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Are you a nature enthusiast seeking to explore the wonders of Broward County? Look no further! In this article, we will take you on a journey to discover the breathtaking beauty of Broward County’s wildlife and natural attractions. From the breathtaking Everglades National Park to the stunning beaches along the Atlantic coastline, Broward County offers a diverse range of habitats and ecosystems that are home to a myriad of fascinating flora and fauna. Prepare to be amazed as we delve into the captivating world of Broward County’s wildlife and natural attractions.

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Overview of Broward County

Broward County, located in the southeastern part of the state of Florida, is known for its natural beauty and diverse wildlife. Nestled between Miami-Dade County to the south and Palm Beach County to the north, Broward County is home to a wealth of natural attractions and outdoor activities that can be enjoyed year-round.

Broward County Resource Link

Location and geography

Broward County stretches across approximately 1,320 square miles of land, encompassing a varied landscape that includes both urban areas and pristine natural habitats. The county borders the Atlantic Ocean to the east, providing access to beautiful beaches and coastal areas, while the western part of the county is dominated by the vast expanse of the Everglades National Park.

Climate and weather

The climate in Broward County is classified as tropical, characterized by hot and humid summers and mild winters. The county experiences a rainy season from May to October, with occasional afternoon thunderstorms, followed by a drier season from November to April. The average annual temperature is around 75°F (24°C), making it an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts.


Broward County is one of the most populous counties in Florida, with a diverse population that represents various ethnic and cultural backgrounds. As of the latest census data, the county is home to over 1.9 million residents. The county seat is Fort Lauderdale, which is also the largest city in Broward County.

Flora and Fauna

Rich biodiversity

Broward County boasts an impressive array of plant and animal species, thanks to its diverse ecosystems that range from coastal dunes to wetlands and hardwood hammocks. The county’s biodiversity is a testament to its commitment to conservation and preservation of natural habitats.

Native plant species

The county is home to numerous native plant species, including the iconic mangroves found along the coastal areas. These salt-tolerant trees provide vital habitat for a variety of marine life and serve as a buffer against erosion. Other native plant species include saw palmetto, sea grape, and buttonwood, which contribute to the county’s unique and vibrant flora.

Endangered animal species

Broward County is also home to several endangered animal species, highlighting the importance of conservation efforts. The Florida panther, one of the most endangered mammals in the United States, can be found in parts of the county. Other endangered species include the American crocodile and the West Indian manatee, both of which rely on the county’s waterways for their survival.

Birdwatching opportunities

Birdwatching enthusiasts will find Broward County to be a paradise, as it attracts a diverse range of bird species throughout the year. The county’s wetlands, parks, and reserves provide ideal habitats for resident and migratory birds, making it a popular destination for birdwatching. With over 350 bird species recorded in the county, there are ample opportunities to observe and appreciate the avian wonders that call Broward County home.

Parks and Reserves

Everglades Holiday Park

Located on the western edge of Broward County, Everglades Holiday Park offers visitors a chance to explore the unique and fragile ecosystem of the Everglades. The park provides airboat tours, showcasing the vast wilderness and wildlife of the area. Visitors can also enjoy fishing, hiking, and picnicking in this beautiful natural setting.

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park

Situated along the coast in Fort Lauderdale, Hugh Taylor Birch State Park offers a tranquil retreat amidst the bustling city. The park features winding nature trails, freshwater lagoons, and a beach along the Atlantic Ocean. Visitors can hike, bike, paddle, or simply relax and enjoy the natural surroundings.

Fern Forest Nature Center

Fern Forest Nature Center, located in Coconut Creek, is a hidden gem that offers a glimpse into a tropical hardwood forest. The park boasts a network of trails that wind through the forest, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the natural beauty and tranquility of the area. Educational programs and guided tours are also available.

Quiet Waters Park

Nestled in the city of Deerfield Beach, Quiet Waters Park is a popular destination for outdoor recreation. The park features a large freshwater lake, where visitors can go fishing, kayaking, or paddleboarding. With numerous picnic areas, bike trails, and a water park, Quiet Waters Park provides endless opportunities for outdoor fun and relaxation.

