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11 Top-Rated Things to Do in Coconut Creek, FL

Written by Shandley McMurray
Apr 9, 2021

A pretty little enclave located on the outskirts of Pompano Beach, Coconut Creek is a quaint and quiet place to enjoy a South Florida vacation. A 12-square-mile sliver of land welcomes visitors to this upmarket area, which was considered part of Pompano Beach until the 1960s.

While the nearest beach is about half an hour east of town, travelers will be well and truly entertained with a slew of fun things to do in Coconut Creek. They won’t even miss the ocean!

The city has been dubbed “Butterfly Capital of the World” in homage to its star tourist attraction, Butterfly World, which houses thousands of butterflies in eye-catching aviaries. Watching beautiful insects flutter around isn’t the only way to stay busy.

From wandering thorough nature reserves to flexing their shopping muscles to racing through giant playgrounds, there’s something to keep everyone entertained while visiting this sweet spot.

Plan your sightseeing and find the best places to visit with our list of the top things to do in Coconut Creek.

Note: Some businesses may be temporarily closed due to recent global health and safety issues.

1. Soak Up the Serenity at Butterfly World

Enjoying a tasty treat at Butterfly World
Enjoying a tasty treat at Butterfly World | Photo Copyright: Shandley McMurray

Visiting Butterfly World is the best thing to do in Coconut Creek. Set deep within the massive Tradewinds Park, this serene locale is the perfect place to forget your worries and recharge.

Classical music is piped in through lush aviaries scented by the flowering plants used to attract the main stars: butterflies. If the music doesn’t soothe your soul, the peaceful sound of trickling fountains and waterfalls certainly will.

The first butterfly house in the United States, this sprawling sanctuary was opened in 1988 and remains the largest of its kind worldwide. Over the years, its staff have raised more than one million butterflies, and visitors get a chance to watch them emerge from their cocoons on-site.

A wave of amazement passes through guests the moment they enter Paradise Adventure Aviary. Tiny, colorful butterflies dart through the air, zipping from plant to plant so quickly, it’s easy to think your eyes are playing tricks on you. Trying to follow just one is almost impossible.

Butterfly on a flower at Butterly World
Butterfly on a flower at Butterly World | Photo Copyright: Shandley McMurray

Butterfly World contains multiple outdoor aviaries, including one devoted to tropical birds. You’ll also find a Bug Zoo (complete with a massive tarantula, scorpions, and cockroaches), a wibbly wobbly suspension bridge stretching across Butterfly World Lake, and a Lorikeet Encounter where guests can feed birds from tiny cups.

Relax with a cuppa at the on-site Mariposa Café, or buy a butterfly-friendly plant at the garden center or a butterfly-themed souvenir at the gift shop on your way out.

Insider’s tip: Take time to sit on one of the many benches provided in each aviary. You’ll be amazed by the number of different butterflies that flutter past. If you’re lucky (and still enough) one may even land on you.

Address: Tradewinds Park, 3600 West Sample Road, Coconut Creek, Florida

Official site: https://www.butterflyworld.com

2. Enjoy a Walk at Fern Forest Nature Center

A boardwalk leads visitors on the Cypress Creek Trail.
A boardwalk leads visitors on the Cypress Creek Trail.| Photo Copyright: Shandley McMurray

Named after the abundant plants in this vicinity, Fern Forest Nature Center is home to over 30 species of ferns. A designated Urban Wilderness Area, this verdant forest covers 244 acres of Broward County and contains remains of the Cypress Creek floodway. Wandering through its vast trails, visitors are lulled by the calming sound of leaves rustling in the breeze and birds chirping from tree branches above.

Four varied nature trails can be accessed from a trailhead located behind the area’s nature center, which houses a restroom; amphitheater; store; and Royal Fern Hall, which is located upstairs.

The winding trails lead guests through the lush grounds, which have become a refuge for local wildlife. Keep your voices low and footsteps light — you might just spot a gopher tortoise, indigo snake, coyote, or even a fox. Watch where you step, as tiny lizards often scurry underfoot.

Cypress Creek Trail is the most accessible. It consists of a half-mile wooden boardwalk that turns into Butterfly Bridge as it crosses the Rewatering Channel.

The Wetland Wander Trail leads from the Rewatering Channel to Prairie Overlook, a one-mile ground trail with a 300-yard loop. Maple Walk is a half-mile-long trail, which can get wet and slippery in inclement weather.

Traveling with a pet? Head to the new Windmill Dog Park, located just four minutes away.

Address: 201 Lyons Road South, Coconut Creek, Florida

3. Shop 'Til you Drop at Promenade Coconut Creek

A fountain enhances the ambience at Promenade Coconut Creek.
A fountain enhances the ambience at Promenade Coconut Creek. | Photo Copyright: Shandley McMurray

Shopping rarely looks as good as it does at Promenade Coconut Creek. An upscale, open-air mall, this lovely retail center makes it easy to empty your wallet. Shoppers are serenaded by trickling fountains as they wander the palm-lined streets and lush alleyways of this swanky spot, at times forgetting they’re in the heart of a mall.

