens is one of the best places to see them up close without having to hire an expensive guide or trudge through a gator-infested swamp.
Located on South Flamingo Road in Davie, Flamingo Gardens is part aviary and part botanical garden, and an easy drive from Miramar, Miami and Fort Lauderdale.
The narrated tram tour through the wetlands is a popular way to have a look around, and it’s possible to get a little hands-on experience at the Wildlife Encounter show.
The gardens are open to the public, and the entrance fee is inexpensive.
13. Amelia Earhart Park
Just north of Hialeah in Miami-Dade County, Amelia Earhart Park is within an urban area, which makes it a pleasant little oasis that’s convenient to visit when the hustle and bustle of the city gets overwhelming.
Biking, fishing, and strolling along the wooded trails are the perfect ways to spend an hour or two in the afternoon. If you happen to be traveling with a dog, there’s a fenced area reserved for canines.
Admission is free, but there is a charge for parking which is in effect on weekends only. The park features multiple lakes and is open from sunrise to sunset daily.
14. Pembroke Pines YMCA
Since it opened nearly two decades ago, The Pembroke Pines YMCA Family Center has been bringing people from the community together and offering them a variety of healthy activity options that they may not have access to otherwise.
The facility includes an aquatic center and splash pad, as well as lap and zero depth pools for adults and kids respectively.
Like many YMCA centers, Pembroke Pines offers a variety of instructional and educational courses throughout the year; many of them are targeted to senior citizens.
During the summer vacation months, they offer other courses designed for children, so check out their website for specifics.
For visitors to south Florida, there are a variety of ways to see the scenery.
From airboat to helicopter, the options are many, but one of the most unique ways to see the area’s natural splendor is via horseback.
Bar-B-Ranch is south Florida’s largest stables, and offers a variety of guided trail rides through the diverse environments that make up the unique landscape.
Lessons are offered, but if you are just visiting for one tour, you’ll still get a thorough overview of how to handle your steed.
Cowboy hats and boots are optional but don’t forget sunglasses, bug spray, and your camera. They’re located on Peaceful Ridge Road in Davie.