Maybe you’ve noticed, but the temperature has officially begun to rise to back to a familiar South Florida levels of sweltering with a side of humidity. Must be beach season! Well, every season in South Florida is beach season, but peak beach season is close. That means it’s time to plot your attack on the sand and sunshine by deciding which beach is best for you. If you always go to the same beach, maybe it’s time to switch it up a bit.
There are ample beaches to choose from, but we’ve put together a list of the best beaches Broward and Palm Beach have to offer.
10. Pompano Beach
Pompano Beach is like the wise grandpa of Broward beaches. So little has changed as it’s aged over the years, but that’s part of what makes it special. Pompano might not be a trendy spring-break destination, but it’s a beach that plays a role. Sometimes you just want the beach without all the frills and noise, and that’s when you go to Pompano Beach. Pompano is always full of time-share visitors, who are always superchill and in a great mood. Bonus: There are few places you can check out a real-life lighthouse these days.
9. Deerfield Beach
For many Broward residents, Deerfield Beach holds a special place in their hearts, and those people vary in age quite a bit. On one side of the Deerfield Beach pier, you might find grandparents playing with grandchildren as proud parents look on. On the other side of the pier, you might find college kids home from school surrounded by Coronas, kicking it at the very same beach they used to hit up when they skipped class in high school. Whichever side of the pier you fall on, memories were made there, and that’s what makes Deerfield Beach so special.
8. Dania Beach
Outside of the growing litter problem, Dania Beach is a great choice when picking where you want to spend a day in the smoldering sun. Part of the reason the beach is dealing with its current trash problem is because so many people enjoy going there; they just don’t know how to clean up after themselves. Dania Beach is the choice for those of you looking to party all night until the sun comes up, then surf off your hangover. We could lie to you and say this is the place where you take family from out of town, but really, this is the place you take your girlfriend and a cooler of beer for a day of debauchery. Hey, every beach plays a role, and Dania Beach’s role is clearly to get you drunk and let you have a good time.
7. Delray Beach
Delray Beach is the sort of place you would see on postcards, if you saw postcards anymore. The extra-wide beaches and ultraquiet surrounding make it one of the best family beaches in the area. This beauty of a beach is just busy enough to be a destination but just quiet enough to make it feel like your little secret. Highlights here include lots of water-sport options, beach activities, and ample areas to barbecue. If you’re looking for a beach that is most likely to host a Pitbull concert, you probably want to skip this beach. If calm sunrises, exercise, and quiet Kindle reading is more your speed, Delray Beach is a great bet.
6. Oceanfront Park Beach
Palm Beach already has a quieter vibe about it than Broward, but Oceanfront Park Beach in Boynton Beach takes secluded and calm to an entirely different level. Beautiful views of both the ocean and the bay make this one of the more picturesque places to spend a day in Palm Beach, and the clean, comforting, and easily accessible facilities make it family-friendlier than most. Water traffic is quieter here, making it a great place to get out and snorkel. Oceanfront Beach has some areas you would swear have never had a human step foot on them, which makes it sorta cool and mysterious in a Castaway type of way.
5. John U. Lloyd Beach State Park
Just north of Dania Beach is a beach you may normally skip over but should strongly consider in the future making your go-to beach spot. Once mostly known as a sea-turtle nesting site, things have changed rapidly over the years as John U. Lloyd Beach State Park has become a fun place for nature enthusiasts to go kayaking, scuba diving, fishing, or simply nature observing over the past decade. What this beach lacks in nightlife and glamour, it gains back in beauty, education, and meaningfulness. John U. Lloyd Beach State Park might be your best choice if you have younger children who would get a kick out of even being told certain animal life is in the area and aren’t too old to scoff at a little bit of education mixed in with their sandcastle-making.
4. Hallandale Beach
You’ve read enough about beaches at this point to know that all great beaches are not created equal. Some bring the fancy, touristy restaurants, drinking scene, and live music events; others’ appeal is solely based on the fact that you can go to the beach without too much hassle. It’s up to you to decide which you’re in the mood for, but if it’s simple and beautiful you’re looking for, Hallandale Beach should be your top pick. Not as quiet as Pompano Beach but not as chaotic as Hollywood, Hallandale Beach relies on its village-like atmosphere to appeal to residents. The views are nice in most areas in Hallandale because the beach isn’t overrun with tents, structures, or vegetation. Sometimes just more beach is better.
Lauderdale-by-the-Sea is known as the locals’ beach; it’s where you go to relax, dive, fish, and escape the normalcy that surrounds most other Broward beaches. No skyrises here. No trendy, hip restaurants. No tourist traps. Just a laid-back vibe that comes with a family-oriented beach Broward residents have enjoyed for decades. Just outside of Aruba’s is a chill-out area (pictured above) that is terrific to sit down and spend a day drinking coffee, reading a book, or eating some ice cream. Lauderdale-by-the-Sea’s calling card that makes it unique is being best-known for its diving scene that thrives in large thanks to the three-tier natural coral reef system that rests just a few yards offshore. Just the basics at this beach: fishing, diving, relaxation, food, and fun. You could do much worse.
2. Fort Lauderdale Beach
Once upon a time, Fort Lauderdale Beach was best-known for being spring-break mecca, but these days, it’s less partyland, more Margaritaville. The miles of beautiful beaches lined with convenient cafés and entertaining options makes Fort Lauderdale Beach one of the finer destinations to grab your sunshine in the entire state. Much of Fort Lauderdale Beach has been newly renovated, transformed from disheveled and used to chic and luxurious. What sets Fort Lauderdale Beach apart from others is the immaculate towering real estate that surrounds the area and the attention to detail in the architecture, all of which makes it such a popular tourist stop for out-of-towners and a wonderful luxury to have at locals’ disposal.
1. Hollywood Beach
The cream of the crop when it comes to beaches in Broward has to be Hollywood beach. The 1920s-style oceanfront promenade Broadwalk alone sets Hollywood Beach apart from the rest, but there is so much more that makes Hollywood Beach the crown jewel of beaches in Broward. Being a beautiful, clean, and spacious beach is just part of the draw. Somehow this beach, located within one of the largest cities in South Florida, gives off a small-town feel, mixed with a big-town vibe. The newly opened Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort only cements Hollywood Beach as the go-to beach destination in South Florida.