15 Best Things to Do in Pembroke Park (FL)

Written by Bart Meeuwesen
Updated on
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Crossed by the east-west Hallandale Beach Boulevard, Pembroke Park is a humble town in the Miami area.

Something I should point out about this town is that almost half of its residents live in mobile homes. Despite having a residential character that feels distant from Miami’s glitz and glamor, Pembroke Park is just minutes from the action.

Gulfstream Park, South Florida’s premier thoroughbred horse racing track is moments away. The same goes for Aventura Mall, one of the largest and most celebrated enclosed malls in America. 

You can get to the beach in ten minutes if you get lucky with traffic, or spend an afternoon coasting along the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk and maybe catching some live music as the sun goes down.

1. Hallandale Beach Boulevard

Between US 441 and I-95, Hallandale Beach Boulevard is Pembroke’s commercial thread, with most of the town’s businesses along its margins.

Given the volume of traffic and the strip mall configuration, this isn’t a main street exactly. Still, if you’re out for food in Pembroke Park, this is the place to come. On the menu is diner food, pizza, Haitian, sandwiches, burgers, Cuban, Chinese, fresh roasted coffee, and Italian.

You can shop for antiques, musical instruments, wine, watches, jewelry, exotic groceries, and much more along this stretch of road. Things get a bit more upmarket as you head into Hallandale Beach, and the Lakeside Shoppes shopping center is right on the town line.

2. South City Beach Park, Hallandale Beach

As the crow flies, the Atlantic shore is about four miles east of Pembroke Park. Hallandale Beach Boulevard will take you all the way to the beachfront, where there’s a public access point at South City Beach Park. 

Now getting there is never that simple, and can take anything between ten minutes and 25 minutes, depending on traffic. 

Waiting for you at South Beach Park is a densely wooded and well-equipped public park. Wedged between the condo towers, this was given a complete overhaul in the 2010s. There’s a beachfront concession, playground, sand volleyball court, bocce, a pavilion, showers, and picnic tables. 

And of course, there’s the beach itself, with spotless sands and lively surf.

3. Aventura Mall

Aventura MallSource: Felix Mizioznikov / shutterstock
Aventura Mall

Featuring more than 300 stores ranging from midmarket to super-pricey, Aventura Mall is one of America’s most famous malls. It’s also the third-largest in the country, and remains a reference point more than 40 years after opening. 

The mall is anchored by department store brands like Nordstrom, Macy’s, JCPenney and Bloomingdales. But it’s when you start exploring that you realize what kind of place you’re in.

I saw the likes of Ralph Lauren, Boss, Chanel, Cartier, Lacoste, Valentino, Marc Jacobs, Givenchy, and many more luxury fashion brands. These are mixed in with more down-to-earth retailers, as well as more than 50 dining options.

To underline its uniqueness, Aventura Mall has an art collection that would put many museums to shame. A monumental work here is Carsten Höller’s rideable Aventura Slide Tower, unveiled in 2018.

4. Ives Estates Park

A county facility, Ives Estates Park abuts Pembroke Park to the south. This is my go-to for active recreation around Pembroke Park. The quantity of features is pretty impressive.

To sum up, there’s four basketball courts, six racquetball courts, a tennis center, two baseball fields, and a synthetic field for soccer/football. To go with all that is a six-mile paved trail along Snake Creek, with fitness equipment along the way, as well as a fenced bark park. 

The recreation building at Ives Estates Park is a favored location for children’s birthday parties, and there’s a number of outdoor events throughout the year.

5. Aqua Golf Driving Range

Aqua Golf Driving RangeSource: aquagolfrange.com
Aqua Golf Driving Range

If you share my love for bad-taste 90s comedies, you may recognize this driving range from 1998’s There’s Something About Mary, starring Cameron Diaz. 

Dating back 60+ years, Aqua Golf Driving Range is one of the only remaining driving ranges over water. They offer club rentals and helpful pointers from experienced staff for those who need a little guidance before heading out on their own.

This place is open daily from 8:30 AM to 8:30 PM, and their prices are reasonable. Most previous guests agree that hitting balls under the spotlights is more fun than it is during the day.

6. Pembroke Park Preserve

The town’s largest public space is this passive public park around the side of the town hall. Pembroke Park Preserve is right on Hallandale Beach Boulevard, which puts it close to plenty of local cafes and restaurants. 

So if you’re looking for somewhere to take a picnic there are lots of tables scattered among the trees. There’s outdoor exercise equipment here if you need a workout, as well as a nicely maintained playground for kids.

February to July, this is a nesting ground for burrowing owls, and it’s a fine time to come for a walk, as long as you keep a safe distance.

7. Chef Tally World Famous Jerk Chicken

Pembroke Park and neighboring West Park are slightly off the beaten track. But one thing that puts the area on the map is a jerk chicken truck with a lot of fans across the Miami area.

Something I appreciate about Chef Tally World Famous Jerk Chicken, permanently at 2481 SW 56th Terrace, is how simple the menu is. 

You can choose from chicken (white or dark), pork, or ribs, or some combination of all of those. The meat has just the right amount of jerk for my taste, and can be zinged up with a BBQ sauce. If you need to take the heat off, there are generous servings of festival bread.

