Fort Lauderdale, FL has 23 miles of warm, sunny beaches that are just a short walk from several hotels, restaurants, and other activities. What better way to relax than to stretch out on the sun-warmed sand and catch a few rays, or stroll along palm tree lined promenades, or take a refreshing dip in the warm Atlantic waters.
Hollywood Beach has a 2.5 mile boardwalk paralleling the beach and is known for a casual atmosphere and free entertainment. Pompano Beach, a mile longer, is a favorite for families because it offers playgrounds on the beach. Restaurants feature fine seafood and something for every member of the family. Deerfield Beach is an award-winning beach and hosts boat races each summer. Lauderdale-By-The-Sea is a beach village and a popular place for pier fishing, snorkeling and scuba diving along the three-tiered reef. Dania Beach is the home of 30 marinas and John U. Lloyd State Park.
With the abundance of beaches in Broward County, water safety is an issue of highest priority. Being “Ocean Smart” will ensure your enjoyment. First and foremost, don’t go in the water if you can’t swim. Adhering to the following rules assures you of having a great time at any of the Fort Lauderdale beaches:
- LEARN TO SWIM is the number one rule for having fun in the water. Teach children how to swim as early as possible.
- SWIM NEAR A LIFEGUARD. Drownings are rare occurrences where there are qualified lifeguards on duty.
- NEVER SWIM ALONE. Having a buddy with you is important should you need help and are unable to call for help yourself.
- DON’T FIGHT THE CURRENT. Should you find yourself caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the beach until you swim past the pull of the current. Even the best and strongest swimmers are no match for powerful rip currents.
- SWIM SOBER. Alcohol has been documented as a major factor in drownings because it impairs good judgment and diminishes swimming ability.
- LEASH YOUR BOARD. If you’re surfing, be sure to leash yourself, either by wrist or ankle, so that you don’t become separated from your flotation device.
- DON’T FLOAT WHERE YOU CAN’T SWIM. Even novice swimmers venture where they shouldn’t. If separated from their float, drowning is a real danger unless they are also wearing a Coast Guard approved life vest.
- WEAR APPROVED PERSONAL FLOTATION DEVICES especially when boating. Children are at greatest danger of falling out of a boat, though adults most often ignore this advice for themselves – but, don’t you be one!
- DON’T DIVE HEADFIRST. Diving into unknown waters, or even clear water where the depth is deceiving can prove devastating if you strike an object or the bottom. Before you make your dive, go in feet first and become familiar with the bottom before making that dive. Always extend your hand ahead of you when bodysurfing as well.
- KNOW THE BEACH WARNING FLAGS. Flags are posted for your safety and to enhance your experience on the beach. Heed those warnings to ensure a safe and enjoyable time. Always check with the lifeguard on duty for any changes in conditions.