Exploring the great outdoors

By: Monique Cole

Spring showers bring May flowers, and Broward County is filled with a multitude of parks and gardens for its residents and visitors to explore. Here are a few parks and gardens in the area worth checking out.

Everglades Holiday Park

21940 Griffin Rd., Fort Lauderdale

A little drive can provide you with a sense of adventure. Everglades Holiday Park is a 39-acre park that offers airboat rides, fishing docks and boating rentals. According to evergladesholidaypark.com, narrated airboat rides last for an hour and are paired with an alligator show presented by the Gator Boys.

Flamingo Gardens

3750 S Flamingo Road, Davie

Flamingo Gardens is known for its botanical gardens and various wildlife. Visitors will find various forms of wildlife and greenery native to Florida through tours, educational wildlife shows and exhibits. Flamingo Gardens is also an Everglades wildlife sanctuary that takes care of animals who have become permanently disabled or injured. Flamingo Gardens offers narrated tram tours that travel throughout the park.

Long Key Natural Area and Nature Center

3501 SW 130th Ave., Davie

Long Key Natural Area and Nature Center is an approximately 165-acre nature center that includes a walking trail, an exhibit hall and an educational visitor center. The exhibit center is composed of a 2,390-square foot exhibit hall that highlights the Tequesta and Seminole Indians, who were the original residents of the land. The exhibit center also contains multiple interactive displays on various forms of wildlife and archeology. Outside the center there is a nature trail and equestrian trail for visitors to explore.

Secret Woods Nature Center

2701 W State Road 84, Dania Beach

Secret Woods Nature Center is one of the oldest nature centers in Broward County. The center is composed of two nature trails, a butterfly garden and a monarch interpretive center. Both trails provide educational signs for various plants and animals that reside in the area you are walking through. If you’re lucky, you might even see some fiddler crabs, raccoons, snakes or manatees.

Tradewinds Park and Stables and Butterfly World

3600 W Sample Road, Coconut Creek

Tradewinds Park and Stable is noted by Broward County as being the largest and most diverse park in the area. Tradewinds Park is composed of horse stables, an educational farm, model steam train rides and the popular attraction known as Butterfly World. While Butterfly World is located in the park, they are a separate organization that charges for admission. Butterfly World is known for its unique butterfly populations, bird aviaries and botanical garden center.

Tree Tops Park

3900 SW 100th Ave., Davie

Tree Tops Park is an approximately 243-acre park that contains equestrian trails, three playgrounds, three nature trails, a fishing pier, a marina that offers paddleboat and swan boat rentals and a marsh observation. Each nature trail includes something unique and different. Perhaps the most noteworthy is the Pine Island Ridge Trail, which contains an observation tower that will bring you right up to the tops of the trees at 28-feet high.

Vista View Park

4001 SW 142 Ave., Davie

Vista View Park is a 272-acre park that includes paved pathways, a fitness trail, a horse trail and a roped-off area on top of the hill for airfield and paragliding. This park has its own drone flying course as well. While this is less of an educational park, the park does divide into severala multitude of areas for people whothat want to enjoy the great outdoors with their families and friends.

For more information on different Broward County parks, check out the Parks and Recreation tab on the Broward.org site. For more information on Flamingo Gardens, visit flamingogardens.org.

If you are looking for a way to get out and celebrate spring, consider visiting one of the parks or gardens in the area.


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