Fort Lauderdale is a dreamland when it comes to beaches. Forget the other Florida beach hotspots like Miami and the Florida Keys; Fort Lauderdale has some of the best beaches in Florida. Whether you want pristine beach conditions or urban beach scenes with volleyball courts and beach chairs, Greater Fort Lauderdale offers options. And while you have day trip access to the South Florida Queen B, Miami Beach, you won’t need to bother. Fort Lauderdale has beautiful beach after beach. Fort Lauderdale’s beach scene is something else. These best beaches in Fort Lauderdale will more than fill your bucket for stunning beach day settings.
Best Beaches in Fort Lauderdale
It’s no secret that Fort Lauderdale is one of the best places to visit in Florida, and once you’ve seen these Fort Lauderdale beaches, you’ll understand why. The region is nicknamed Palm Beach County, and it has beach after beach – including a vast barrier island with tropical white sands and multiple state parks.
You can find everything from seat turtles to beachside restaurants and beach bars. It all depends on where you look, and this guide will provide you with all the insight you need for a beach holiday of a lifetime in Fort Lauderdale. Check out these best beaches in Fort Lauderdale.
1. Hillsboro Beach
One-mile-long Hillsboro Beach is a quiet, understated white sand paradise. Hillsboro Beach is located in a town of the same name in Broward County, just north of Fort Lauderdale. It is sandwiched between the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean on a picturesque barrier island, backed only by private residences and the odd beach resort. Hillsboro Beach has an intimate feel, with most tourists instead heading to its northern neighbor, Deerfield Beach. The sun-kissed white sand, and almost zero crowds make it an ideal beach trip for those wanting a peaceful day on the sands.
We admired its peaceful atmosphere and almost secretive feel. There’s also the beautiful Hillsboro Lighthouse to admire, right at the end of the beach. The lighthouse dates back to 1907 and is a working lighthouse that you can visit by tour or by dropping into its adjoining museum.
2. North Ocean Park
This beautiful addition to the South Florida beaches provides an alternative view of Hillsboro Lighthouse for those not venturing to Hillsboro Beach. This north city beach park is a stunning soft sand beach just 20 minutes north of Fort Lauderdale by car. North Ocean Park is famous for its lighthouse views and dramatic surf. And when you aren’t snapping pictures of Hillsboro Lighthouse, you can be awing at the kite and windsurfers enjoying the surf. Another benefit of North Ocean Park is its amenities. You’ll get everything from restrooms to picnic pavilions and lifeguard supervision.
North Ocean Park is the perfect beach for anyone who enjoys good views and adventurous watersports like windsurfing.
3. Red Reef Park
Red Reef Park is one of the best beaches in Fort Lauderdale if you want to see sea turtles – and who doesn’t? The oceanfront park covers a whopping 67 acres. It is famously home to a nature center that offers free admission to check out the sea turtle conservation program. You can stop by the nature center to see sea turtles even if you don’t get to see them in the wild. And when you aren’t watching the turtles, you can swim or snorkel in the renowned park waters. Red Reef Park has an artificial reef and a boardwalk for leisurely strolls.
Red Reef Park is just 30 minutes north of Fort Lauderdale by car. It is a brilliant conservation area that primarily caught our eye when considering travelers who want to experience Fort Lauderdale’s marine life.
4. South City Beach Park
South City Beach Park is the ultimate combination of greenspace and direct beach access; picture a modern park with walking paths, volleyball courts, and a fenced-off kids’ play area. Laidback, sociable, and much like a little green oasis amidst the urban scenery and white sands, South City Beach Park is – quite literally – designed to be the perfect afternoon spot. It is smack bang in the middle of oceanfront suburbs, so expect a community feel. The park was set up in 2015 and is a firm favorite with nearby residents.
Grab a drink from Café Cita On the Beach and play volleyball before hitting the beach. South City Beach Park wiggled onto this guide for its fun vibes and community appeal. It is one of the most pleasant and laid-back places to have a beach day in Fort Lauderdale.
How to get there: 25 minutes by car or 50 minutes by buses Accommodation recommendation: Water View Building
5. Pompano Beach
Pompano Beach is a city just north of Fort Lauderdale, mainly known for its beautiful beach scene. This is precisely why you’ll be visiting, and it is just an easy 25-minute drive or 50-minute bus ride on the number 11 bus to reach Pompano Beach Fisher Family Pier from Fort Lauderdale. Easy peasy. This pier sits on a vast stretch of white sand beach, and you can enjoy feeding resident pelicans and taking scenic strolls down the pier. As you’ve probably guessed, this Pompano Beach stretch is a family-friendly beach near Fort Lauderdale. When you aren’t kicking back on the sands, you can enjoy the pier and all the nearby amenities and infrastructure.
