- Fort Lauderdale Beach
- Deerfield Beach
- Pompano Beach
- Hollywood Beach
- Dania Beach
- Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park
Pretty much all Fort Lauderdale beaches look like a postcard, with fine white sand, clear blue water, and palm trees (your pictures will look great, as well!) so you really can’t go wrong when choosing a Fort Lauderdale beach.
Fort Lauderdale has a beach for every type of family, depending on the ages of any little ones and the interests of everybody. You can swim, sunbathe, and build sandcastles all day, or you can visit the activities of a boardwalk.
If nature is your thing, you can visit mangrove forests. Or maybe you like water activities like paddle boarding or surfing.
Read on for suggestions on how to find Fort Lauderdale’s best family beaches.
Fort Lauderdale Beach
The most well-known–and probably most photographed–beach in Fort Lauderdale is Fort Lauderdale Beach. It is beautiful and popular with a range of visitors, including families of all ages.
On a palm-lined beach walk alongside the picturesque beach you will find a range of restaurants and sidewalk cafes, local shops, and venues with live music and other events.
If you like watersports, you will also find plenty to do, including snorkeling, diving, and jet skiing. The water is shallow and calm, making it a perfect place for young swimmers.
Fort Lauderdale isn’t all about the beach, however. If you want to do a few activities off the beach, check out the Bonnet House Museum ; Gardens or the Museum of Discovery and Science.
Deerfield beach is a clean, quiet cove beach with a unique rocky shore. It is also the home to Quiet Waters Park, which offers fishing, biking, hiking, and camping, along with one of the longest “cable ski” courses in the country. (Cable-skiing is water skiing, but skiers are pulled by a cable rather than a boat.)
You can also fish from the pier, or try out paddle boarding, surfing, or water skiing. Plenty of restaurants and shops are available in town as well.
Pompano is a chic beach community located north of Fort Lauderdale, known for having some of the warmest water in South Florida. Pompano is home to a large offshore reef, so if you are snorkeler or divers, this might be the place for you (you may even see a shipwreck!).
You can also walk out the pier any time of day for amazing views and incredible night skies. The pier is also a popular place for fishing.
The beach itself is great for families, with a playground, picnic tables, and grills. Pompano also has a variety of restaurants and hosts a large number of events every year.
If you want a quieter beach experience, away from the crowds of Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale Beach, check out the tranquil but stunning Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.
A calm fishing town by nature, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea has a selection of local shops and restaurants. Like Pompano, the town is a top choice among divers and snorkelers, with its three-tier reef just off the beach.
The town also hosts events, including live music.
If you want a throwback to the charm of Old Florida, Hollywood Beach is the glamorous destination you need. With a 2.5-mile 1920’s-style boardwalk, you will feel like you are back in time. Ride the trolley through town, or rent bikes to roll along the boardwalk.
The town hosts a ton of activities as well, including a variety of water sports, a water park, and a range of concerts and festivals. Two playgrounds will keep the younger ones occupied.
If art is your thing, you can find a range of galleries and shops at Hollywood Beach, or check out the outdoor art that blankets the town.
If you want to shop, Hollywood is also your cup of tea, with a variety of local shops and boutiques where you can find unique items. On weekends, don’t miss the local farmer’s market.
With a bunch of great restaurants to top it all off, Hollywood Beach can be a fun town for families of all ages and interests.
At the south end of Fort Lauderdale sits this quiet stretch of palm-lined beach. If you want peace and quiet, away from crowds, this is probably the place to be. The youngest visitors will enjoy the beachfront playgrounds.
Dania pier is also a popular place for fishing.
If you want to spend some time away from the beach, check out Flamingo Gardens Botanical Garden. Just a short drive from most of the Fort Lauderdale beaches, the 60-acre botanical garden is full of lush tropical plants and fascinating wildlife.
Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park
If you want to explore the coastal ecosystem of South Florida’s barrier islands, check out the Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park, just north of Dania Beach.
Named for civil rights activists who led “wade-ins” to desegregate local beaches, the park has been protected from development and now maintains a natural coastal ecosystem.
The park has a beach, and you can try activities such as fishing, boating, hiking, birding, and biking, or just pack a picnic and spend the day away from society.
If you want to see South Florida wildlife, you may be in luck. Look out for dolphins offshore. The waterway that runs the length of the park is a protected area for a variety of wildlife, including the West Indian manatee.
You can visit the Environmental Education Center to learn more about the ecology of the area.
Beach wheelchairs are available at the entrance station, first-come, first-served.
You can’t really go wrong when planning a family beach vacation in Fort Lauderdale. With so many pristine and beautiful beaches to choose from, you will be sure to find something that delights everyone in your family.
If you don’t want to spend all day at the beach, the town of Fort Lauderdale provides an array of activities as well, all within a short drive of the beach.