There are numerous reasons why Parkland consistently makes it to lists of the best places to live in the country. Whether you’re a young professional, a growing family, or a retiree, Parkland offers everything you need for an enviable way of life.
An abundance of parks
True to its name, the city is filled with gorgeous parks, and they are the main attractions in the area. The top places to visit include:
Covering seven acres, the park includes two playgrounds, a horse corral, and a water play area, making it an ideal place for relaxation and recreation for the entire family.
- Doris Davis Forman Wilderness Preserve
Located in the heart of the city, this 20-acre park was a once-endangered native land but was restored and opened to the public in 1989. The preserve is home to a wealth of natural resources, which guests can enjoy through a 900-foot pedestrian trail that traverses pine woods, and a 1,500-foot boardwalk that winds through cypress wetlands.
Located on the eastern side of the city, this park features a multi-use loop trail spanning around a quarter of a mile. People who want to know more about the local wildlife and plant life can read about them on the signage along the trail.
The most popular park in the city, this massive 80-acre attraction includes picnic pavilions, five multipurpose fields, a state-of-the-art playground, walking trails, a fishing pier, and a community center. The park’s centerpiece is an amphitheater, where concerts and special events are staged throughout the year.
Parkland features 8.5 miles of well-maintained multipurpose trails, manicured bike paths, and sidewalks, giving you plenty of room to safely stroll, ride, and bike to your heart’s content. And with the city enjoying warm weather most of the year, residents engage in outdoor activities regularly.
Parkland has an active equestrian community. Many neighborhoods feature horse farms, and the city boasts miles of riding trails. The Equestrian Center at Temple Park features an open riding space and two equestrian rings that are open to the public. It is home to the Parkland Horseman’s Association, which stages monthly shows, educational clinics, and other equestrian activities.
Safe and family-friendly
In 2015, Parkland was named by WalletHub as the best city for families in Florida—and for good reason. Aside from the recreational opportunities, Parkland has one of the lowest crime rates in the U.S. and is considered one of the top 10 safest cities in Florida.
Another thing that makes the city suitable for families is the excellent school system. The public schools are operated by the School Board of Broward County, which became the first fully accredited public school system in Florida in 1962. It is currently the second largest school district in the state, and the sixth largest in the US.
The top rated public schools in Parkland include:
- Heron Heights Elementary
- Park Trails Elementary
- Riverglades Elementary
- Westglades Middle School
- Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
Parkland also has several private educational institutions, including Kol Tikvah, Mary Help Of Christians Catholic School, and Somerset Academy Parkland.
The city may have seemed resistant to development in the past, but it has since been embracing positive changes at a careful and thoughtful pace. One such change is the availability of shopping centers, which make living in Parkland convenient.
Instead of multistory shopping malls, the retail destinations here are open air shopping centers, sprawled on acres of landscaped land. They house a wide array of local and international brands, as well as casual and fine dining restaurants, coffee shops, and services.
Among the places to go are:
- Waterways Shoppes
- Parkland Commons
- Parkland Town Center
- Riverstone Shoppes
- Shoppes of Parkland
Bars and restaurants
Parkland is home to over 3,000 businesses, which have significantly enhanced its economy. These include an interesting mix of restaurants featuring a variety of cuisines, from Mexican and Italian to Japanese and Thai. There’s also a slew of coffee shops and dessert places.
Parkland may have a laidback, bucolic vibe but with bars and lounges open well into the night, both in the city and neighboring Boca Raton and Coral Springs, there’s also plenty of partying fun.
Life in Parkland is also marked by special occasions that bring the community together.
- The Parkland Farmers’ Market
Open Sundays from November to April at 8350 Ranch Road, the farmers’ market features not just produce and food products, but also craft fairs and other events, such as a pet expo, a health and wellness event, and an environmental expo.
Each year, the city stages Eats N Beats, a summer concert series featuring live performances and food trucks
The city celebrates numerous holidays together with special community events. Among the biggest celebrations are the Fourth of July fireworks, Light Up the Park during the holiday season, Shabbat in the Park, Easter egg hunts, and more.