Pompano Beach Fisher Family Pier entered our radar as one of the newest Fort Lauderdale beach scene additions. The newly constructed pier is a brilliant way to let children safely interact with marine life from a distance. They can spot fish and see the pelicans; you don’t need to worry about a long journey to reach Pompano Beach.
6. Hollywood Beach
In contrast to its star-struck connotations, Hollywood Beach is one of the most old-school and laid-back places to head for a beach day from Fort Lauderdale. Hollywood Beach offers a boardwalk popular with walkers, runners, skaters, and the odd cyclist. The promenade is lined with palm trees and tiki bars, which are super idyllic.
It is one of the most magnificent beaches in the region if you want something a little different from your standard urban beach experience. The south end of the beach is where you’ll find the most action, while the north end is home to Hollywood North Beach Park. This 56-acre park has much more of a nature reserve vibe, with seat turtles and fishing piers.
Hollywood Beach is just south of Fort Lauderdale, between Fort Lauderdale and Miami. We love how it offers both culture and nature, and it has a strong sense of identity that makes it an appealing beach trip.
How to get there: 20 minutes by car or 1 hour by public transport Accommodation recommendation: Tiana Beach Inn
7. Fort Lauderdale Beach Park
Fort Lauderdale Beach is the beach in Fort Lauderdale. For the ultimate convenience, this is your spot. You won’t have to go far to reach Fort Lauderdale Beach, and if you stay near the coast, you could even walk to enjoy this beach trip. The 7 miles of soft sand are backed by skyscrapers and major Fort Lauderdale buildings. And you can enjoy near-constant access to restaurants, bars, cafes, and water sports rentals. This public beach is buzzy and convenient, so adding it to this guide was a no-brainer. Even if you choose to visit a few beaches on this list, you’ll visit this central spot at least once.
8. Dania Beach
Dania Beach is another nearby gem. The turquoise-watered and white sand beach is slotted in one of Greater Fort Lauderdale’s most scenic locations. You’ll be pulling up a beach chair sandwiched between Dr. Von D Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park and the stunning West Lake area, not to mention enjoying peaceful views of the Atlantic Ocean. It is a brilliant beach to enjoy sunbathing or general beach activities before detouring to sightsee the state park or kayaking at West Lake. You can even go scuba diving to see the Dania Erojack Artificial Reef.
Dania Beach is just 20 minutes away from Fort Lauderdale by car or less than 1.5 hours by the Tri-Rail and bus. This beach is an absolute gem for adventure and nature activity lovers. It is one of our most recommended inclusions; it is the ideal base to relax before heading off for extra activities. Keep your eyes peeled for resident marine life like wild birds and sea turtles.
9. Haulover Sandbar
Fancy some novelty? Haulover Sandbar is your answer. To access this unique sandbar beach, rent a jet ski or boat or book a boat tour. This extra effort is well worthwhile, though. You’ll be completely isolated when you arrive with a desert island-style experience. It is easily one of the best beaches in Fort Lauderdale. And it quickly earned a place on this guide for its novelty appeal – there’s nothing quite like sitting on a sandbar island.
Haulover Sandbar is massively popular, especially with residents with boats or jet skis. There are also regular parties, so carefully consider what time you choose to visit and also bear in mind there are no facilities. It is just a beautiful, bare island surrounded by ocean.
10. Deerfield Beach
Deerfield Beach is a reliable option for a popular beach and the joyous feeling of hot sand under your feet. It ticks all the basics: bathrooms, parking, and nearby restaurants. The white sand beach is split by a substantial wooden fishing pier. Slightly busier than its southern Hillsboro Beach, Deerfield Beach retains a laidback atmosphere. And if you want to enjoy fishing, this beach is ideal. We’ve added it thanks to its convenience with amenities and also its fishing opportunities.
11. Sebastian Street Beach
Sebastian Street Beach is an absolute haven just a short distance from the center of Fort Lauderdale. It is an LGBTQ+-friendly beach and affectionately called a ‘gay beach.’ Sebastian Street Beach is a super pretty beach with a beautiful community atmosphere. If you want a spot where you can really relax for a day, it’s ideal. There are plenty of nearby restaurants and beach resorts, too, so you won’t be stuck for amenities.
You can’t beat Sebastian Street Beach for an open-minded, safe space – we just had to add it to this guide.
