Located in Broward County along the southern part of Florida’s Atlantic coast, Plantation is a northern suburb of Fort Lauderdale and is relatively equidistant between West Palm Beach and Miami.
Its convenient location gives visitors easy access to many of the state’s most popular attractions, and it’s particularly well-known for its large municipal recreation complex that’s a big hit with residents and visitors alike.
The city was incorporated in 1953 and has grown significantly in recent decades, with now a current population of nearly 90,000 residents.
Below are 15 of the best things to do in and around Plantation, Florida.
1. Central Park Multi-Purpose Center and Plantation Aquatic Complex
Located on NW 2nd Street in Plantation, the Central Park Multi-Purpose Center and Plantation Aquatic Complex are municipal facilities sporting world-class amenities; they’re open to the public for a small fee.
Featuring two Olympic-size pools, a workout gym, basketball courts, and a shallow play pool for kids, the complex is appropriate for families and staffed by full-time lifeguards.
Many of the complex’s programs are geared toward retirees and include water aerobics, billiards, and table tennis. They offer swimming lessons for adults and children and a number of other educational, instructional, and health-related courses.
Check out their website for hours of operations and costs.
2. Helen B. Hoffman Plantation Library Children’s Room
Much more than just endless rows of books, the Plantation Library Children’s Room is a safe and inviting place for children to be engaged, entertained, and educated.
One of the most popular events is children’s story time; there’s also a summer reading program that encourages children to discover the amazing world of books.
The rest of the library is full of contemporary and classic literature, periodicals, nonfiction books, DVDs, and audio books.
It’s a great community resource, and if you’ll be visiting during the school vacation months, there will probably be special kid’s programs on their schedule.
3. Plantation Farmer’s Market
Every Saturday from 8 AM until 2 PM, the Plantation Farmer’s Market takes place at Volunteer Park on West Sunrise Boulevard in Plantation.
Part farmer’s market and part social outing, it’s the perfect place to spend an hour or two perusing a wide variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables. They also offer other locally-made, prepared food items like cheese, honey, and salsa.
The market is open year-round, and due to the fantastic array of produce grown in Florida, most items are available all year.
Coffee and fresh baked goods are available too, so you want to skip breakfast before going.
4. Plantation Historical Museum
Though it has humble beginnings and was once stuffed into a tiny room in City Hall, the Plantation Historical Museum has undergone significant expansions and upgrades in recent years and is now a popular attraction for those interested in learning about the area’s past.
Located on North Fig Tree Lane in a complex that also includes the library and Botanical Gardens Park, it’s the perfect place to spend a few morning or afternoon hours enjoying the Florida weather while learning a thing or two.
Many of the museum’s exhibits focus on the area’s Native American groups, the local police and fire departments, and the region’s economic development.
5. Plantation Preserve Golf Course
Located on West Broward Boulevard, Plantation Preserve Golf Course is one of South Florida’s most popular public 18-hole golf courses and was first opened in 2006.
The course is located in central Broward County; though it’s a relatively urban area, it’s a natural oasis that’s intersected by an Everglades-like wetland preservation area comprised of nearly 60 acres.
The course offers lessons for beginners and seasoned veterans alike and features a pro shop, practice facilities, and a clubhouse with plenty of food and drink options.
Book tee times well in advance if you plan on playing during peak times.
6. Coral Springs Museum of Art
The Coral Springs Museum of Art is another valuable community resource that’s an easy drive from Plantation, is open year-round, and is very inexpensive to visit.
The museum’s collection and facilities have expanded over the years and now include nearly 30,000 square feet of space dedicated to one of South Florida’s most complete collections of art.
Its open design is both contemporary and inviting, and the works on display were done in a variety of eye-catching mediums by local, regional, and international artists.
If you’d like to get the inside scoop on the museum and its collection, consider a guided tour with a docent.
7. Secret Woods Nature Center
Conveniently located just off State Route 84 and Interstate 95, the Secret Woods Nature Center is open daily from 9 AM to 5 PM.
The center’s Monarch Interpretive Center and Butterfly Island are perennial favorites, giving visitors a close-up look into the fascinating lives of butterflies which is educational and interesting for kids and adults alike.
A variety of trails winding their way through several natural areas are open to walkers, joggers, and hikers, though they’re not open to bikers, and pets aren’t allowed either.