Feeling truly relaxed by the luxurious ambience, retail lovers are more inclined to part with their hard-earned cash; and an abundance of parking makes it easy to settle in for a while. Unique shops like Apricot Lane Boutique mix with well-known chains such as Lululemon, Lenscrafters, and Chico’s, serving up a vast array of selections perfect for any shopaholic.

Whether they dine at one of the 12 restaurants and cafés (Ciao is a family-friendly Italian eatery while Saito’s offers Japanese fare), grab a bag of candy for the kids at It’Sugar, or enjoy a tasty treat from Cold Stone Creamery, guests will leave feeling well sated.

Address: 4443 Lyons Road, Coconut Creek, Florida

Official site: https://www.promenadeatcoconutcreek.com/

4. Inhale the Fresh Air at Hillsboro Pineland Natural Area

Tall pines and palms provide plenty of shade in this Natural Area.
Tall pines and palms provide plenty of shade in this Natural Area. | Photo Copyright: Shandley McMurray

It’s easy to feel at one with nature at the 44-acre Hillsboro Pineland Natural Area. Visitors are surrounded by some of South Florida’s most treasured plant life within these borders in the pine flatwoods and isolated wetlands.

Saw palmetto, slash pine, swamp fern, Sabal Palm, and Cypress are just a few of the remarkable examples of vegetation found here. Wildflowers bloom brightly, adding color to the trails and attracting butterflies. Corkystem passionflower, ironweed, and blue curis can all be found along the two main trails.

The Prairie Trail runs 700 feet from the parking lot, past the Cypress Dome Swamp to Prairie Overlook. From here, visitors are treated to picturesque views over Wet Prairie to the verdant Pine Flatwoods beyond. Douse yourself in bug spray before heading out, as it can get buggy.

The 1,000-foot Pineland Trail leads to a loop, which includes the Pineland Overlook, providing views over the Pine Flatwoods. On the way, you’ll pass seating areas to better enjoy a peaceful moment. A wooden boardwalk guides visitors over particularly marshy areas, while signs (some with PVC codes) educate guests about the flora and fauna before them.

Address: 5591 NW 74th Place, Coconut Creek, Florida

5. Take a Break at the Winston Park Nature Center

Benches and tennis courts at Winston Park Nature Center
Benches and tennis courts at Winston Park Nature Center | Photo Copyright: Shandley McMurray

Winston Park Nature Center is a well-used recreation area set in the middle of a residential neighborhood. It has everything visitors look for in a park — a space-themed playground; tennis, racquetball, volleyball, and basketball courts; covered picnic tables; and a giant pavilion that makes hosting outdoor parties a breeze.

Looking for a more natural experience? You’ll find that, too. In addition to its 1,005-foot-long boardwalk, which sweeps through and around the area’s native vegetation, the Nature Center boasts a long trail and nature preserve, which attracts interesting wildlife (we’re talking iguanas and a bevy of birds) to the area.

The Promenade at Coconut Creek is a mere five minutes away, offering a perfect spot for lunch.

Insider’s tip: This center can be tricky to find, as GPS often sends visitors to NW 49th Court, so be careful. The playground and basketball court entrance lies at NW 49th, just off Winston Park Boulevard.

Address: 5201 NW 49th Avenue, Coconut Creek, Florida

Official site: https://coconutcreek.net/parks/park-locations-hours-and-features/winston-park

6. Play All Day at Tradewinds Park

Walking paths, pony rides, and disc golf are on offer at Tradewinds Park.
Walking paths, pony rides, and disc golf are on offer at Tradewinds Park. | Photo Copyright: Shandley McMurray

It’s impossible to get bored in Tradewinds Park. Whether you’re hoping to picnic by the lake, run along the paved paths, or throw a frisbee, you’ll find plenty of space to enjoy your favorite activities at this South Florida gem.

Tradewinds Park spans over 600 acres on either side of Sample Road and is home to horse stables, a model steam train, Butterfly World, two disc golf courses, playgrounds, volleyball courts, baseball diamonds, and soccer fields, just to name a few.

This is the largest park in Broward County, and visitors are welcome to fish in the lake, ride horses, or soak up the sun on a bench. Told you there was no chance to get bored. This park offers a little of everything.

Address: 3600 W Sample Road, Coconut Creek, Florida

7. Let One Fly at Tradewinds Park’s Disc Golf Courses

Disc golf course at Tradewinds Park
Disc golf course at Tradewinds Park | Photo Copyright: Shandley McMurray

Disc Golf is an up-and-coming sport popular with frisbee lovers of all ages. Always ahead of the trends, expansive Tradewinds Park is home to two disc golf courses.

Tradewinds Disc Golf is an 18-hole course that runs over wide, open fields on the south side of Sample Road, just past Butterfly World. There is plenty of throwing space here and only a few obstacles, making it a perfect locale for those easing themselves into the game.