8. Gulfstream Park

Gulfstream Park and CasinoSource: Philip Lange / shutterstock
Gulfstream Park And Casino

South Florida’s premier thoroughbred horse racing facility is just next door in Hallandale Beach. Opened in 1939, Gulfstream Park hosts numerous prestigious events all year. These include Grade I races like the Florida Derby—first run in 1952—and the more recent Pegasus World Cup. 

A giant update in the 2000s gave Gulfstream Park a casino, which is open 365 days a year. Open 24 hours on weekends, this cutting-edge facility has countless slots and electronic table games, as well as sophisticated dining.

Following another expansion in 2010 Gulfstream Park is now fronted by a lifestyle center, which I’ll describe in more detail below.

9. The Village at Gulfstream Park

I can’t talk about Gulfstream Park without mentioning the lifestyle center that took shape in front in 2010. Not out of place among Miami’s most chic malls, The Village at Gulfstream Park is an upscale shopping plaza.

On alleys with Mediterranean Revival buildings you’ll find fashion boutiques, galleries, high-end home design stores, spas, salons and more. Think, Bang & Olufsen, Pottery Barn, and a slew of stylish independent stores.

Complementing the casino, The Village at Gulfstream Park takes on a new dimension in the evenings. There’s a selection of restaurants to check out, as well as nightspots like the Strike 10 Bowling concept, and PlugIn Karaoke. 

10. Highland Oaks Park

On the southeast side of Pembroke Park there’s a large public park by the Oleta River, which runs down the east side. Highland Oaks Park is dominated by a large lake on the north end. 

I found this a nice place to go for a run, with a trail looping around the shore and under the canopies of numerous trees. On the south side of the lake is a fantastic children’s playground, and there are lots of spots for picnics. 

The park’s southern end is where you’ll find the sports facilities. These include tennis courts and soccer and baseball fields. Come on a Thursday evening and there’s also a food truck rally in this part of the park.

11. McTyre Park

In 2023, not long before I paid a visit, this park was given a significant makeover. The focus of the work was the children’s playground, which had brand new equipment, astroturf and canopies. 

There’s separate equipment for older and younger kids, and I love the immense live oaks, affording a lot of shade. 

A long paved trail, ideal for jogging, runs around the park’s perimeter, past facilities for basketball and football. 

Something that adds a little drama to the scene is the pair of skyscraping transmitters on the north side. These structures belong to WLRN-TV, with cables fixing them in place throughout the park.

12. Hollywood Beach Broadwalk

Another irresistible thing about the coastline just east of Pembroke Park is the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk. Spanning 2.5 miles of sandy shorefront, this brick-paved promenade has its roots in the 1920s. 

Primed for joggers, bicyclists, skaters, and anyone out for some people watching, it’s a regional destination. On one side are palms and broad pale sands and on the other are restaurants, bars, shops, and companies offering water sports. 

Spectacular in the mornings, the Broadwalk is also magical when the sun goes down. I love how there’s free live music, five nights a week (Wed-Sun) at the Hollywood Beach Theatre here.

13. Snake Warrior Island Natural Area

West of Pembroke Park this tranquil preserve boasts an exciting mix of nature and archeology. The land on and around Snake Warrior Island Natural Area is known to have been inhabited for well over 2,000 years. 

Scores of archeological discoveries have been made on the islands in the marshlands. These were left by the Tequesta people and then the Seminoles. You can get up to speed on this history with the help of an interpretive trail. 

Meanwhile there’s a boardwalk looping through the wetlands and on the shores of two lakes. During a walk you’re sure to see plenty of iguanas, as well as birds like ibises, anhingas, wood storks and ospreys.

14. Orangebrook Golf & Country Club

Orangebrook Golf & Country ClubSource: Orangebrook Golf and Country Club / Facebook
Orangebrook Golf & Country Club

Adjoining Pembroke Park to the north, Orangebrook Golf & Country Club features two 18-hole championship courses. These are Orangebrook East and Orangebrook West, and from my experience the latter poses more of a test. 

On Orangebrook West there’s a tough sequence between #11 and #14 where water is ever–present. Hole #14 for instance is a tricky par 3 with an island green.

As with many courses in South Florida, weather can have an impact on the course conditions. But you may forget any issues with greens and tee boxes when you consider the low fees at this course, especially by local standards.

15. Tidal Cover Water Park

You’re never far from the beach in Pembroke Park, but sometimes nothing can beat a water park for fun. In Aventura and welcoming day guests, Tidal Cove Water Park is part of the JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa.

To me this attraction looked like something from a full-fledged theme park. Soaring over the complex is a slide tower with seven water slides, and there’s a lazy river swaying past ferns and palms. Littler bathers meanwhile can hit the 4,000-square-foot water playground.

Perhaps most unique of all is a Flowrider Triple surfing ride, the only one of its kind in the country.

15 Best Things to Do in Pembroke Park (FL):

  • Hallandale Beach Boulevard
  • South City Beach Park, Hallandale Beach
  • Aventura Mall
  • Ives Estates Park
  • Aqua Golf Driving Range
  • Pembroke Park Preserve
  • Chef Tally World Famous Jerk Chicken
  • Gulfstream Park
  • The Village at Gulfstream Park
  • Highland Oaks Park
  • McTyre Park
  • Hollywood Beach Broadwalk
  • Snake Warrior Island Natural Area
  • Orangebrook Golf & Country Club
  • Tidal Cover Water Park