No doubt the beaches are the number one attraction in Fort Lauderdale. Year after year, the coastline draws visitors and new home owners to Fort Lauderdale. People who are looking for clean and safe sands, but don’t want to fight for a spot in Miami Beach come to Fort Lauderdale, where it can be lively, buzzing with beautiful people, but where one can also find peace and relaxing spots. All Fort Lauderdale beaches have access to clean public showers and bathrooms; some also have playgrounds for small children. It is safe to swim and practice water sports (there are watchful lifeguards all along the coastline). The beaches are free, clean, and famous for their crystal clear waters. There are 23 miles of white sand, including six beaches that have been continuously certified as Blue Wave Beaches by the Clean Beaches Council of Washington DC since 1999: Dania Beach, Hollywood, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Hillsboro Beach, and Deerfield Beach.
Fort Lauderdale Beach
A large stretch of white sand, and clear, clean waters. Seven miles of coastline backed by some of the finest luxurious condominiums in the world, five star hotels, charming shops, delightful cafés, and some of the most romantic restaurants in town. Fort Lauderdale Beach is where the famous, award-winning wave wall was built, and there is also the palm-lined promenade, with access to shops, dining, cosy cafés.
It was once known for being a popular spring break party zone for college students, but that changed in the 80s, when the city made huge investments to change that dubious image, and turn Fort Lauderdale Beach into the chic beach destination it is today. The beach itself is relaxing, a great place for people watching (in fact, this is where people come to see and be seen), swimming, snorkelling, jet-skiing, or simply relaxing on the clean sands.
The sunset is said to be lovely!
If you need a quiet day out, away from the buzz, the shopping, the everything, Hillsboro is where you can escape to. If you wish, you can visit the historical Hillsboro Lighthouse Station, or look for sea turtles, as Hillsboro Beach is a favoured spot for nature lovers, who seek out sea turtle nesting spots. You may also pay homage to the “Barefoot Mailman”, a 19th century statue that represents the mail carrier who delivered mail from Palm Beach through Broward County, into Miami between 1885 and 1892. It was a 68-miles journey, and it took him seven days to complete it.
A lovely beach town, so close to the coral reef, that you can actually swim there and snorkel by yourself. It is a great place for diving, paddling and snorkelling. There are famous ice cream parlours, such as the Ice Cream Shop, and Kilwin’s. Visitors share the view from Anglin’s Pier with the pelicans that often visit the place.
The Coast Boutique is a little treasure trove, with gifts, souvenirs, and artwork. If possible, save a Friday night to visit Lauderdale-By-The-Sea. On that night, every week, the main road is shut off to traffic, and they set up a stage for live music.
For the adventurous souls, in Deerfield Beach is the Ski Rixen, one of America’s first cable water ski parks. There are many choices of water sports, scuba diving, or even a match of volleyball. The beach is very clean and well-maintained, with a 920-foot pier (The International Fishing Pier). There is a hidden gem, only a boat’s ride away, the Deerfield Island Park, with iguanas and tropical plants that make you forget you are so close to civilization. Caution, though, the boat ride takes place only on weekends. And why not pay a visit to the Arboretum? Or, for history lovers, the Butler House, on Hillsboro Boulevard.
Known for its annual Seafood Festival and Fishing Rodeo, Pompano offers some of the warmest and clearest water in Florida, thanks to a bend in the Gulf Stream. From football to golf. all sorts of sports can be played here. There is an array of activities for all kinds of taste, including a casino, which also happens to be a good choice for brunch.
If you’re up for some fun shopping, take a look at the Festival Flea Market or the Sugar Chest Antique Mall. Maybe visit one of the many SPAs or have a good time in one of the brewery companies. There are air tours, water sports and even a food tour.
Home to some of the most beautiful and isolated sand stretches, Dania Beach is a small town beach, sweet and simple. This is probably the family-friendliest beach in Greater Fort Lauderdale. There are barbecue grills at the south end of the beach, at the Frank C. “Tootie” Adler Park. Both at the park and on the beach there are chickee huts, fashioned after the shelters used by the Seminole Indians, back in the 1800s. The pier welcomes eager anglers as well as hungry visitors, who can grab some fresh seafood while enjoying a view of the beach and the sea.
If you want to get away from the sand for a little bit, a good call is to visit the Secret Woods Nature Center. At certain times of the year, the park becomes a rendezvous for several species of butterflies. If you’re into museums, there’s a little gem in Dania: the Wiener Museum of Decorative Arts (WMODA) inside the Gallery of Amazing things.
Miles of clean, lovely sand siding the 1920s Boardwalk. 2½ miles of retro cool boardwalk to stroll, ride a bike, or just sit at one of the outdoor cafés and people watch. The atmosphere here is more casual than on other Fort Lauderdale beaches. It also has a dog friendly area, for those who want to take their pets for a walk on the coastline. You can hop on a trolley, go to the ArtsPark at Young Circle, or even go on a segway tour.
Two of South Florida’s premier “racinos” are located on Hallandale Beach, but that’s not all Hallandale has to offer. Like all the other beaches on Fort Lauderdale, the water is pleasant, the sand is soft, and the Atlantic ocean waters vary from topaz blue to emerald green.