48 Hours: Lauderdale-by-the-Sea offers home away from home for visitors

Posted October 16, 2017


Tucked away on the East Coast of Florida and only a 16-minute drive from downtown Fort Lauderdale is a quaint area called Lauderdale-by-the-Sea. Long stretches of white sanded beaches and clear waters are not the only reason to visit, but they are a main attraction. This small town is home to 6,056 residents and is permanently on vacation, giving out the same relaxed vibes upon which the Florida Keys thrives. Lauderdale-by-the-Sea is a home away from home.



5 p.m. Cafe by the Seaside

Aruba Beach Cafe is a staple of the area. Located beachside, ask to sit outside for spectacular views. As the sun goes down, and bathes the area in a warm glow, order the peach pleasure martini. The combination of the peach schnapps, orange juice and vodka helps set the mood. With a wide range of fresh seafood, try the chilled seafood sampler which brings half a Maine lobster, oysters on the half shell, and peel and eat spiced shrimp.

8 p.m. Chocolate-Covered Dreams

One of the best spots in town to eat homemade fudge or grab a cone of ice cream is at Kilwins. Mackinac Island Fudge is a specialty and the signature secret recipe developed by Don and Katy Kilwin. Asher Taylor-Dawson, a local guide of the area recommended the toasted coconut malted milkshake and overall the great atmosphere. “Great ice cream and confections. I’ve been here twice, now, with several years between trips, but the quality sweets and congenial counter staff remain consistent,” she said. After getting your sweets you have two options, sit and people watch or join in the fray and walk around enjoying the cooled night air.



11 a.m. Croissants and Apple Tortes

After sleeping in, the twinge of hunger begins to set. While Lauderdale-by-the-Sea is 4,548 mi away from Paris, A Taste of Paris, attempts to bring the taste of France right to your mouth. Nancy Mendoza, a fan of the bakery, recommends the apple torte. “The Apple torte was creamy with a good consistency of the baked sliced apples on top. The crust was also very flaky and seemed very traditional, handmade and buttery,” she said. A taste of Paris also boasts croissants with different toppings, sandwiches and quiche.

1 p.m. Snorkeling with the Locals

The advantage of being so close to water is the variety of water sports and activities available. Gold Coast Scuba is a scuba and snorkeling shop where you can rent or buy gear. They also offer boats tours. But the magic is in the scuba and snorkeling tours that they offer. John and Priscilla Stevens did a guided tour on a whim. “After being set up by the instructors, we were prepped on what to do, what to wear and techniques. Went to the beach and enjoyed the experience. Saw all the reefs and a variety of tropical fish. It was amazing!” John Stevens said.

4 p.m. Drinks by the Shore

After a day spent on the water head to the Backflip Beach Bar located at the Plunge Hotel. Know as the place for “recovering foodies” head outside and grab a chair on the deck and sink your toes in the sand. For a traveler who wants something simple and classic order the aperol spritz. As Tina Mulder, a local who frequents the bar said, “You can never go wrong with prosecco.” Besides the drinks, Backflip has an array of delicious street tacos. Order the catch of the day taco for a taste of fresh seafood at food truck prices.

8 p.m.  Jazz and Blues

Just a mile and a half south from the center of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea is a live music venue called Blue Jeans Blues. This bar is filled with locals who love the ambiance but keep coming back for the music and great service. Mike Perry is one of the locals who frequents Blue Jeans. “Blue Jean Blues is my ‘home away from home’. Owners Diane and Denise treat me like royalty, and I am proud and honored to give them my business again and again. Extremely talented bands and musicians play here including Valerie Tyson and the legendary Jimmy Cavallo, just to name a couple,” Perry said. With an introduction like that it’s hard not to see what makes the place so great. While listening to the live band, order an old fashioned to set the mood.



Noon Brunch

The best part of Sundays are the different brunch spots at which to eat. 101 Ocean is the ultimate food spot and turns brunch into an event worth waking up for. Bob Bennett a self proclaimed brunch connoisseur recommends Ocean 101 highly. “Great place to pass your mornings. Brunch is hearty and has accompanying specials on mimosas. Noon time through afternoon it is a great place for lunch or to just stop by for a drink,” Bennett said. While you’re here, try the bottomless Mimosa special to complete that perfect Sunday Instagram photo. And on the plus side, you won’t have to worry about driving around, you can walk almost anywhere in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.

2:30 p.m. Walking the Pier

After brunch, you can walk five minutes east to the beach and you’ll encounter Anglin’s Fishing Pier. One of the main attractions in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Anglin’s is home to the largest pier in South Florida. There is a $2 entrance fee to walk inside the pier, but after stepping outside and being greeted by the  warm blue skies you’ll realize that it’s more than worth the money. The pier is lined with experienced fishermen waiting for a catch, couples out for a romantic stroll and families enjoying a Sunday out together. Don’t forget to bring a camera while you’re out there and some sunscreen.

5 p.m Sweet Treats to Take Home

Nothing is better than being able to bring a small souvenir back home from a wonderful vacation. In this venture Jan’s Homemade Candies has you covered. Open everyday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Bob and Jan Lendi opened the small confectionery store back in 2001 and have been hand making chocolates and candies ever since. The warm and friendly atmosphere coupled with delicious sweets keep the locals and tourists coming back for more. Cindy Baxter is just one of the many people who was lined up waiting to pay for an order. “They have the best treats in town! The owners Jan and Bob are wonderful people. You won’t be disappointed, I feel like a kid every time I come,” Baxter said. Highly recommend comes the chocolate truffles with caramel and sea salt and the chocolate covered almonds. But truthfully anything you eat here won’t disappoint because you can try everything before you purchase it.


If You Go

Aruba Beach Cafe

  • Address: 1 Commercial Blvd., Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Fla. 33308
  • Hours: Monday and Tuesday 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.
  • Wednesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.
  • Sunday 9 a.m. to 1 a.m.
  • Kitchen closes at 11 p.m. Bar and Live music  is open til 2 a.m.
  • Phone: 954-776-0001


  • Address: 117 Commercial Blvd., Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Fla. 33308
  • Hours: Monday and Thursday: 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Friday and  Saturday: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
  • Phone: 954-267-8991

A Taste of Paris

  • Address: 235 Commercial Blvd., Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Fla. 33308
  • Hours: Open everyday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 a.m.
  • Phone: 754-701-0115

Gold Coast Scuba

  • Address: 259 Commercial Blvd., suite 2, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Fla. 33308
  • Hours: Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • To make an appointment call 954-616-5909

Backflip Beach Bar and The Plunge Hotel

  • Address: 4660 El Mar Dr., Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Fla. 33308
  • Hours: Open everyday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Phone: 754-200-3346

Blue Jeans Blues

  • Address: 3320 NE 33rd St., Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 33308
  • Hours: Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
  • Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 3 a.m.
  • Phone: 954-306-6330

Ocean 101

  • Address: 101 Commercial Blvd., Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Fla. 33308
    Hours: Open everyday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.
  • Phone: 954-776-8101
  • You can make reservations at www.opentable.com

Anglin’s Fishing Pier

  • Address: 2 Commercial Blvd., Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Fla. 33308
    Hours: Open 24 hours
    Phone: 954-491-9403
  • Cost of entry: $2

Jan’s Homemade Candies

  • Address: 4327 N. Ocean Dr, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Fla. 33308
  • Hours: Open everyday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Phone: 954-202-9495