Billed as Broward County's First City, don’t let Dania Beach be the last place you consider when it comes to white sand with space to spread a towel and soak up some sunshine. Located north of Hollywood’s beaches and south across the Stranahan River from the well-populated beaches of Fort Lauderdale, Dania Beach shares the same views of the surf, but in relative solitude. Combined with the area’s reputation for affordable hotels and fresh-catch restaurants, Dania Beach is Greater Fort Lauderdale’s greatest untapped oceanfront treasure.
Things to Do
Dania Beach Ocean Park is the center of the city’s surf action. This beach benefits from an abundance of easy parking and, in terms of amenities, Dania Beach can’t be beat—the tiki huts that front the water make for a fun place to relax with friends after swimming in the saltwater.
In addition to public beaches, it’s also the home of the Dania Beach Fishing Pier, open from 6 a.m. to midnight seven days a week and lighted for night fishing. There’s a bait and tackle shop adjacent to the pier for daily dippers, but the pier’s length also allows anglers a chance to cast for more serious sportfish like tarpon and snook.
For those with a mind to explore, Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park is just north of the pier and offers picnic spaces, kayaking, and swimming. There is also a boat ramp providing boaters with easy access to multiple waterways including Whiskey Creek, Stranahan River, and the Atlantic Ocean proper.
Commune with nature through the events offered along Dania Beach. You can get to know the waters better every summer by participating in the Annual Dania Pier Clean Up, during which certified divers are invited to take the plunge for unwanted treasures, or non-divers can walk the shoreline. Come December, go for a run and take in the scenery of Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park by participating in the yearly Barefoot Mailman Classic, a 5K or 10K race that starts and ends on the beach while allowing you to follow in the footsteps of the legendary Barefoot Mailman—shoes optional. Also at the state park, look out for Full Moon Kayak Tours each month and the Sunrise Brunch & Paddle Series hosted by Whiskey Creek Hideout located inside the park.
Dania Beach is one of the few beaches in Greater Fort Lauderdale that offers dining and nightlife directly on the water. Quarterdeck Dania Beach Pier (pictured above) has a fully stocked bar and grill, so there’s no need to haul a heavy cooler from the car to the beach. Fresh seafood and sushi, finely crafted cocktails, and gourmet burgers are served daily.
While there are no hotels directly on the water in Dania Beach, Hotel Dello is close to the beach and within easy reach of the city. A boutique hotel with a full bar, Hotel Morrison offers an outdoor pool deck and live entertainment on the weekends, meaning you don’t even need to change out of that swimsuit just because the sun goes down.