Visit Hialeah Park Racing And Casino In Miami

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By Kara Franker

Spend the day watching horse racing at Hialeah Park Racing & Casino

Step back in time and catch a glimpse of early American grandeur at Hialeah Park Racing & Casino. Situated within 200 acres of lush landscaping, this South Florida mainstay has long been regarded as “The World’s Most Beautiful Racecourse.”

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this Hialeah locale is home to a racetrack, casino and the Audubon Bird Sanctuary. A social experience like no other, Hialeah Park Racing & Casino fuses historic Hialeah with modern-day Miami.

History of Hialeah Park Racing & Casino

When Hialeah Park Racing & Casino first opened on January 15, 1925, it only had a one-mile dirt track, a clubhouse, an administration building and 21 horse stables.

The track was destroyed during the Great Miami Hurricane of 1926, but in 1930, racing enthusiast Joseph Widener bought the track and paid millions to repair it and renovate the entire property. After touring prominent racing courses in Europe and North America with architect Lester Geisler, Widener launched a new Hialeah Park Racing & Casino in 1932 that took the best from all the pair saw.

Today, you’ll find tree-lined paths and staircases reminiscent of Ascot and Deauville, an administration building that resembles a French chateau, a walking ring modeled after Longchamp, tunnels from Epsom Downs, and terraces and balustrades that look like they came straight from Monte Carlo.

Soon after, the racetrack added the first turf course and totalizator (a device that shows the number and number of bets staked on a race) in the U.S. Once considered the “winter hangout” of A-list faces like Former Presidents Truman, Kennedy and Nixon, Frank Sinatra, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Princess Grace of Monaco and Elizabeth Taylor. It has also been the backdrop of top films like The Godfather: Part IIThe ChampLet It Ride and the hit TV series, Magic City.

Today, Hialeah Park Racing & Casino is bigger than ever. Reopened in 2009 with a completely renovated 200-acre complex, it has quarter horse racing, multiple restaurants, and a state-of-the-art casino.

What To Do at Hialeah Park Racing & Casino

When at Hialeah Park Racing & Casino, you can watch racing, bet on the horses, dine at one of the onsite restaurants, and in between it all, try your hand at cards. The casino has 850 Las Vegas-style slot machines, an elegant second-floor poker room with a VIP room, and 33 tables for games like Texas Hold’Em, 7 Card Stud and Omaha Hi-Lo.

The Flamingo Impact

Racing aside, Hialeah Park’s endless flock of bright pink flamingos are no accident. In fact, in 1934, Widener brought over the first flock of flamingos from Cuba to the park’s main lake, hoping they would start to colonize there. When that worked, flamingos not only became synonymous with the park, but with Miami as well. Hialeah Park is the only place where an entire flock of flamingos have successfully reproduced outside its wild state, and because of that, the infield of the racetrack has been dubbed a National Audubon Sanctuary.

In the 1960s, the Flamingo Fountain, Flamingo Pavilion, aviary, aquarium and the Flamingo Terrace were added—all to honor the beautiful pink bird. Since then, Hialeah Park Racing & Casino has become a major flamingo source for zoos and bird sanctuaries throughout North America, and the iconic Hialeah flamingo itself was made part of the Florida Lottery logo in 1986.

Where to Eat

Hialeah Park Racing & Casino has plenty of options for hungry patrons to choose from. Located on the first floor of the casino, by the slots, Havana Café is a casual spot for classic Cuban fare.

La Veranda Bar & Café, on the second floor of the casino, serves up international cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The Flamingo Lounge Bar & Café has a small menu of bar food favorites, like buffalo wings, fried calamari, mozzarella sticks, coconut shrimp and burgers.

Craving food from fresh and high-quality products? Head to Junior Bistro for fresh garden salads, homemade soups, hand carved sandwiches, and bowls and bistros specialties.

General Visitor Information

Hialeah Park Racing & Casino is located at 100 East 32nd Street, Hialeah, FL 33013. It is conveniently located just 10 minutes away from Miami International Airport, South Beach, Downtown Miami, Coral Gables and Doral, and is easily accessible from all major Miami highways.

Self-parking and valet parking are both available onsite. Self-parking is free and valet parking is $5 per vehicle.

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