Opa-locka is a blip on the radar of Florida cities in Dade County. With a population of less than 16,000, the city is best-known for being a quiet one; mostly there are outdoor activities, obscure museums, and a handful of well-kept parks. While no hotels exist in the Opa-Locka inner city, there are several great lodging options on the outskirts of the nearby close-knit communities.
Opa-Locka has a rich history, with a name translating to “large island with lots of trees and swamps.” Originally named and inhabited by Seminole Native Americans, the area once drew a crowd of Moorish architects—which is a kind of artsy architecture that uses repetitive designs, spires like those of the Taj Mahal, and decorative tiles on colorful motifs and elaborate murals.
Arcolas Lakes Park is a family-friendly Florida park with a focus on exercise, fun, and active lifestyles. Located alongside West Little River on Northwest 83rd Street, the park features two playgrounds for older children and toddlers, well-lit tennis, basketball, handball, and racquetball courts, outdoor exercise equipment, and several nature paths and hiking trails. There is also an area for dogs, a shaded pavilion for live events, two BBQ grills, and clean restrooms, picnic tables, and park benches. On average, guests here bring their comfortable sneakers, sunscreen, and water for a 2+ hour afternoon in the park.
Miami and Miami Gardens are the closest Florida cities to Opa-Locka, so many guests to the area make the short drive to those towns for a plethora of restaurants and shops. Basically, food and entertainment is never more than 3 miles away, which [on average] is a 5 to 10-minute drive from Opa Locka.
One restaurant, Snappers Fish and Chicken in Miami Gardens, is a traveler favorite, as they serve up heaping helpings of delicious, fresh, local seafood and homemade sides. Meals are served in Styrofoam to-go containers, but presentation is less important than flavor—and this restaurant totally delivers with scrumptious conch, shrimp, chicken, and French fries.
Be sure to try The Flop—a local drink that combines homemade sweet tea and fresh-squeezed lemonade.
If you want to soak up a bit of culture and history in Opa-Locka, head to the City Hall and Gardens at the crossing of Opa-Locka Boulevard and Sharazad Boulevard. Glenn Curtiss, the Aviation pioneer of 1926, was into Moorish Revival and Arabian architecture, which is why several of the boulevards are named from characters in the Arabian Nights book. The historic city hall is decked out in domes, balconies, minarets, and Persian décor—all paying homage to an old-fashioned, gorgeous architecture type. The walled-in garden is a maze of springtime blooms and greenery, like ivy and natural palm trees. Many online reviewers have compared this place to a storybook setting in Opa-Locka.
If you plan to sta in Opa-Locka, keep in mind you'll be staying on the outskirts of the inner city.
Suggested hotels include Holiday Inn Express Miami-Hialeah, Shula’s Hotel & Golf Club, Stadium Hotel, and Rodeway Inn Miami
Holiday Inn Express Miami-Hialeah
Accommodation-wise, the Holiday Inn Express Miami-Hialeah on West 20th Avenue is a no-nonsense, basic stay for all types of travelers, from leisure and casual, to business and venture. TripAdvisor reviews, that are in fact past guests to the Holiday Inn Express, have highlighted several positive amenities here, such as a swimming pool, a workout room, free high-speed internet, and free grab-and-go breakfasts. There are also 4 hot tub suites, which feature ginormous tubs that double as Jacuzzis (just add bubbles). Room-wise, each room is a suite with at least one queen-sized bed, a well-equipped kitchenette, an en-suite bathroom, and a well-furnished, spacious sitting area. For family-friendly fun, take a short 3-mile drive to K1 Speed Miami—an indoor thrill park with go-karts, a lengthy track, and yummy concessions.
Shulas Hotel & Golf Club
Shula’s Hotel & Golf Club on Main Street is quite a nice hotel with a unique personality and leisure ambiance. Each room is a little different from the next, as this hotel is privately owned—no commercial chains here. Seated on an expansive resort, the hotel features 205 suites, each equipped with comfortable beds, fluffed towels, plump pillows, clean linens, free internet access, and lots of free toiletries to make your stay even more pleasant. You never have to leave for entertainment or food, because the hotel offers an on-site restaurant, bar, and lounge. Plus, a big golf course, nice spa, and a swimming pool are also on the premises.
The Stadium Hotel
The Stadium Hotel is the closest stay to the Hard Rock Stadium, where sports fans can catch big games when football season rolls around. This hotel boasts a few of the basics, like a swimming pool, continental breakfast, self-serve laundry facilities, and a business center, but there are also several indulgences, such as private balconies, free parking for guests, shuttle bus services, and a banquet room for celebrations.
Take your good fortune to Calder Casino across the street when you have some downtime. Try your luck with classic lots, play a few games of traditional poker and blackjack, or go for the free buffet, fun ambiance, and casual good vibes.
Rodeway Inn Miami
Situated off of Northwest 167th Street, the Rodeway Inn Miami is a simple, budget-friendly hotel for budget-minded travelers from all walks of life. Families love the swimming pool, business professionals adore the peace and quiet, and everyone else notes comfortable beds, clean facilities, and excellent customer service as the best hotel highlights. Getting specific, a few accommodations include complementary breakfasts, free high-speed wireless internet, free basic cable access, a small gym with modern workout equipment, and a business center with a small meeting room.
Craving something unique? Walk to the Aladdin Mediterranean Supermarket for an order of spicy kafta kababs, homemade hummus and flatbread, and kunafa. If you love these delicious meals, you can try to make some yourself by shopping for the ingredients in the supermarket half of the store.
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