Markham Park

Markham Park, located in Sunrise, offers a wide range of recreational activities for visitors of all ages. The park boasts bike trails, a shooting range, a disc golf course, and an RC airplane field. With its diverse amenities and beautiful natural setting, Markham Park is a favorite spot for outdoor enthusiasts.

Beaches and Coastal Areas

Fort Lauderdale Beach

One of the most iconic beaches in Broward County, Fort Lauderdale Beach stretches for miles along the Atlantic Ocean. Known for its pristine sands and turquoise waters, this beach is a popular destination for sunbathing, swimming, and water sports. The beach is also lined with restaurants, shops, and hotels, offering a vibrant atmosphere for both locals and visitors.

Hollywood Beach

Hollywood Beach, located in the city of Hollywood, is another must-visit coastal gem in Broward County. Known for its lively boardwalk, which runs for over two miles, the beach offers a variety of dining, shopping, and entertainment options. Visitors can enjoy biking, rollerblading, or simply strolling along the boardwalk while taking in the breathtaking views.

Deerfield Beach

Located in the city of Deerfield Beach, this family-friendly beach offers a relaxed and laid-back atmosphere. With its wide sandy shoreline and crystal-clear waters, Deerfield Beach is ideal for swimming, sunbathing, and beach picnics. The beach also features fishing piers and recreational areas, making it a great spot for outdoor activities.

Pompano Beach

Pompano Beach, named after the abundant fish found in the area, is a popular destination for both locals and tourists. The beach offers a picturesque setting with its golden sand, gentle waves, and palm trees swaying in the ocean breeze. Visitors can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, fishing, or simply unwinding under the warm Florida sun.


Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, a charming seaside town, is known for its pristine and quiet beach. Located just north of Fort Lauderdale, this hidden gem offers a tranquil retreat away from the crowds. Snorkeling and diving enthusiasts will find the offshore coral reef teeming with marine life, making it a haven for underwater exploration.

Waterways and Wetlands

Everglades National Park

A significant portion of the famous Everglades National Park lies within Broward County. This unique and fragile ecosystem is home to a vast array of plant and animal species, including alligators, wading birds, and rare orchids. Visitors can explore the park by foot, bike, or canoe, immersing themselves in the beauty and serenity of this pristine wilderness.

Sawgrass Recreation Park

Sawgrass Recreation Park offers visitors the opportunity to explore the beauty of the Everglades through exciting airboat rides. These high-speed adventures take visitors on a journey through the winding waterways, allowing them to observe alligators, turtles, and a variety of bird species in their natural habitat. Educational wildlife exhibits and live shows are also available.

Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge

Situated just north of Broward County, the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge is a haven for nature enthusiasts. Spanning over 144,000 acres, the refuge protects a diverse range of habitats, including hardwood hammocks, wet prairies, and cypress swamps. Visitors can explore the refuge’s trails, observe wildlife, and participate in educational programs.

West Lake Park

West Lake Park, located in Hollywood, offers visitors the chance to experience the beauty of Broward County’s coastal wetlands. With its extensive trail system and scenic waterways, the park is perfect for kayaking and canoeing adventures. Visitors can also enjoy birdwatching, fishing, or simply relaxing amidst the breathtaking natural surroundings.

Anne Kolb Nature Center

Nestled in Hollywood, the Anne Kolb Nature Center is a hidden gem that showcases the diverse ecosystems of Broward County. The center offers guided nature walks, kayak tours, and boat excursions, allowing visitors to explore the mangroves, salt marshes, and seagrass beds. Educational exhibits and interactive displays provide insights into the region’s unique flora and fauna.

Gardens and Arboretums

Bonnet House Museum and Gardens

The Bonnet House Museum and Gardens, located in Fort Lauderdale, is a historic estate surrounded by beautiful gardens. Visitors can explore the tropical gardens that feature an array of native and exotic plants, including orchids, bromeliads, and palms. Guided tours of the house and gardens provide a glimpse into the lives of the estate’s former owners.

Flamingo Gardens

Flamingo Gardens, located in Davie, is a botanical garden and wildlife sanctuary that sprawls over 60 acres. Visitors can stroll along the winding pathways, surrounded by lush tropical foliage and flowering trees. The gardens are also home to a variety of native and exotic animals, including flamingos, alligators, and black bears.