The center is located on West State Road in Dania Beach.
8. Florida Panthers Ice Den
Though most visitors don’t associate Florida’s warm, tropical, and sunny climate with alpine sports, ice skating, figure skating, and hockey are all popular activities in The Sunshine State. The Florida Panthers Ice Den in Coral Springs is one of the region’s most modern facilities.
It’s the official training facility of the Florida Panthers hockey team, but when they aren’t hogging the ice, the facilities are open to the public. They offer skating lessons, camps, and amateur leagues for players of all ages and levels.
It’s okay if you don’t have your own skates; you can rent them on site.
9. Coral Springs Center for the Arts
Combined into one value-packed complex with the Coral Springs Museum of Art, the Coral Springs Center for the Arts is the performing arts part of this amazing community venue.
The center delivers a variety of performances year-round that include live music, dance, theater, and recitals; they also host arts and craft shows and festivals.
Regardless of age and interests, there’s likely something for everyone you’re traveling with. The best way to stay up to date is to check the calendar of events on their website.
Most events are inexpensive when compared with venues in larger cities like Miami and Orlando.
10. Parrot Island Scuba Adventures
Located in Pompano Beach, Parrot Island Scuba Adventures is a family-owned dive company that offers a variety of options, regardless of whether you’re a nervous beginner or an ex-Navy Seal and underwater demolition expert.
The amazingly clear waters off the south Florida coast offer some of the best dive sites in the region and include dozens of wrecks and natural reefs that are like magnets to a fantastic number of fish species.
First dives can be exhilarating and scary, but their trained and experienced staff will be with you every step of the way.
Check out their website or give them a call for packages and pricing.
11. Sawgrass Nature Center
Located on five acres just outside Coral Springs, the Sawgrass Nature Center and Wildlife Hospital is a must-see attraction for those who’d like to get up close with some of South Florida’s most interesting animals.
The center is dedicated to providing educational programs for the community, and a big part of what they do is treat and rehabilitate animals that have been injured or abandoned.
Many are returned to the wild, but those that can’t be released take up permanent residence on site.
Admission is dirt-cheap for both adults and children and will go toward keeping this great facility open for years to come.
12. Big Cypress National Preserve
Comprised of more than 700,000 acres adjacent to Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve includes a variety of unique ecosystems, including fresh and salt water, and tropical, sub-tropical, and temperate climates.
The idea for the preserve began in the ’60s when the land was slated for development and a massive airport. This raised the ire of local Native Americans, outdoorsmen, and conservationists, and it’s now one of the largest preserves in the region.
Guided tours are available and are convenient ways to see the preserve and its animal inhabitants. Activities like hunting, fishing, and off-roading are popular too, but they may require special permits and licenses.
13. Deerfield Beach Boardwalk
Scenic and inviting, Deerfield Beach is home to some of the area’s most popular bars, restaurants, and shops, and there’s no better place to check them all out than the Deerfield Beach Boardwalk.
The boardwalk follows the coast and offers gorgeous ocean views and beach access. There are plenty of seating areas that are the perfect places to relax with a snack or a good book.
Previous visitors noted that parking can be an issue, so it’s advisable to come early.
There’s a long pier that juts out into the see that only costs a buck per person which is a favorite area for surf fisherman.
14. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
Formerly the summer home of a wealthy family, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is a beautiful Italian Renaissance-style villa in Coconut Grove that includes a fantastic garden overlooking the water.
In addition to their aesthetic qualities, the home and garden have fascinating histories and are like a looking glass back in time to when much of Florida’s prime real estate was owned by uber-wealthy families from all over the country.
Guided tours are a great way to get the most bang for your buck. Though the cost of admission isn’t cheap, it may be one of the most memorable experiences of your trip.
15. World Erotica Art Museum
Though it certainly can’t be classified as a kid-friendly location, the World Erotica Art Museum is one of those quirky local attractions that many visitors really enjoy.
The museum has been around for more than a decade and is the only one of its kind in the country.
Its collection includes thousands of works from ancient times all the way to the present. Though some of it may be mildly shocking, in the context of a professional museum, you probably won’t find it offensive.
Located on Washington Avenue in Miami Beach, it is inexpensive by Miami museum standards.