Oakland Park Florida

FEATURED LISTING: Florida ::: Oakland Park

Less than three miles north of Fort Lauderdale in eastern Broward County is a lovely city, Oakland Park that is keen to maintain its small town feel. Named for its tall oaks, Oakland Park stands where Floranada existed, before the1926 hurricane. The city prides itself on its deep-rooted traditions and history and people who move here rarely want to leave. In fact, the descendants of some of the pioneers still live here. Its library, one of the largest in the county, is one of the few remaining city-owned libraries and the venue for numerous activities. The local Oakland Park Elementary School is the oldest functioning school in Broward County and was declared a national landmark in 1988.

Oakland Park is a city with mostly single-family homes, apartments, and condominiums. In addition to excellent public and private schools, Oakland Park offers outstanding recreation, beautiful parks and is a food lover’s paradise. Home to over forty thousand people in about nine miles area, the population has grown by over twenty percent in the nineties, largely due to new immigrants from Latin America. Almost thirty percent of the population was born abroad and over twenty-five percent of the residents are of African American origin. All this makes Oakland Park a melting pot of cultures.

The Oakland Park Athletic Complex-East (Stevens Field) provides outstanding sports facilities including lighted softball fields, covered pavilion, and a mile of jogging track with exercise stations. The public library grounds host an annual Art In the Park. With hundreds of arts and craft booths, this juried fine art festival also features children's activities such as storytelling, face painting, Create-Your-Own-Book and of course a variety of food.

East Coral Lake is the venue of many water related activities and the local John D Easterlin Park, officially designated an urban wilderness area, offers a relaxing retreat among 250-year-old cypress trees. The Woodland Nature Trail winds through a forest of cypress, oak and maple trees. The park provides a campground, fishing, picnic areas, and playgrounds. It is also the venue for the popular South Florida Folk Festival, a celebration of folk music that draws big names yet keeps the atmosphere casual. Other attractions at this festival are the Jam tent, where any one can participate, and the "sing-off" competition.

Oakland Park offers outstanding dining opportunities. Gibbys is famed for great steaks, carefully cooked. It boasts of a club-style ambience that is both happening and romantic. Chops and the seafood selections are excellent too. Another popular eatery, By Word of Mouth, lives up to its name. Located on a side street alongside railroad tracks, its reputation has spread through out the county. With a menu that changes daily, excellent food and friendly service, the restaurant is so popular that reservations are vital. The menu offers exotic fare like chopped, sun-dried tomatoes, layered with pesto and marscapone cheese and barbecued duck and osso buco.

Active work is on to revitalize the downtown district of Oakland Park. There is a Main Street program to support the local businesses, residents, and property owners, aiming to make the district unique and to create a special sense of pride and place.

Florida Cities and Towns