'Best Beaches' will be a recurring post here at New Times. Throughout the summer we will highlight the main reasons why your local beach is undeniably Broward's best.
Deerfield Beach is like your Mom's cooking: strangers might not consider it the best they've ever had, but everything about it sure says "home" to you. Part of what makes Deerfield Beach the best beach in Broward is everything it's not. It's comfortable in
Deerfield Beach is dependable. It's homey. It's consistent. It's a perfect mix of quaint and modern. It's everything you could want
10. Traffic is almost nonexistent.
Getting to your favorite beach is half the battle. There are beaches in South Florida we love, but just the thought of having to deal with the traffic that comes with finally putting foot to sand makes us settle for our usual subpar spot. Deerfield Beach is the best of both worlds. Not only is it our favorite beach, but getting
9. Pop's Seafood
131 W. Hillsboro Blvd., Deerfield Beach; 954-427-1331; visit popsfishandships.com.
If you're in Deerfield Beach and you're not stopping at Pop's for some seafood, you're doing it wrong. Pop's is one of Deerfield's hidden treasures, a place locals almost don't want you to know about because they would rather keep it for themselves. Inside you'll find a vast assortment of ready-to-eat seafood dishes, a take-out menu, and every fish or seafood item you could ever want to buy and cook yourself beachside. The most popular beach-ready item at Pop's are their steamed blue crabs that come in Old Bay or garlic flavors. They also offer an assortment of Mom's homemade salad and dips that are perfect to throw in a cooler before you hit the beach. Pop's is right on Hillsboro before I-95, so it also makes for a great stop on the way home from the beach after you've built up an appetite.
8. Ample parking
No matter how easy it is to get to, you still don't want to burn optimal sunshine time driving around looking for a place to park. The last thing anyone wants to do on a relaxing trip to the beach is to worry about whether their car is going to get towed. Deerfield has a limited number of first-come, first-serve spaces that line the beach, but if you miss out on those VIP spots there are plenty of lots just off the beach. There is also a parking garage ( 123 NE 20th Ave.) with 360 spots just off the beach ($10-$20/day, depending on the weekend). More time on the beach, less time looking at it while your passenger sighs and acts like it's your fault — that's the goal here.
7. Beautiful walkways
Once you get to the beach and park, your next course of action is to check out the scenery and find a place to set up shop. Deerfield Beach has some of the most beautiful areas to walk and enjoy before you actually step foot on the sand. It's easy to forget how far some things are when you're walking back and forth on the main walkway because the surroundings are so well-kept. This is the sort of area you want to show off to your relatives visiting from out of town. Deerfield Beach is a stunning piece of South Florida that we're lucky to have just a few minutes from our homes.
6. Lounging and picnic areas
Any beach can throw in a few picnic tables and one of those shady charcoal grills you never feel quite right using on the beach, but Deerfield Beach has gone the extra mile. Tiki-style huts line the beach so you and your family can stage parties or picnics right next to the beach, but not on the beach. On most days you can find people chilling out, reading a paper, or telling stories in these areas. Admittedly, most of those people normally look like your grandma or grandpa, but that's part of what makes these areas so neat.
5. The Deerfield Beach International Fishing Pier
What would a favorite beach be without a quality pier? Not your favorite beach, that's what. A pier is the glue that holds any good beach together. Without a solid pier, it's chaos; it's just a park with sand and water. The pier makes things official. Deerfield Beach has a solid pier. For a buck you can stroll around and sightsee, and for four you can fish. If you didn't happen to bring fishing supplies, you can get the entire setup right there at the window as you enter. For $20, you can rent a fishing pole that comes with a bucket, bait, and a knife — everything you need to probably not catch anything.
4. Bru's Room
It's literally right there. The Bru's Deerfield Beach location (123 NE 20th Ave., Deerfield Beach) is definitely one of their finer spots, inside and out. It's a nice perk to have a well-known sports bar you're familiar with right there on the beach. A hole-the-wall dive bar is part of the South Florida beach experience, but sometimes it's great to just have a consistent option at your disposal. This is another wonderful reason why Deerfield is a great place to take out-of-towners — Bru's Room appeals to all sorts of people of all different ages.
3. Recreational areas
If you're looking to do more than tan or take selfies, Deerfield Beach has you covered. They've set aside a large area to one side of the pier for volleyball courts as well as open areas for beach soccer, football, frisbee, or anything else you might want to do. Many beaches won't waste this much space on areas for active people; they just assume you will find the space. But for years, playing volleyball has been a Deerfield Beach tradition. The nets have been there what seems like forever.
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2. The grassy knoll
The beach before the beach is part of what makes Deerfield Beach unique. Before you get to the sand there is a short-cut grass area that is perfect for laying down a towel and reading a book or listening to music. This is the sort of thing you won't find at most beaches, and if you do, it won't be as well kept as this. It's a nice feature of Deerfield Beach, and it offers a great alternative to getting all sandy if all you want to do is pickup some vitamin D while studying for a test or playing Pokémon Go.
1. The uncrowded beach
At some point we need to talk about the beach itself, right? Well, here is it. Deerfield Beach features a wider-than-usual beach that is short on greenery and plentiful in places to lounge. Umbrellas and chairs available for rent are all over (prices vary depending on rental company). Some beaches are highly concentrated in the areas that are obviously the best spots, but Deerfield Beach is fairly evenly spread out. Also, for years there has been an obvious divide: One side of the pier is more often than not populated by a younger, more active crowd, while the other is more for your parents and out-of-towners.