When it comes to Fort Lauderdale beaches, there’s a lot to love. This South Florida city, located just 30 minutes north of Miami, boasts 24 miles of beautiful beachfront. Whether you’re looking for solitude surrounded by nature or a see-and-be-seen vibe, Fort Lauderdale offers plenty of options. Here are five of our favorites in and around Fort Lauderdale for soaking up the sun and sinking your toes in the sand.
To experience a quintessential Florida beach: Hollywood Beach
Ideally located between Fort Lauderdale and Miami, Hollywood Beach regularly ranks as one of Florida’s top beaches, and it’s easy to see why. It features golden sand, soaring palm trees and a massive brick boardwalk lined by a winding seawall with architectural gates. The 2.5-mile boardwalk is best explored on two or more wheels — bicycles and rollerblades are two of the most popular modes of transportation. The vibe of Hollywood Beach is friendly but upscale, with plenty of luxury hotels, fine dining restaurants, shopping and art galleries in the neighborhood.
To avoid the crowds: Hugh Taylor Birch State Park
Known as the Central Park of Fort Lauderdale, Hugh Taylor Birch State Park is a 180-acre natural space located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway. A popular first stop in this urban oasis is the park’s Adventure Center, where you can rent canoes, kayaks and paddleboards to explore the gorgeous lagoon. Bicycling, hiking, picnicking, beachcombing and birdwatching are other popular activities.
To soak up the sun: Dania Beach
Six miles south of Fort Lauderdale, Dania Beach offers soft white sand, rolling dunes, impossibly turquoise water and a peaceful vibe for those looking to lounge in the sun. Dania Beach is also home to the Dania Beach Fishing Pier, for those hoping to catch some dinner. For more active pursuits, Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park is just north of the pier and offers kayaking, swimming, hiking and boating.
To get underwater: Lauderdale-by-the-Sea
Charming Lauderdale-by-the-Sea is located five miles from Fort Lauderdale on a barrier island. While the beach itself is popular with sunbathers and beachcombers, the real action is underwater. A little more than 300 feet from shore is an incredible three-tiered coral reef — no wonder Lauderdale-by-the-Sea was named the Shore Dive Capital of South Florida. There’s an abundance of marine life just below the surface, including tropical fish, spiny lobsters, moray eels and more. Given its proximity to shore and shallow depth, it’s also a popular spot for snorkelers.
To catch some fish: Pompano Beach
Pompano Beach is such a popular South Florida fishing locale, the town is even named after a fish (pompano are regarded as one of the most delicious warm-water fish). Pompano Beach’s warm, clear waters are ideal for fishing, and the newly renovated Pompano Beach Fishing Pier is a great place to start. Anglers will enjoy wide fishing platforms, ample shade coverage and the chance to catch snapper, mackerel, snook and cobia. Pompano Beach is also a great place to set sail on a fishing charter in search of sportfishing catches like sailfish, mahi mahi, wahoo and kingfish.
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