Throughout the summer, "Best Beaches" will highlight the best beach spots Broward has to offer. Don't agree? Check back next week; your favorite beach in Broward could be next.
Dania Beach is unquestionably the middle child of Broward County beaches. It doesn't have the flashy Hollywood name, and it certainly isn't some new hip place to be — it just is what it is.
While Dania Beach might not be the first place you think of when you need to decide on what beach to head out to this weekend, it should be. There are certain times in life where it just makes too much sense to zig when others zag; this is one of those times. Dania Beach is the best beach is Broward county, and here's why.
10. Traffic is a breeze
No matter what direction you approach Dania Beach from, the traffic at non-rush-hour times is below your average busy rate. We've covered the fact that traffic matters a lot when determining what a great beach is because nobody wants to sit in a car on 595 listening to POWER 96 instead of frolicking in the ocean water. When coming from the North, getting to Dania Beach is exactly what you'd expect from a ride to the Fort Lauderdale airport. The fact that Dania Beach is so secluded makes reaching it quite easy.
Huge plus here: While many beaches boast of some massive parking garage or numerous off-the-beach lots, Dania Beach has a crazy idea you might not even believe — there's a ton of parking right there on the beach. Yes, you heard me; everyone can park mere steps away from the sand. No, you do not have to get there at 5 a.m. No, you don't have to have some Dania Beach homeowner sticker on your license plate. You literally just need a debit or credit card with a few bucks on it. There are plenty of space, so chances are good that you'll find one on any day that isn't the Fourth of July.
8. Beach access
Now that you've breezed through traffic and parked as close as humanly possible to the beach, you need to find your way onto the sand. Dania Beach has many access points feet from where you parked your car, so there isn't any skipping through traffic or lugging umbrellas and coolers toward the one opening in the brush up the street. It's the small things that matter when choosing what beach to head to, and the one-two-three easiness that is getting from point A to point B on Dania Beach is a huge draw.
7. Dania Beach Fishing Pier
A good pier is important if you're going to call a beach the best; Dania Beach has one good pier. It's a little different from other piers in Broward as it's gated, lengthy, and old-fashioned by design. What makes Dania Beach Fishing Pier unique is that it's less about fishing and more about reading a book. Most of the fishing happens toward the end of the pier or even underneath it, while the rest of the pier is reserved for sightseeing and chilling out.
Many beaches have a sports bar or restaurant of some sort nearby, but few have such a full-service restaurant directly on the beach. Quarterdeck of Dania Beach is located right on the Dania Beach Pier. Pompano Beach and Deerfield Beach have restaurants on their piers, but none has a full bar nor an expansive sports bar menu to rival Quarterdeck. To be honest, it looks a bit out of place, but we aren't complaining.
5. Intracoastal boat launch park
A theme is starting to present itself on this list: The obvious draw of Dania Beach is accessibility and convenience. While you usually drive by a boat launch park a mile or so before the beach at other Broward locations, at Dania Beach the intracoastal boat launch is directly on the other side of the beach parking. It's just as far from your car as the beach is. If you're a boater, this is a special perk no other beach can claim. Whether you just want to look at some expensive yachts or you're planning on jumping on one yourself, it's all right there conveniently located steps from the Dania Beach pier.
4 Minimal water traffic
Nothing is worse than wanting to swim at the beach when five hundred other people are already swimming and three hundred jet skis are zooming around in the waves. Dania Beach has one of the quietest beaches in all of Broward, mainly because it's not thought of as the first place out-of-towners are going to go. Their oversight results in a perfectly nice beach for the locals — and many of them are heading to Fort Lauderdale Beach, too.
3. Dania Beach Bar & Grill
Dania Beach Bar & Grill (65 N. Beach Rd.) calls itself "The Best Kept Secret on the Beach," which is in keeping with the rest of this list. It's located inside the Dania Beach parking lot, and its old school Key West feel is a welcome sight when you first pull up. The bar has live music throughout the week that includes local, reggae, rock, blues, and country artists. The food is much of what you would expect from a beachside bar, with an emphasis on seafood and fish. It's a major perk to be able to walk out of the water and into a place that is practically screaming for you to keep your shoes and shirt off.
2. Beachside tiki huts
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A lot of beaches are doing what Dania Beach is doing, just not as well. Beaches such as Deerfield Beach and Lauderdale-by-the-Sea have tiki huts like the ones at Dania Beach, but they aren't actually on the beach. Dania doesn't have the largest beach — it's fewer than two miles long — but the real estate it does occupy is set up great for grilling and picnics. These huts look like they were made by the members of the TV show Lost.
1. Private beach
In the end, Dania Beach is our favorite beach because it lacks the one thing we can do without when we go to the beach: other people. If your thing is taking pictures, reading a book, listening to music, fishing, or having a family BBQ, Dania Beach is hands-down your best option. The privacy is unrivaled. What Dania Beach lacks in the glitz and glamour department, it more than makes up for with its secluded feel.