Lauderdale by the Sea: Florida’s best kept secret

Anglin's Lauderdale by the Sea Pier

Anglin's Lauderdale by the Sea Pier - Credit: Archant

Lauderdale by the Sea, just 12 miles from the hustle and bustle of Fort Lauderdale, simply oozes old Floridian charm and is an ideal American escape

Butterfly World

Butterfly World - Credit: Archant

Located on Florida’s Gold Coast, with the glittering waters of the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Intracoastal Waterway crammed with sleek yachts to the west, Lauderdale by the Sea is, at present, Florida’s best kept secret.

I stayed at the Windjammer Resort and Beach Club, located on the palm tree-lined El Mar Drive, adjacent to Lauderdale by the Sea’s pristine sandy beach. This charming property offers self contained, fully furnished and air conditioned studios and apartments with one or two bedrooms for self catering holiday rentals. Features include full kitchen facilities, separate seating and dining areas, ultra comfortable beds and a spacious bathroom. There are two heated swimming pools with sun loungers and next to the large BBQ area you’ll find plump sofas and footstools plus a wooden swing seat, shaded by palm fronds.

The resort also offers direct access onto the gorgeous, uncongested beach and complimentary parasols and beach chairs are provided for guests. For those seeking a tranquil place to relax all day, somewhere to lounge around in swimwear and flip flops, where the only distractions are the pelicans flying overhead, look no further.

Fort Lauderdale’s water taxi is the best way to get around. Start off at Shooters and disembark at the Bahia Mar marina where you can embark on the Sea Experience glass bottomed boat. Captain Mateo offers daily scuba and snorkel trips with top of the line rental gear aboard a 45’ Corinthian catamaran. If you work up an appetite, head for the Marriott Hotel’s Sea Level Restaurant, located on Harbour Beach. Dine al fresco and admire the view across the ocean.

Lauderdale by the Sea offers visitors a wide range of dining options. Take a stroll down Commercial Boulevard to the Aruba Beach Cafe where there is ‘live’ entertainment every night or the very popular Mulligan’s Beach House Bar and Grill, which is opposite. Or, if you are pressed for time, BurgerFi on North Ocean Drive serves tasty burgers and, for those with a sweet tooth, Kilwin’s, nearby, offers scrumptious toffee apples, mouth watering fudge and ice creams. Take a seat outside and admire the surroundings. You’re sure to be charmed.

For nature lovers, a trip to Butterfly World, located in Coconut Creek, is not to be missed. The world’s largest butterfly and bird park features six aviaries filled with more than 20,000 butterflies and birds and the experience of being in the midst of thousands of graceful butterflies fluttering all around is simply unforgettable.

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Be sure to visit Flamingo Gardens too, located on South Flamingo Road, Davie. The botanical garden covers an area of 60 acres and features a spectacular collection of some 3,000 plants. There is also a wildlife sanctuary, which is home to Florida’s largest collection of injured or orphaned native wildlife including two fierce-looking alligators named Elvis and Priscilla! w

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Take a peak and view the Windjammer Resort’s beach cam at

Travel tips

1. offers twice weekly Dreamliner flights from London Gatwick direct to Fort Lauderdale and for a punctual and reliable airport transfer service, visit

2. For private VIP tours in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, and a first class service, visit

3. Southern Railway’s direct service (duration 30 minutes or less) to Gatwick departs daily from London Victoria. For more information visit