What are you looking for in a beach—a quiet stretch of sand? A spot where you can rent a kayak or play beach volleyball? A collection of restaurants and shops nearby when you need a break from the sun? Whatever you’re looking for, these are the best beaches in Fort Lauderdale for travelers.
The Best Beaches in Fort Lauderdale
Some beaches are in quiet state parks, while others are bustling public beaches. Read on to learn which is right for you.
Don't Miss: Top Tours in Fort Lauderdale
Hugh Taylor Birch State Park
For a peaceful beach experience, head for Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, located on a barrier island where you can rent a canoe, go inline skating, bike along a scenic circular road, or hike the trails. Be sure to look for the underground tunnel that leads from the park straight to an uncrowded section of Fort Lauderdale Beach.
Hollywood Beach, with its famous 2.5-mile “Broadwalk”—an asphalt strip along the beach that is filled with street performers, couples walking hand in hand and families with young children meandering along in the sunshine—was featured in the film “Marley and Me.” It’s the perfect setting for a day at the beach. Get involved in sports of all sorts (bike riding, rollerskating, kayaking, and beach volleyball), or simply soak up the sun—loungers and cabanas are available for rent. Shops and restaurants are close by, too.
Fort Lauderdale Beach
Fort Lauderdale Beach bustles with activity. Lined with waterfront hotels and an array of restaurants with oceanfront patios, this beach is where you’ll go to see and be seen.
For an easy “time stands still” getaway, head to nearby Delray Beach. The heart of the community—shops, boutiques, art galleries, and fashionable restaurants—runs from the ocean along Atlantic Avenue. Before hitting the beach, be sure to check out Old School Square, which has a number of restored 1920s buildings.
Compared to other beaches in the area, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, located just north of Fort Lauderdale beach and south of Pompano Beach, is a quiet hideaway. Though still close to hotels and beachfront dining venues, it is less frenetic and makes a great place to spend a lazy afternoon. Plus, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea is one of the best beaches in Fort Lauderdale for snorkeling and diving—there’s a reef within swimming distance.
Dr. Von D. Mizull-Eula Johnson State Park
Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park (formerly known as John U. Lloyd Beach State Park) is a great place to be active or just relax and watch the cruise ships go by. You can rent canoes and kayaks, go surf fishing, take a hike, or have a leisurely lunch on one of its numerous picnic tables.
Dania Beach, just south of Fort Lauderdale, is one of the area’s best-kept secrets. Warm sands, shady palms, and a quaint fishing pier are at this calm beach, and with just a little legwork, you’ll discover a historic arts and antiques district, ice cream parlors, and plenty of pubs and seafood restaurants, all encompassed in a small beach town with big character.
More from SmarterTravel:
- Fort Lauderdale Travel Guide
- Top 10 Fun Things to Do in Fort Lauderdale
- The Top 9 Must-See Fort Lauderdale Attractions
- 9 Best Fort Lauderdale Golf Courses
- The 6 Best Hotels in Fort Lauderdale
- The 5 Best Cheap Hotels in Fort Lauderdale
- The 7 Best Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotels
- 10 Best Fort Lauderdale Restaurants
- Best Cheap Eats in Fort Lauderdale
- 9 Best Fort Lauderdale Beach Restaurants
- What to Wear in Florida
- What to Pack for Florida
—Original reporting by Jana Jones, Kimberly Karis, and Shayne Rodriguez Thompson
We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. Some products are sent to us free of charge with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions and do not accept compensation to review products. All items are in stock and prices are accurate at the time of publication. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.