By Patti Roth
On the busy eastern edge of Broward County, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea is a seaside of calm.
The city of about 6,000 residents delights visitors with a walkable downtown on and around east Commercial Boulevard, laced with patterned sidewalks, al-fresco dining and a sunny outdoor plaza packed with bright Adirondack chairs and sorbet-hued shade umbrellas. Bike racks shaped like fish and other fun features add to the town’s distinctive flavor. Shops, low-rise hotels and a wide assortment of restaurants – some with patio dining overlooking the surf and some with in-house entertainment – draw locals for a day or overnight staycation.
The beach in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea is known for its proximity to a reef, which is within swimming distance for divers and snorkelers. Dive shops in town rent gear, including required red-and-white diver down flags. Farther offshore, accessible by boat, the 1900 wreck of the steamship SS Copenhagen, a state Underwater Archaeological Preserve, is also an attraction for divers.
For those who prefer to stay dry, Anglin’s Pier offers a delightful vantage point for soaking up the scene. Summer events in town include BugFest-by-the-Sea, during Florida’s two-day lobster mini season July 29-30. The varied BugFest activities and events are July 25 to Aug. 1. While many of those activities appeal to divers, a Family Fun Day and Beach and Pier Clean-Up event, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 1, features entertainment, activities and games at El Prado Park, 4500 El Mar Drive. Information, lbts-fl.gov
Destinations is an annual travel supplement of the Sun Sentinel, produced by City & Shore Magazine