Tanya The Mango Lady Nature Lover’s Guide: 10 Best Local Parks to Visit in South Florida
Amidst the cocktail of travel restrictions, social distancing, personal grief, and our undiagnosed anxiety regarding Covid-19, the past year has put a serious strain on our lives. The "new normal" has undoubtedly disrupted our routine and reprogrammed many of our interests. Finding safe places to go with friends and family has been a daunting exercise. It's particularly taxing if you have picky kids who would rather retreat to their rooms and curl up with a computer, than set foot outdoors during a pandemic. Nontheless, as challenging as the past year has been, I'm reminded that tragedy and adversity can oftentimes unlock untried opportunities and bring about new discoveries. The prolonged isolation has personally rekindled my tree hugging, nature loving desire to get out and explore local parks, buzzing with native wildlife, exotic plants, and trees.
There is nothing like basking in the orange hypnotic glow of a toasty Florida sunset. As soon as many local parks re-opened, my family and I began venturing out on monthly excursions to explore many local trails, creeks and parks in the Ft. Lauderdale Metro Area. What we discovered was sheer rustic beauty, adventure and a soul filling peace that's often found in the quiet solitude of nature. I've compiled a list of my top 10 favorite park discoveries to serve as an inspirational travel guide for others seeking safe enjoyable things to see and do in nature throughout South Florida:
Note: these are NOT in any particular priority order so consider this your bucket list and feel free to visit based on your interests:
This large community park has something for every nature lover with its meandering trails, picnic and barbeque areas, horseback riding, paddle boats, fishing areas and a very cool 30 ft high observation tower. A stair climb to the top allows you to catch a breathtaking view of the entire park while you’re elevated above a dense cluster of tree canopy.
3. Tall Cypress Nature Park, Coral Springs, FL
Beautiful park with an elevated boardwalk that meanders through a 66 acre dense wetland well designed with an abundance of educational signs describing the plants and wildlife found in the park. Get ready for the sound of nature’s orchestra when you visit this park. You hear the vibrant buzzing, chirping and humming of all its inhabitants as you stroll through the park.
Dania Pier, Dania, FL
5. Anne Kolb Nature Center, Hollywood, FL
6. Long Key Nature Center, Davie
7. Fern Forest Nature Center
8. Holland Park
9. Peace Mound Park, Weston
10. Secret Woods Park, Dania Beach
There you have it folks, Tanya The Mango Lady’s Nature Lover’s Guide: 10 Best Local Parks to visit in the Ft Lauderdale Metro area. I hope you enjoyed learning more about 10 fascinating parks and trails in the Ft. Lauderdale Metro area. All except Dania Pier are free admission with flexible hours both on weekend and weekdays. Despite these unpresedented times, I encourage you to explore these amazing spaces. Treat your soul to a well needed escape and seize the tranquility and joy found in nature. This is indeed a mangolicious life filled with bitter sweet seasons. Nonetheless, God has given us the gift of nature as one of the many coping mechanisms to heal, inspire and recenter us. Author and Holocaust victim Anne Frank said it best “Think of all the beauty still left around you and (choose to) be happy.”
Please feel free to drop me a note and let me know if you’ve visited these amazing parks as well. I would love to hear your recomendation of other great parks you’ve enjoyed in the South Florida region.
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