12. Lauderdale By The Sea
Lauderdale By The Sea is a photogenic beach full of colorful beach architecture and a resort-style feel. It is a fun and funky place to enjoy a beach day with a difference and faintly prods an attempt at a South Beach-style beach layout. Bring your camera for this beach trip. There are usually activities to get involved in, too; you could soon be partaking in a beach dancing class or renting snorkeling gear.
The funky colors of Lauderdale By The Sea Beach stood out for us. This sandy beach is a fun day out, and it is precisely what you want to let your hair down on the beach.
How to get there: 20 minutes by car or 40 minutes by bus Accommodation recommendation: Coral Key Inn
13. Dr Von D. Mizell Eula Johnson State Park
Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park has 1,500 acres of mangroves and marine life, with a stunning coastline of white sand beach for visitors to indulge in. Only a few beaches have it all, and this beach gets very close. Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park has one of the prettiest beaches near Fort Lauderdale. And the habitat conservation efforts really show, with sparkling turquoise water and swaying palm trees creating a serene backdrop for a peaceful beach trip. You can spot wild birds, tropical fish, and sea turtles.
For us, Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park is just heaven on Earth, so it’s only fitting it got a spot in this guide. It is located just south of Fort Lauderdale and is an irresistible beach trip for any nature lover.
How to get there: 15 minutes by car Accommodation recommendation: Waves on Walnut
14. Delray Beach
Delray Public Beach is an unfussy beach choice near Fort Lauderdale. It is simple but pleasant, with spacious white sands, easy access to Delray Beach’s tourist attractions, and cheap parking. If you have a rental car, this is one of the most accessible beaches near Fort Lauderdale. You can also quickly detour to the Atlantic Dunes Park for a scenic boardwalk stroll.
Delray Beach is simple; sometimes, that’s precisely what you need. It’s popular but spacious enough to never feel cramped.
How to get there: 35 minutes by car or 1 hour 20 minutes by public transport Accommodation recommendation: The Dover House Resort
15. Las Olas Beach
Las Olas Beach is where the party is at. Located just 8 minutes from Fort Lauderdale center, stumbling into an Uber has never been easier. Watch for Friday Night Sound Waves events and enjoy the rows of beach bars blasting trendy music. If you want to socialize, Las Olas Beach is a dream. You can stroll Las Olas Boulevard for tasty food and retail therapy while not partying.
Las Olas Beach is the leading party beach near Fort Lauderdale; it would be criminal to miss this one. Definitely aim to schedule a Las Olas visit if you love nightlife.
FAQ About Beaches in Fort Lauderdale
These beaches in Fort Lauderdale are the perfect place to spend an hour or so. But before you head off on your beach day of a lifetime, quickly run over these vital FAQs. You don’t want to miss out on the best possible experience.
What is the prettiest beach in Fort Lauderdale?
Pompano Beach and Hollywood Beach are the best options for seeking out the prettiest beaches in Fort Lauderdale. These beaches have a glitzy allure, with white sands, all the amenities you could need, and more.
What is the most popular beach in Fort Lauderdale?
Fort Lauderdale Beach is the most popular beach in Fort Lauderdale simply because of its centrality. The 7 miles of sandy shores are full of water sports equipment rentals, and you can enjoy everything from paddle boarding to snorkeling.
What beaches do people go to in Fort Lauderdale?
People visit dozens of beaches in Fort Lauderdale Beach, Las Olas Beach, Sebastian Street Beach, Hallandale Beach, and Dania Beach. You have many options, though; you could stay for two or more weeks and visit a different beach daily.
Does Fort Lauderdale have clear water beaches?
Fort Lauderdale has many clear-water beaches, especially in its state park regions. These protected nature reserves have pristine waters and sands held to high standards in the name of conservation.
Fort Lauderdale is one of the best places to stay in Florida for beautiful beaches; there’s no denying it. Nothing beats the ocean breezes on Fort Lauderdale’s beaches. And there’s always a slow pace that naturally turns a beach trip into a beach day. You can grab dinner nearby at beachside restaurants or head to picnic tables or your picnic blanket for a snack on the sand. Whether you choose Hillsboro Beach or Fort Lauderdale By The Sea, you’re in for a treat. With this guide, you’ll have the best beaches in Fort Lauderdale up your sleeve.
Get ready to enjoy fishing off Fort Lauderdale jetties, white sand, and fresh seafood. If you want a beach getaway, Fort Lauderdale is a sublime choice. Look at these top beach resorts to maximize your time on Fort Lauderdale’s beaches. And for extra luxury, consider one of the region’s all-inclusive resorts.