Butterfly World

Butterfly World, situated in Coconut Creek, is the largest butterfly park in the world. The park features numerous aviaries and gardens, where visitors can marvel at thousands of butterflies fluttering among colorful flowers. In addition to butterflies, the park also houses a variety of tropical birds and a butterfly research and breeding facility.

Plantation Botanical Gardens

Located in Plantation, the Plantation Botanical Gardens offer visitors a tranquil oasis filled with native and exotic plants. The gardens feature themed areas, such as the Japanese Garden and the Fragrance Garden, each showcasing a unique selection of plants. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll, take in the fragrant blooms, and relax amidst the serene ambiance.

Secret Woods Nature Center

Located in Dania Beach, the Secret Woods Nature Center is a hidden treasure that offers a glimpse into the diverse ecosystems of Broward County. The center features a boardwalk that winds through a cypress maples swamp, providing visitors with an up-close experience of this unique habitat. Interpretive exhibits and guided tours enhance the educational experience.

Outdoor Activities

Hiking and nature trails

Broward County offers a plethora of hiking and nature trails that cater to all skill levels. From the wide, sandy paths of the coastal parks to the shaded trails of the nature reserves, there is something for everyone. Hiking enthusiasts can explore the county’s diverse landscapes, encounter wildlife, and immerse themselves in the beauty of nature.

Kayaking and canoeing

With its extensive network of waterways, Broward County is a paradise for kayaking and canoeing. From calm rivers to meandering canals, there are endless opportunities to paddle and explore the county’s natural wonders. Whether it’s gliding through mangrove tunnels or observing wildlife from the water, kayaking and canoeing provide a unique perspective on the county’s ecosystems.


Broward County offers excellent fishing opportunities, both in its coastal waters and inland lakes. Anglers can cast their lines from fishing piers, charter boats, or even from the shore. With a variety of fish species, including snook, tarpon, and snapper, fishing enthusiasts are sure to have an exciting and rewarding experience.


Cycling enthusiasts will find a variety of scenic routes throughout Broward County. From coastal bike paths offering breathtaking ocean views to trails winding through lush nature preserves, there is something for every cyclist. Best of all, the county’s year-round mild climate makes it an ideal destination for cycling adventures.


Broward County boasts numerous golf courses that cater to both amateur and professional golfers. The county’s well-manicured fairways and challenging greens provide a perfect backdrop for a round of golf. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or just starting out, Broward County offers a wide range of courses to suit every skill level.

Wildlife Sanctuaries and Refuges

Big Cypress National Preserve

Although not located directly within Broward County, the Big Cypress National Preserve is just a short drive away and offers a truly immersive wilderness experience. Spanning over 729,000 acres, the preserve is home to a wide array of wildlife, including the elusive Florida panther. Visitors can explore the preserve through various hiking trails and scenic drives, allowing them to witness the untamed beauty of the region.

Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge

Situated just north of Broward County, the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. The refuge protects a unique wetland ecosystem known as the “River of Grass” and provides habitat for a variety of animals, including alligators, wading birds, and migratory waterfowl. Visitors can explore the refuge’s trails and observation areas, immersing themselves in the sights and sounds of nature.

Billie Swamp Safari

Located on the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation, the Billie Swamp Safari offers visitors a chance to experience the Everglades up close. The safari provides airboat rides, swamp buggy tours, and animal presentations, allowing visitors to observe and learn about the Everglades’ fascinating wildlife. The safari also offers overnight accommodations, giving visitors the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the unique surroundings.

Shark Valley

Just a short drive away from Broward County, Shark Valley is an integral part of Everglades National Park. The highlight of Shark Valley is the 15-mile loop trail, which can be explored by tram, bike, or on foot. As visitors make their way around the loop, they can observe alligators, wading birds, and other wildlife that call this vast wetland home.

Wakodahatchee Wetlands

Located in neighboring Palm Beach County, the Wakodahatchee Wetlands is a man-made wetland oasis that attracts a wide variety of bird species. The wetlands boast a series of boardwalks and observation platforms, allowing visitors to get up close and personal with the resident and migratory birds. With its tranquil atmosphere and abundant wildlife, Wakodahatchee Wetlands is a must-visit destination for nature lovers.

