Fort Lauderdale is a fantastic destination if you are looking to get the quintessential South Florida experience rich with swaying palm trees, relaxing shopping spots, and of course, beautiful pristine beaches.
If you are looking to travel to the area, you may be wondering which beaches need to be on your list. While some other South Florida cities take the top spot when it comes to fun and sun, Fort Lauderdale offers beachgoers swaths of white sand without as much hustle and bustle as you might get in a major metropolis like Miami.
Here are some of the top beaches in Fort Lauderdale, FL to help you get in that beach mindset.
If you are looking for a beach packed with sunbathers, shops, and fun, then Central Beach is your spot. Named “the hub” by locals, this beach sits right in the middle of the main city drag and is surrounded by shops and restaurants.
Central Beach offers more than just sandy beaches and shops. In the area, you can find historic attractions like The Bonnet House Museum or catch some tunes every Friday on the promenade near the water during Friday Night Soundwaves. This beach has all sorts of fun for every member of the family to enjoy.
Because Central Beach is smack dab in the middle of Fort Lauderdale, be wary of finding parking. There are several parking structures to choose from but get there early for a good spot.
Deerfield Beach is a “Blue Wave” award winner and sports almost 3,000 feet of pristine turquoise water on its shores. The area is perfect for a day out in the sun for families during the day and can make for a pleasant romantic stroll for couples at dusk.
The area plays host to some classic beach activities like volleyball and swimming, but there are some fun activities to choose from for those more adventurous. One that stands out is Ski Rixen, one of the first cable parks in the US. Go water skiing, wakeboarding, or let the kids have fun at the Aquapark.
If you want to try your hand at something a little tamer, Deerfield Beach has a fishing pier that juts out into the surf at over 900 feet!
Right before you start getting into greater Miami, you’ll find Hallandale Beach. This spot is a little off the beaten path and is known by the locals for its beauty and relative peace. Curl up with a book on the sandy shores and watch the waves crash as you soak in this gorgeous stretch of sand.
The area also is home to some fantastic beach parks, like South City Beach Park, which offers amenities like showers and pavilions and play areas for the kids.
Once the soft sand gets a bit old, you can take a short trip to one of the many excellent restaurants in the area. Or, if you are feeling a bit adventurous, Gulfstream Park Racetrack is just a quick ride from the ocean.
Located in the Fort Lauderdale Beach Park, South Beach offers a picturesque oceanfront jam-packed with activities. There is a volleyball court, basketball court, outdoor showers, and even a boat ramp.
Families love this area because it is a great place to plan a picnic. You can find a pavilion to lounge at and use one of the outdoor grills while the kids play at the playground in the sand.
South Beach has many restaurants and even a boat charter in the area if you want a more sea-centric experience.
If you want a more peaceful beach experience, then Dania Beach is a perfect spot. Located just past the hustle of Hollywood, you’ll find tiki huts to relax in, picnic tables, outdoor grills, and even a fishing pier.
Not too far from Dania Beach, you’ll find Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park. Here you can experience some of the last undeveloped pieces of coastline in Broward County.
Take a tour of this historic light bearer and climb the 175 steps to the top for some spectacular ocean views.
You may even get lucky among the palm trees and the white sand and see some tiny baby turtle tracks as the eggs hatch in the fall months. Be careful, though. Messing with one of the nests is a federal crime!
Sebastian Beach is known to bring the party. If you are looking to get rowdy and have some fun in the sand, then venturing out to this beach will not disappoint.
Fort Lauderdale has a vibrant and proud LGBTQ+ community, and Sebastian Beach is known as a hub for the scene. But all are welcome at this beach, so don’t shy away and join the fun. Here you can rent beach gear like umbrellas and chairs or even take a nice tour on a jet ski.
Pompano Beach is known world round by divers for some unique offshore spots. It is home to 18 shipwrecks and can give divers weeks and weeks exploring their beauty and mystery. But, if you are more comfortable on land, you will find a beautiful lifeguarded beach with volleyball courts and even a play fountain for the kids.
You can also try your luck at the fishing pier where sport anglers and amateurs alike rub elbows trying to land some prized sea treasures. The beach’s name derives from a popular sport fish that trolls the waters just a bit offshore.
Lauderdale-by-the-Sea is a charming seaside village that offers guests some remarkable views of the Atlantic and some of the coasts’ better areas to dive. You will find a stunning coral reef that supports all kinds of sea life to explore just offshore.
The town itself is not short on charm, so when you are done lounging by the crystal, clear water, take a stroll through the area’s selection of quaint shops and delicious restaurants. Much like other beaches on this list, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea is home to Anglin’s Fishing Pier for anglers and sightseers alike.
The promenade is always packed with runners and bikers and offers some excellent dining and shopping options.
The area is known for its nostalgia, but don’t let the boardwalk fool you; there are tons of renovated hotels and restaurants that up the cool factor of this classic beach spot.
Beachside, you can find all sorts of activities to indulge in like snorkeling, yoga, or even live concerts and festivals.
Fort Lauderdale Beach
If your idea of a good beach day is jam-packed with activities, then Fort Lauderdale Beach is a great spot to explore. This beach offers tons to do along its famous promenade that follows the coast and contains tons of restaurants and shops.
The beach plays host to lots of events throughout the year, and there are plenty of places in the area where you can rent jet skis, boats, or even surfboards and boogie boards.
Because this beach draws a crowd, you can expect to find a lot of amenities like bathrooms, showers, and plenty of spots to rest in the shade.
The promenade also features a wave wall that curves in and out, a perfect spot for a photo op.
Vista Park Beach
Just south of Ocean Park Boulevard, you’ll find Vista Park Beach. This small and cozy seaside park offers a break from the crowds of greater Fort Lauderdale.
Come here to relax and enjoy the public beach access, picnic tables, and waterfront benches.
The beach itself is clean, and since the parking lot is just a few short steps away, you can easily set up chairs on the sand without much hassle. Get there early, though, as the parking lot tends to fill up by the afternoon.
Las Olas Beach
Just north of Fort Lauderdale Beach Park, you’ll find this attractive strip of golden sand and sun. Las Olas Beach is known for its cleanliness and beautiful ocean views.
Be mindful of when you visit, though, a bit of a college presence during the nighttime hours.
The adjacent Las Olas Boulevard is a charming stretch of walkable streets that are jam-packed with shops and restaurants, so taking the fun elsewhere when the sun shutters are just a short walk away.
Those are probably the best beaches in the Fort Lauderdale, Florida area! Have fun exploring the southeastern coastline on the Atlantic Ocean!