Gulfstream Park

#6 in Best Things To Do in Fort Lauderdale
Gulfstream Park picture
konkrete/Getty Images

Key Info

901 Federal Hwy

Details

Casinos, Shopping, Sports Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.3

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 4.5Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

Whether you're looking to spend a day at the races or just find a nice spot for dinner, Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach has you covered. The Gulfstream Park racetrack opened in 1939 as one of the top horse racing venues in the United States. It has continued its legacy with world-class races every Wednesday to Sunday from December through September, and it caters to both beginners and experienced bettors. Admission is free, but various luxury boxes and private suites are available for serious racing enthusiasts. Special events at the park include Breakfast at Gulfstream (December through March), where visitors can enjoy a bottomless buffet for $10 per person while watching morning training on the track, listening to guest speakers and more. Gulfstream Park also hosts the annual Florida Derby – considered the biggest racing day of the year in South Florida – at the end of March or beginning of April.

In recent years, Gulfstream Park has grown to include the Village at Gulfstream, a dining, outdoor shopping and entertainment venue. There you'll find stores like Crate & Barrel and Bang & Olufsen, dining options ranging from Texas De Brazil to Brio Tuscan Grille and even a casino, a bowling alley and karaoke rooms. The Village at Gulfstream is the first facility of its kind at a thoroughbred racetrack in North America.

You'll find Gulfstream Park about 10 miles south of downtown Fort Lauderdale. It is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. Self-parking at Gulfstream Park is free, and valet parking is available for $10 to $30 per car. Plus, a complimentary shuttle operates between the parking area and the racetrack, casino and shops.   

Recent visitors of Gulfstream Park loved the variety of entertainment options, with some even calling it an "adult dream world." Many also praised the on-site dining options. Though criticisms were few and far between, one common issue was with the casino, which patrons say could use some sprucing up. Visit the Gulfstream Park and Village at Gulfstream websites to learn more.

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Time to Spend
#1 Fort Lauderdale Beach

Want a beautiful Florida beach without a crazy party scene? Fort Lauderdale Beach may be just what you're looking for. Here you'll find a calmer and less chaotic version of Miami Beach – but with the same sugary sands and crystal clear water. There are still parties, but you're more likely to find families relaxing or leisurely walking the waterline than raucous groups of college kids. Backing the shoreline, the palm tree-lined promenade bustles with visitors looking to shop and dine in the many establishments along it. There are also beach chair and water sports equipment rentals near the shore. 

Recent visitors loved Fort Lauderdale Beach for its wide, expansive shoreline, with some noting that even when there were a lot of people, it didn't feel crowded. Many were also impressed with how clean the beach is, adding that its calm waters make it a great place to bring kids.

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