Minutes after sinking my feet into the sun-kissed sand of Greater Fort Lauderdale’s beaches, I knew I didn’t need to wait for next summer to enjoy a blissful vacation. With fewer crowds but still tons of exciting things to do, make your own fall a memorable one by exploring Greater Fort Lauderdale’s eight stunning Blue Wave Beaches.
Swim in the warm. clear water of Hallandale Beach, or snap a photo of the Hillsboro Lighthouse as the sun sets a canvas of orange and purples. Certified by the Beaches Council of Washington, D.C., Fort Lauderdale beaches provide some of the cleanest, clearest and environmentally friendly water anywhere.
Explore Deerfield Beach's nature reserves by canoe or kayak, or take free surf lessons at the beach on Saturday mornings courtesy of Island Water Sports. Quiet Waters Park offers family-friendly fun, where you can cable water ski at Ski Rixen or let the kids play at Splash Adventure’s interactive park. Restore your energy with a delightful meal cooked on a wood-fired grill at JB’s on the Beach.
For a taste of opulence and a quiet escape, coast along Hillsboro Beach’s Millionaire’s Mile. As the sun sets, watch turtles nest or go find the Barefoot Mailman’s statue near the picturesque Hillsboro Lighthouse. For those who don't know, this famous mail carrier from the late 1800s would trek barefoot across the sands on a seven-day journey that covered 68 miles of beaches.
Pompano Beach provides superior saltwater fishing, where you can catch the silvery fish of the same name. It's also home to the annual Pompano Seafood Festival and Fishing Rodeo. Maybe exploring under the water is more your speed. Learn to dive with one of a dozen Scuba diving operators aboard dive boats. Is golf more your sport of choice? Tee off at Palm Aire Country Club’s Tom Fazio-designed golf courses. Prefer spectator sports? Visit the Pompano Beach Air Park, which showcases dozens of warbirds in October. Bring back childhood memories at the Broward County Fair in November.
Snorkel or dive in the clear waters of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea to discover rich marine life in a triple-tiered coral reef and a shipwrecked steamer, the SS Copenhagen. Officials in this low-key old Florida town block off the streets each Friday for outdoor live music. On a hot evening, enjoy double scoop of fudge ripple at the Ice Cream Shop.
Fort Lauderdale Beach
Fort Lauderdale offers world-class exhibits and shows at its Museum of Art, Museum of Discovery & Science and the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, while Fort Lauderdale Beach is great for people watching. Check out the brightly decorated boats in December during the Winterfest Boat Parade, sponsored by the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Visit Downtown Fort Lauderdale’s Riverwalk for an unforgettable night of fine dining and casual-chic boutiques.
Cast your line at the Dania Beach famed fishing pier. Spend the day at the John U. Lloyd Beach State Park, where visitors can rent paddleboats, swim, barbecue in the park or nosh at the park’s Loggerhead Café. One of Fort Lauderdale's best-kept secrets, Dania Beach is among the prettiest and least-populated beaches in the area.
Take an oceanfront walk along Hollywood Beach’s idyllic one-and-a-half-mile Broadwalk (yes, Broadwalk - voted one of the top 11 boardwalks in the country by Travel + Leisure) and listen to sultry tunes during the Hollywood Jazz Festival in November. On the weekends, bring a furry friend to the Dog Beach, or grab fresh produce at Josh’s Organic Green Market, located at the Broadwalk and Harrison Street every Sunday. For fine dining and entertainment, head downtown to Young Circle or the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino for top names like Diana Ross, Joan Rivers and much more.
After building sand castles at Hallandale Beach, visit The Village at Gulfstream Park for chic boutiques, nightclubs and horse racing. Here, you'll also find a wide variety of outdoor sports, including golfing, swimming, boating and fishing.
Whether you’re searching for a fun-filled family trip or a romantic weekend getaway, you’ll find everything you need for a relaxing retreat along Greater Fort Lauderdale’s 23 miles of beaches.
This article is brought to you by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. To plan your trip to Fort Lauderdale, visit http://www.sunny.org.