DIVE INTO POMPANO BEACH: ONE OF GREATER FORT LAUDERDALE'S BEST PLACES TO SEE UNDERSEA Beach Destination Also Features Attractions and Festivities for the Whole Family
Named after the saltwater fish found abundantly in its Atlantic waters, Pompano Beach lies towards the northern end of Broward County, bordering Hillsboro Beach to the north and Lauderdale-by-the-Sea to the south.
Pompano Beach boasts a wide variety of attractions, quaint tropical hotels and a plethora of culinary experiences from Café Maxx and Bragozzo to Cap's Place waterfront eatery.
As its name suggests, Pompano Beach also boasts 3 1/2 miles of beautiful beach, certified as "Blue Wave" by the Clean Beaches Council for exemplary cleanliness and safety. The beach also has several playgrounds and other family activities. But what makes Pompano Beach's coastline all the more alluring is the diving that can be done just a few hundred yards from the shore. Greater Fort Lauderdale is home to a unique natural three-tiered system, as well as 75 artificial reefs that serve as magnets for exotic marine life. Not surprisingly, Pompano Beach is home to several dive operators as well as the official South Florida Diving Headquarters.
Another benefit of Pompano Beach's living coral reef system is found in the world-class fishing that can be done off its shores. Pompano Beach has several venues for chartered, open-sea fishing excursions, and the top-notch boat fishing is complemented nicely by its 1,800-foot municipal fishing pier to which visitors flock like seagulls.
Year-round, Pompano Beach's calendar of events is full of entertaining concerts, exciting sporting events and enriching free concerts for the whole family to enjoy. Annual events in Pompano Beach include:
- Pompano Beach Seafood Festival: Held annually each April, the Pompano Beach Seafood Festival is a weekend featuring arts and crafts, adventurous activities such as bungee jumping and a rock-climbers' wall, a full line-up of live music and, of course, a limitless supply of seafood. Restaurants from across Greater Fort Lauderdale are on hand to peddle their dazzling seafood arrangements, making for a delicious weekend for all involved.
- Pompano Beach Fishing Rodeo: Pompano Beach's annual fishing rodeo allows professionals and amateurs alike to compete and see who can catch the heaviest fish. Several divisions and categories are available, each with entry fees and corresponding prize money. In addition, the rodeo also has a "Small Fry" division for children 10 & under. For more information, visit www.pompanofishingrodeo.com.
- Live Shows at the Pompano Beach Amphitheatre: A favorite destination for concertgoers, the Pompano Beach Amphitheatre can accommodate up to 2550 fans in permanent, stadium style seating. Larger special events and festivals are set up on the adjacent grounds. For a list of upcoming events at this venue, please visit www.ticketmaster.com.
In Pompano Beach, the isle casino & racing at pompano park, just completed a $170 million racino development with a contemporary style that incorporates the water culture of Greater Fort Lauderdale in the design and décor including a water feature made from more than 4,000 sheets of cut glass. Additional attributes include Bragozzo Osteria Wine Bar, developed with celebrity chef Luke Palladino; Farraddays', the company's signature steakhouse; Fling, a feature bar with high-action imagery and multiple video displays; Myron's, a full-service New York-style delicatessen named after comedian Myron Cohen; and the Isle Buffet, featuring more than 150 feet of hot and cold items and up to five display and exhibition cooking stations. In addition, 1,500 Vegas-style slots, a 34-table poker room, high-tech sports bar, wagering area over-looking the track and a new Winner's Circle round out the additions. Top-ranked trotters and award-winning harness drivers are featured.
On the boarder of Pompano Beach is Butterfly World, seven acres of lush gardens and aviaries alive with tens of thousands of brilliantly colored butterflies, is a must-see. Featuring thousands of beautiful butterflies in free flight, the attraction's Tropical Rain Forest Aviary is a mammoth 8,000-square-foot screened-in enclosure, making it the largest single butterfly habitat in the world. Butterfly world also features a wide variety of flowers, an insectarium, and charming waterfalls and streams.
Another spot not to miss while visiting Pompano Beach is its Festival Marketplace, an indoor flea market with over 600 stores full of brand name merchandise at outlet prices, as well as a farmer's market with fresh produce and other foodstuffs. Another option is Pompano Citi Centre, which recently underwent a complete renovation and features anchors such as Macy's, J.C. Penney and Sears.
Visitors to Pompano Beach can also select from a wide variety of places to stay. For visitors looking for a quaint environment, Pompano Beach is home to a great selection of smaller properties that proudly belong to Greater Fort Lauderdale's list of Superior Small Lodgings. These affordable, cozy properties are dotted across Greater Fort Lauderdale, often on or near the beachfront. A sampling of Pompano Beach accommodations:
- Beachcomber Resort Hotel & Villas: Located on a golden sand beach, the Beachcomber is located minutes away from all of South Florida's world-renowned attractions. The Beachcomber is owned and operated by the Russell Family. The Russell children have played a part in the maintenance, operations and décor of the Beachcomber, creating a standard for the impeccable service and "family" atmosphere that defines the hotel. For information visit www.beachcomberhotel.com.
- Cottages by the Ocean: Cottages by the Ocean, a unique property in Pompano Beach, features a cluster of studio cottages located a short distance from one of South Florida's best beaches, and a short walk to dozens of restaurants, shops, nightspots, public fishing pier, snorkel/dive boats, charter fishing boats, jet ski and boat rentals, gourmet fish market and a 36-hole golf course. Each cottage has a fully equipped kitchen, sleeping and living areas, vaulted ceilings with beams, large screened-in porches, deck area and lush landscaping. For more information visit www. www.4rentbythebeach.com/cottages.cfm.
- Palm Aire Golf Resort: This renowned golf resort is worthy of its reputation. Located nearby to popular attractions and offering a choice of five spectacular golf courses, the Palm-Aire Resort & Spa is the perfect place to perfect your stroke. If you want to unwind, discover The Spa at Palm-Aire, which offers a full menu of spa services. For more information call (954) 972-3300.
- Ocean Sands Resort & Spa: Ocean Sands Resort & Spa (formerly the Spa Atlantis) in Pompano Beach is a full-service oceanfront health and fitness spa and hotel. The Spa features seven treatment rooms, two Vichy showers, and a hydrotherapy tub facility, as well as two outdoor heated pools and a juice bar. The staff includes experts in ten different kinds of therapeutic massage, facials, body wraps, manicures, pedicures, hair coloring and styling, and features Pevonia Botanica products. Fitness program, yoga, Tai Chi, meditation and other stress reducing classes are also available, as are Pilates and the brand new Gyrotonicâ Expansion System for improved strength, flexibility and circulation. For more information visit www.theoceansandsresortandspa.com.