Zoos and Animal Encounters

Zoo Miami

Although not located within Broward County, Zoo Miami is just a short drive away and offers an exciting and educational animal encounter experience. The zoo is home to over 3,000 animals representing more than 500 species from around the world. Visitors can explore the zoo’s exhibits, watch animal feedings, and even participate in animal encounters and behind-the-scenes tours.

Zoo Miami’s Everglades Outpost

Zoo Miami’s Everglades Outpost provides visitors with an opportunity to learn about and interact with native Florida wildlife. The outpost features exhibits showcasing reptiles, including alligators and snakes, as well as a variety of birds of prey. Visitors can also take part in wildlife presentations and enjoy hands-on experiences with certain animals.

Butterfly Pavilion at Flamingo Gardens

Flamingo Gardens, in addition to its botanical garden, houses a beautiful Butterfly Pavilion. The pavilion is filled with butterflies of various species, fluttering among tropical plants and flowers. Visitors can witness the life cycle of butterflies up close, from caterpillars to pupae to fully grown butterflies, making for a mesmerizing and educational experience.

Sawgrass Recreation Park’s Animal Exhibits

Sawgrass Recreation Park offers more than just airboat rides – it also features animal exhibits that provide visitors with a close encounter with some of Florida’s native wildlife. The exhibits showcase alligators, turtles, and various reptiles, enabling visitors to learn about and appreciate the unique characteristics of these fascinating creatures.

Butterfly World’s Bug Zoo

Located within Butterfly World, the Bug Zoo showcases an array of insects from around the world. Visitors can observe and learn about diverse insect species, such as beetles, spiders, and walking sticks. The Bug Zoo offers insights into the fascinating world of insects, highlighting their important roles in ecosystems and their incredible adaptations.

Environmental Education Centers

Museum of Discovery and Science

Located in downtown Fort Lauderdale, the Museum of Discovery and Science offers interactive exhibits and educational programs that focus on science, technology, and the natural world. Visitors can explore exhibits on topics ranging from space exploration to Florida’s unique ecosystems. The museum also features an IMAX theater and a large aquarium, making it a fun and educational experience for all ages.

Gumbo Limbo Nature Center

Situated in Boca Raton, just north of Broward County, the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center is dedicated to the conservation and preservation of coastal habitats. The center features educational exhibits on marine life, sea turtles, and the importance of coastal ecosystems. Visitors can also explore the boardwalks and trails that wind through the center’s mangrove forest, providing a firsthand experience of these fragile habitats.

Grassy Waters Preserve

Located in neighboring Palm Beach County, the Grassy Waters Preserve is a vast wilderness area that offers educational programs and guided tours. The preserve protects a unique ecosystem known as the “Northern Everglades,” which provides habitat for a variety of wildlife, including the endangered Everglade snail kite. Visitors can learn about the preserve’s flora and fauna, as well as the importance of water conservation.

Broward County Parks Naturalist Program

Broward County Parks Naturalist Program offers a wide range of environmental education programs and activities for residents and visitors of all ages. From guided nature walks to wildlife presentations, the program aims to promote an understanding and appreciation for the county’s natural resources. Through hands-on experiences and interactive learning, participants can deepen their knowledge of the local ecosystems.

Conservancy of Southwest Florida

While not located within Broward County, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida is a valuable resource for those interested in learning more about the region’s natural environment. The Conservancy offers educational programs, guided tours, and interactive exhibits that focus on the importance of protecting and preserving Southwest Florida’s unique ecosystems. Visitors can explore the center’s exhibits, participate in nature walks, and even take boat tours to observe wildlife in their natural habitats.

With its diverse ecosystems, abundant wildlife, and numerous natural attractions, Broward County offers something for everyone seeking to connect with nature. Whether it’s exploring the breathtaking wetlands of the Everglades, relaxing on the beautiful beaches, or embarking on outdoor adventures, this vibrant county provides endless opportunities to discover the beauty of the natural world. So, grab your binoculars, put on your hiking boots, and get ready to immerse yourself in the natural wonders of Broward County.

Broward County Resource Link