From gorgeous parks to the best coffee shops in Fort Lauderdale,Fort Lauderdale is home to countless attractions for nature lovers and urban explorers alike. But one feature is foremost amongst its many charms— this city is a beach lover’s paradise.
Every year, millions of tourists flock to this Florida city for its 24 miles of sandy, pristine shoreline. So whether you’re on vacation or living in Fort Lauderdale, picking just one beach to visit can be tough!
That’s why we’ve rounded up the top choices. Moving from north to south, here are the best beaches in Fort Lauderdale for your enjoyment.
South Florida, like the rest of it, is known for its beaches, one of them being Deerfield Beach. Casual, cheery, and jam-packed with waterfront activities, Deerfield Beach is perfect for a playful weekend trip. Whether you’re an avid fisher, water ski amateur, or beach lounger, you’ll enjoy the main attractions at this small Fort Lauderdale beach:
- International Fishing Pier – This 976-foot dock welcomes amateur and pro fishers alike. Rent a rod, grab an icebox, and cast your line into the Atlantic ocean waters! For a perfect sunset view, hang out at the far end of the beach, which is open until 11 pm.
- Ski Rixen – Not many beaches can boast a cable water ski park. With this futuristic system, you can glide over the water sans boat. Ski Rixen also holds a rainbow-colored aquapark, replete with bouncy floats and slides that sit on top of the water.
- Deerfield Island Park – A tropical experience just inland of the beach, this island park is surrounded by Fort Lauderdale’s intracoastal highways. For access, you’ll need to take the weekend ferry shuttle—but the spectacular fauna and swamps are well worth the trip.
With its ancient lighthouse and decades-old restaurants, Hillsboro Beach invites visitors into a charming seaside past of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Lying between Deerfield and Pompano beaches, this beachside town is popular for its refined and serene feel. If water sports aren’t your favorite activity, then this beautiful beach has all the historic site-seeing you need:
- Hillsboro Lighthouse – Built in 1907, the beach’s historic lighthouse still holds the title of the “most powerful light on the east coast.” Visitors can climb its 175 steps for the unbeatable view at the top.
- Cap’s Place – You’ll get more than tasty seafood at this venerated restaurant. Founded in 1926, Cap’s Place holds almost a century of history in its walls, from bootlegging operations to beach relics collected by the original owner, Eugene “Cap” Knight.
- Turtle nests – Sea turtles are treasured residents of Hillsboro Beach. From March to October, you can find delicate sea turtle nests along the shores. For a real sight, come out late at night when you might see a baby turtle hatch.
Aquatic dreams become reality at Pompano Beach. The beach’s warm and clear waters make for excellent deep-sea diving (or just a light snorkeling session). And there’s plenty of offshore activities for entertainment between swims. Whether on sand or underwater, Pompano Beach has something to captivate any visitor:
- Diving & swimming – Pompano Beach is the scuba diving destination of Fort Lauderdale. Divers can explore the area’s 18 shipwrecks, coral reef, and diverse marine life from turtles to stingrays.
- Sportfishing – Reel in some picture-worthy catches on a deep-sea fishing charter. Pompano Beach is the starting point for many professional sports fishers (and even ambitious amateurs).
- Night beach time– Pompano’s 24-hour pier means you can lounge from sunset to sunrise. And with pearly-white sands and pristine water, this beach is made for relaxing under a cloudless sky.
- Butterfly World – Need a break from the waves? Head slightly inland to the largest butterfly park in the world. This unique nature sanctuary houses about 20,000 butterflies as well as native bird species and tropical plants.1 It’s paradise right by the beach.
Fort Lauderdale Beach
You can’t explore Fort Lauderdale’s shoreline without mentioning its namesake beach. Fort Lauderdale Beach is the ultimate day-to-night beach, offering every ocean activity imaginable and an impressive shoreside bar scene. See why this central beach remains one of the most popular beaches in Fort Lauderdale:
- Watersports – Care to learn paddleboarding? Surfing? Waterskiing? You can do it all and more off Fort Lauderdale’s Beach. Everyone from beginners to professionals flocks here to practice their favorite beachside activity.
- Parasail – There’s no better city view than flying hundreds of feet above ground. Multiple companies offer parasailing off Fort Lauderdale Beach for an equally thrilling and calm adventure.
- Beachside dining – This isn’t your typical chicken tenders and hot dogs beach fare. Fort Lauderdale Beach is known for its cute eateries, chic beach hotel and resort bars, and quality seafood. Pop into the Ritz-Carlton or W Fort Lauderdale for a stylish happy hour, taste it all with a food tour, or stop into a favorite for some well-needed shade.
Explore Fort Lauderdale’s Beaches From Your Common Home
Whether your definition of “beach time” means six hours of sunbathing, swimming, or snorkeling, or taking a stroll on a sandy beach, the Fort Lauderdale area can deliver. Take a water taxi to get around, ride a jet ski, go to the park for beach volleyball, or eat at a beachside resort restaurant. Fort Lauderdale’s beaches are meant for anyone to enjoy, no matter their lifestyle. Pack a towel, apply sunscreen, and choose your adventure at any of these pristine beaches.
- Butterfly World. Our Story. https://www.butterflyworld.com/our-story/
- Cap’s Place. History. http://www.capsplace.com/capsplace_history.htm
- Deerfield Beach Florida. International Fishing Pier. https://www.deerfield-beach.com/1420/International-Fishing-Pier
- duBois, M. The Best Beaches Near Fort Lauderdale. https://www.timeout.com/fort-lauderdale/things-to-do/best-beaches-in-fort-lauderdale
- Mack, D. Best Beaches in Fort Lauderdale. https://www.10best.com/destinations/florida/fort-lauderdale/attractions/beaches/
- Visit Fort Lauderdale. Fast Facts. https://www.sunny.org/plan-your-trip/fast-facts/
- Visit Lauderdale. Top Beaches of Greater Fort Lauderdale. https://www.sunny.org/beaches-and-beyond/beaches/