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If you like your vacation destinations to have a buzz about them, this East Coast oceanfront town could be the one for you!
While compact, there are plenty of bar crawl opportunities and a beach to spread out on, among other fun things to do in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Florida. There are also easy day trips to state parks and the city of Fort Lauderdale.
Things to Do at Lauderdale-By-The-Sea (LBTS)
We’ve grouped the below Lauderdale-By-The-Sea activities together so you can easily walk between them.
Sunbathe at the Award-Winning Beach
Make your way down Commercial Boulevard, through the pastel-colored Adirondack sun chairs, and via the pavilion to the sandy shores of the Atlantic Ocean.
Breathe in that fresh air; you are on island time now!
Grab a space on the 1.5 miles of beach and unload your gear, or pre-arrange a chair and umbrella drop off here.
Enjoy the beach sensibly by adhering to the beach rules: no pets permitted unless service dogs, non-alcoholic drinks only and they must be packed in a plastic container, and no tents or hammocks.
Restrooms and showers are located close to the beach at the Pavilion.
On-street parking and lots are dotted around town and referenced in this handy map below created by Discover LBTS.
Spending the day at the beach is one of the few free things to do in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, so make good use of it!
Commercial Pier – Historic Landmark
The village’s famous Anglins Fishing Pier is the longest pier in South Florida!
It was initially built in 1941, then again in 1963, and then again in 2017…
While the pier has seen its fair share of damage from storms, it still makes a great muse for many photographers in the area.
Welcome to Florida’s Beach Diving Capital!
Avid divers have plenty of bounty to explore, with reefs starting at just 100 yards from the sand.
This is ideal for budget divers as there are no expensive boat fees!
If diving is a little too tense for you, pack your snorkel to see what’s below the deep blue sea of LBTS.
Not confident in the water?
Join this 2-hour guided snorkel experience and let a professional take the lead.
Take Advantage of the Beach Pavilion Shade and Events
A short walk from the beach is the bustling Anglin’s Square area, LBTS’s “boardwalk.”
Here, you can rest on the benches covered by the pavilion or pause for a second to enjoy the sun on your face while lounging on the town’s famous Addy chairs.
Look out for the free Dancing By The Sea classes on the Pavilion, too.
Drink at the Famous Aruba Beach Cafe
If you ask locals what to do in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, they will most likely say that every visitor has to drink at Aruba Beach Cafe (1 Commercial Blvd).
The Old Florida tones of the cafe invite beach revelers to dust the sand off and grab an outdoor or inside table for beach, lunch, dinner, or drinks.
The menu consists of Caribbean American meals such as conch chowder and typical beach grub like burgers and salads.
Look out for happy hour offers and a live entertainment schedule.
Dine at the Village Grille
Serving drinks since 1949, The Village Grille & Pump (4404 El Mar Dr) has an extensive breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu, as well as sushi.
The Grille also offers happy hour sessions and live music throughout the year.
Some say their LBTS vacation doesn’t start until they’ve had their Grille breakfast and morning cocktail!
Commercial Boulevard Entertainment
Looking for the top things to do in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea for adults who like to party?
Wander along Commercial Boulevard and be lured in by the open-front bars selling cold beer with your name on it!
Restaurants with al fresco dining line both sides of this lively street.
Keep an eye on the street’s Friday Night Music concert series calendar of live acts.
As to be expected, bars get busy around peak times at lunch, dinner, and during the weekends.
Commercial Drive is one of the most bustling Lauderdale-By-The-Sea attractions; be sure not to miss it!
Enjoy an Ice Cream
If drinking isn’t really your thing, Sloan’s (112 Commercial Blvd) may appeal to your sweet side.
This parlor looks like Barbie’s favorite dessert hangout, decorated in pink tones!
Customers can either take out a homemade ice cream cone or dine in on sundaes, shakes, and cookies.
Give the credit card a workout while showing the family back home you thought about them souvenir shopping in LBTS!
Beach King (234 Commercial Blvd) sells shells, shark teeth, art, t-shirts, and swimwear.
7-Six The Vacation Supply Company (4405 N Ocean Dr) has a diverse inventory of souvenirs, beach attire, sun hats, sunscreen, and snorkeling gear.
Hire a Bike
Cover more ground and enjoy nature’s AC as you pedal about the town via an e-bike rental!
The ‘e’ in e-bike stands for electronic, which means you don’t have to manually work the device as hard as you would a traditional bike!
Check out reservation options here.
Relax with a Spa Treatment
Let your worries melt away into a therapist’s bed as you unwind with a massage at Body Therapy & Massage (255 Commercial Blvd).
Treatments include full massage, deep tissue, and reflexology.
This salon is open until late, making it one of the best things to do in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea at night that doesn’t involve drinking!
Chill Out at El Prado Park
Not far from Commercial Drive is the beachfront El Prado Park (4500 El Mar Dr).
This green space offers views of the Atlantic, a paved walkway, and seats in the shade.
It is known as a ‘portal’, which means entrance to the beach.
If renting a bike and cycling to the beach, this is an ideal Lauderdale-By-The-Sea landmark, as there are bike racks you can hook your locks up to while you spend the day sunbathing.
Support Local at the Farmers’ Market
Browse the makers’ stalls and pick some fresh produce at the weekly Farmers’s Market.
Shop for handmade soaps, candles, and jewelry, then fill up on pastries!
Christmas in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea
Out-of-towners visiting from the end of November will be amused to see festive decorations dotted around town while the sun splits the sky!
Join locals at Christmas-By-The-Sea’s holiday lighting event, meet Santa at his grotto, and do your holiday shopping at the independent LBTS stores.
Things to Do Near Lauderdale-By-The-Sea
If you’re craving some city life, Fort Lauderdale is just seven miles from Lauderdale-By-The-Sea.
Shop, dine, and bar hop along the entertainment street, Las Olas, visit the Swimming Hall of Fame, and kayak at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park.
This water taxi stops at all of the city’s highlights and is valid all day.
It’s a good idea to keep Fort Lauderdale ideas up your sleeve for rainy days; there’s plenty to do inside to keep the kids entertained while the beach is out of action.
If Lauderdale-By-The-Sea is a little too commercial or crowded, consider staying five miles north in Pompano Beach.
Here, you can reserve accommodation with private beach access!
You can walk to Hillsboro Beach from Pompano Beach, with no divide between the two.
There’s a nice stroll along the beach to the 1900s Hillsboro Lighthouse at the end of the shore.
Where to Stay in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea
Whether you are traveling as a couple, group, or family, there are lots of options when it comes to accommodation.
Choose from hotels and condos that meet every budget and travel style.
Hotels in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea
You won’t need to even leave Plunge Beach Resort during your vacation as it offers beach views, an outdoor pool, a restaurant and bar, and spacious hotel rooms with all the amenities that create a comfortable stay.
Tides Inn is another option for those looking for rooms with ocean-view balconies!
Condos in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea
This 2-bed VRBO has access to a private pool, ideal for couples.
If you’re traveling in a bigger group, check out this three-bedroom house with a private heated pool and jacuzzi!