On the north side of Sample Road lies the popular Tradewoods Disc Golf Course. Created in 2019, this course is more challenging than its neighbor, offering players a vast array of throwing paths and a variety of challenges, including water hazards. It’s much easier to lose your disc here. Also, beware of the fire ant hills.

Insider’s tip: You’ll find disc golf’s office near the main entrance to Tradewinds Park on the south side of Sample Road. You can purchase additional equipment here if you’re in need.

Address: 3600 W Sample Road, Coconut Creek, Florida

Official site: https://www.pdga.com/course-directory/course/tradewoods-disc-golf-course

8. Go for a Ride at Acts 2 Acres Equestrian Center

Learn to ride at Acts 2 Acres Equestrian Center
Learn to ride at Acts 2 Acres Equestrian Center | Photo Copyright: Shandley McMurray

Horse lovers won’t want to miss a visit to Acts 2 Acres Equestrian Center, a Coconut Creek staple offering English-style riding lessons to children and adults. Whether you’re hoping to become a professional jumper or merely gain enough confidence to trot horseback, you’ll be rewarded by a visit to this adorable venue.

Smiles abound as you walk around the property, which consists of two riding arenas, an oversized barn, a lounge, and gorgeous horses, of course. Run by Michelle Pickard since 2007, Acts 2 Acres offers horse camps for kids over winter, spring, and summer holidays.

You may think you’re lost while driving up to Acts 2 Acres — it's set just a block north of busy W Hillsboro Blvd, and there doesn’t appear to be any farmland in this neighborhood, but the stables are set far back from the road. Follow the long driveway, and you’ll come across the arenas.

Address: 4280 NW 71st Street, Coconut Creek, Florida

Official site: https://acts2acres.com/

9. Aim for Par at Oriole Golf Club

Oriole Golf Club offers a quiet spot to aim for par.
Oriole Golf Club offers a quiet spot to aim for par. | Photo Copyright: Shandley McMurray

Visiting Florida without golfing is like touring Italy without eating pasta. While many of the state’s flawlessly groomed courses are reserved for members, Oriole Golf Club is a semi-private establishment open to those who’d like to improve their swing in a serene yet affordable setting.

A par 72, this scenic course opened in 1971 and lies just six miles southwest of Coconut Creek in Margate. It’s located in a 55+ community and surrounded by three-story-tall condos.

The course currently presents enough challenges (including a few par 3s) to entice those who lean more towards the intermediate side of the spectrum. A wonderful place for beginners, the fairways are quite open and spacious, granting new golfers a bit of an advantage on their opening shots.

Consider yourself more advanced? You’re sure to enjoy the “relatively quick” greens and random challenges throughout. When you’ve finished your game, settle in for a tasty meal at the on-site restaurant. The wraps are particularly light and delicious.

Address: 8000 Margate Blvd, Margate, Florida

Official site: http://www.oriolegolfclub.com/

10. Race a Cheetah at Sugar Sand Park

The playground at Sugar Sand Park
The playground at Sugar Sand Park | Photo Copyright: Shandley McMurray

If you’re traveling with kids in tow, you’ll want to visit Sugar Sand Park in nearby Boca Raton. Just 10 miles northeast of Coconut Creek, it’s easy to reach.

Sugar Sand Park is home to everything you never knew you needed for a fun family day out. From watching plays at the Willow Theater to learning how things work at the Children’s Science Explorium to riding an old-fashioned carousel, you’ll be well entertained.

An animal racing station in the extravagant playground allows kids and parents to race along a track in competition with various animals — don’t worry, they’re represented by lights, not actual creatures. We dare you not to jump on this playground’s super squishy floor, perfect for tumbling toddlers.

The colorful splash zone is a wonderful place to visit to cool off, and kids can spend hours playing hide and seek among the giant play structures. Luckily, there are picnic tables and pavilions nearby, as well as grills on hand to make cooking lunch (or dinner) a cinch.

Hoping for a more peaceful experience? Hit the nature trails. There are 132 acres to explore, which means there’s plenty of space to wander.

Address: 300 Military Trail, Boca Raton, Florida

Official site: http://www.sugarsandpark.org/

11. Water Ski or Fish at Quiet Waters Park

Water skier at Quiet Waters Park
Water skier at Quiet Waters Park

Located in nearby Deerfield Beach, uber fun Quiet Waters Park is less than five miles from Coconut Creek. You’ll definitely want to reserve a day or three to explore this exciting spot, home to a campground and more than 430 acres of natural wonderland.

Sparkling lakes invite visitors to boat or fish, while multiple trails are primed for walking, biking, and running through the verdant landscape. Kids will adore the Splash Adventure water park while their grownups may prefer to try their hand at a game of basketball, volleyball, or disc golf.

The park is also home to popular Ski Rixen USA, a unique take on waterskiing where guests are pulled by a cable across a lake while donning water skis. A large inflatable obstacle course also takes up residence on this super smooth lake.

Address: 401 South Powerline Road, Deerfield Beach, Florida

Official site: https://www.broward.org/parks/Pages/Park.aspx?=28

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