The 6 Things You Must Do When You Visit the Hidden Gem of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Florida
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The 6 Things You Must Do When You Visit the Hidden Gem of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Florida

Updated: Dec 29, 2019

If you're into the small, beachtown feel, then Lauderdale-by-the-Sea is a great winter getaway for northern city dwellers looking to escape the cold and hectic city life.

Once you head east from I-95 and cross the Lauderdale-by-the-Sea Pavillion, you're in another world.

Lauderdale-by-the-Sea Pavillion

Nestled between its larger neighbors, Fort Lauderdale and Pompano Beach, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, known as a flip-flop kind of town, seems to revel in its incognito status, but that may be about to change as visitors--especially of the media kind--are spreading the news about this hidden gem.

The charming beachfront town exudes old Florida charm with an array of low-rise buildings and predominantly mid-century modern architecture in the heart of the town. Not too far away, however, are condo high-rises that can make any big city dweller feel at home. Better yet, is the town's high rating on the walkability scale as everything is within walking distance.

The town stretches from the beach to the Intercoastal Waterway and is peppered by locally-owned and character-filled shops with artisan jewelry, beachwear, and gift items all clustered around the Pavillion. You'll also find several ice cream shops--a must in the Florida heat--bakers, Italian food joints, taquerias, and most importantly--especially for New Yorkers--several pizzerias.


Scuba or dive: Known as "South Florida's Beach Diving Capital," Lauderdale-by-the-Sea is home to several excellent dive shops offering group excursions for the diver or scuba buff in you.

The shore is home to coral reefs less than 100 yards from the beach where you'll encounter an ocean teeming with marine life from fish to turtles and lobsters.

Walk Anglin's Fishing Pier

Grab an ice cream cone and aalk the famous pier at sunrise or sunset for a stunning view of the sky saturated with deep blues, orange, pinks, and gold. Greet the local fishers and friendly folk walking the pier.

Stay Local

Stay in one of the local garden-style or low-rise hotels for an old Florida experience rich with charm, a village-like feel, and many interesting people and characters. The majority of the hotels have well-known regulars that visit every year, offer lots of organized activities, and are well-priced--especially for being just a short walk to the beach.

Forget the Car

Walk or bike your way around town, or hop on the Pelican Hopper which offers free public transportation! The Pelican Hopper is free of charge, air-conditioned, wheelchair accessible and equipped with bike racks.

Meet Local Celeb Rick Tobin

Rick Tobin, a commercial real estate broker by trade who specializes in hotel properties, has become somewhat of a local celeb and influencer. Well-known for his man-on-the-street videos about town which he then posts in his Facebook groups, Rick loves to talk to people from up north and will offer a few tips on the best places to stay and where to eat. You may even make it onto one of his interviews which have made several northerners into local celebs themselves! And if you're lucky, you may even catch him with Willow, the real star of the show!

To get the inside scoop and get solid tips and advice from the locals, join Rick's very active and friendly Lauderdale-By-The-Sea Happenings Facebook Group, home to over 6,000 members.

Bring the Flip Flops

Don't make the same mistake I made on my recent visit and leave your flip flops at home. Be sure to pack a pair along with some sunscreen when you head down to this flip flop kind of town. The one thing you can leave behind however, are your worries!