Source: Florida Rambler | Published: April 28, 2023 | Reporter: Bob Rountree


Photo credit: Jorge Molina

When you arrive in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, your first reaction might be: “Where am I?”

To the north and south, towering condos dominate the beach area. Yet the beach towers suddenly stop, revealing a pocket of low-rise mom-and-pop motels emerging along the beach, anchored by a colorful little village of traditional beach shops, galleries and cafes unique to the urbanized Southeast Florida coast.

This beachfront oasis is Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, not at all to be confused with iconic Fort Lauderdale to its south.

Here you can get a reasonably priced room on the beach in a two-story family-run motel with a pool and a path to golden sands dotted with palm trees. An inviting beach, to be sure.

An off-shore reef invites divers and snorkelers to paddle out in kayaks or SUP and explore a sunken shipwreck or net a spiny lobster for dinner (in season).

In the center of town is Anglin’s fishing pier, which is currently closed due to hurricane damage. Nearby, within a few blocks, you’ll find an eclectic selection of beach shops and sidewalk cafes.

At the foot of the pier, I have often enjoyed breakfast or lunch with out-of-town guests on the patio of Anglin’s Beach Cafe, a light breeze brushing past while we enjoyed the ocean view. (The cafe is open even though the pier is closed.) Or maybe you’d prefer the popular Aruba Beach Cafe, just across Anglin’s Plaza, the town’s signature gathering place.

Other top rated restaurants within a block or two of the ocean are Even Keel Fish Shack and Billy Jack’s Shack.

Nearby, the venerable Sea Watch restaurant is a short hop north of town on State Road A1A. In my opinion, Sea Watch is the best seafood restaurant in Southeast Florida and my first choice for special occasions. Drive south on A1A to Fort Lauderdale’s famous Strip to gawk. Drive west on Commercial Blvd., past I-95, to the brand new DRV PNK Stadium for major league soccer (in season). Here’s what folks have to say on TripAdvisor about Lauderdale-By-The-Sea.

Places to stay: Vacation Homes & Cottages

How to get there: From Interstate 95, take the Commercial Boulevard exit straight to the beach, and you’re there.

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