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Whether you’re on a short visit, an extended vacation, or relocating to the little piece of paradise that is Fort Lauderdale, Florida, there are plenty of outdoor activities in the city to keep you busy.  If you’re looking for fresh-air fun that won’t cost you a dime, the coastal city has some of the most beautiful city and state parks in Florida. Here are just a handful of parks in Fort Lauderdale that should definitely be at the top of your must-see list.

1. Everglades Holiday Park

the everglades florida

Image via Flickr by Wendy Harman

Known as “The Gateway to the Everglades,” this city park has just about everything sightseers and adventurers could want. The park offers the breathtaking beauty of the Everglades and gives visitors a chance to explore the waterways via airboat rides that launch right from the park boat ramp.

If you’re a land-lover at heart, there’s plenty to do by foot in Everglades Holiday Park from wildlife viewing tours to nature hikes. The 30-acre park also offers an RV campground for visitors who need more than one day to explore.

2. Franklin Park

Combining outdoor activities with a 6,000-square foot recreational and community center, Franklin Park is the best of both worlds. If it’s fun in the sun you’re looking for, the park has a huge playground, lighted basketball courts, and picnic shelters.

The community center has a fitness room, a computer lab, and after school programs for the community. Surrounding the entire park and the community center is The Word Garden Walkway, designed by local artists to help inspire the active spirit through words of encouragement.

3. Reverend Samuel Delevoe Memorial Park

One of the largest neighborhood parks in Fort Lauderdale, Reverend Samuel Delevoe Memorial Park stretches nearly 36 acres with a 17-acre lake as the park’s centerpiece. Surrounding the catch-and-release lake are multiple basketball courts, playgrounds, picnic areas, and a running trail.

Whether you want to rent a kayak and paddle the day away in the park’s lake or hit the weights in the on-site fitness center, Reverend Samuel Delevoe Memorial Park is just one of hundreds of reasons to visit or even relocate to beautiful Fort Lauderdale.

4. Lafayette Hart Park

If your idea of a good time is endless hours of competition, then Lafayette Hart Park is a city park with sports in mind. The park boasts two full-sized basketball courts, multiple tennis courts, a racquetball court, and a shaded playground for the kids. The park has picturesque picnic areas great for family get-togethers too.

5. Hugh Taylor Birch State Park

Fort Lauderdale’s only state park, Hugh Taylor Birch State Park is a nature lover’s paradise. There’s plenty to do in the park from fishing along the seawall to paddling the lagoon to hiking the park’s nature trail.

The park also has beach access, walking tours, and plenty of tropical wildlife photo opportunities. Whether you’re looking for the perfect spot for an afternoon picnic or you want to pitch a tent and stay the night, Hugh Taylor Birch State Park is a great option.

From outdoor sports to the natural beauty of the great outdoors, the parks above are must-see Fort Lauderdale destinations.