Thirteen miles east of South Beach, the city of Hialeah, Florida showcases Hialeah Park Racetrack, a National Historic Landmark. The 220-acre park boasts one of the longest-standing recreational facilities in Florida and is credited with helping mold South Florida into a popular winter tourist destination. The park opened in 1925 to a flurry of publicity. Hialeah Park Racetrack captalized on the popularity and prestige of horse racing events by catering to a glitzy set of patrons. Among the star-studded guests, the Kennedy’s, Harry Truman and Winston Churchill enjoyed outings at the park. In 1937, Amelia Earhart bid a final farewell at Hialeah Race Park before embarking on her fateful voyage.
It’s easy to understand why Hialeah Park Racetrack attracted the rich and famous. In the 1920’s, the park featured the most complete recreational facilities in South Florida, boasting an amusement park, horse racing and greyhound tracks and a complex devoted to the Spanish sport of jai-alai. Beautiful Mediterranean-style architecture graced the grounds, accented by lushly landscaped gardens, coconut trees, palms and a lake that housed a flock of famous flamingos.
Numerous renowned jockeys are associated with the park, including Willie Schumacher and Eddie Arcaro. Famous horses such as Citation and Seattle Slew began their racing careers at Hialeah Park Racetrack, competing in prestigious races like Flamingo Stakes, the Widener Handicap and the Turf Cup.
Hialeah Park Racetrack experienced financial hardship and closed in 2001. A horse named Cheeky Miss captured the final trophy at Hialeah Park Racetrack on May 22, 2001. The historical grounds remain intact, an important monument in American history.
Hotels near Hialeah Park Racetrack include Comfort Inn & Suites Miami International Airport and Embassy Suites Miami International Airport, located less than 3 miles away. Summerfield Suites Miami Airport stands approximately 4 miles from the park. Popular South Beach hotels such as The Deauville Beach Resort and Fountainebleau Suites Maimi Beach stand about 10 miles from Hialeah Park Racetrack.