The best staycations are the ones where you don’t have to go far or think hard to have a good time, relax and recharge. We’ve called Boca Raton, Florida home for the last six months so Lauderdale-By-The-Sea was a no-brainer for us when deciding where to escape for a 24 hour reboot. Away from the hustle and bustle of Ft.Lauderdale proper, but still located in prime beach front real-estate, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea is the perfect staycation combination of fun and sun.
Greater Ft.Lauderdale’s Charming Beach Community
Lauderdale-By-The-Sea is about a 12 minute drive north of The Bonnet House Museum & Garden, the Galleria Mall and major hotels like The W. It’s truly more like a charming seaside village reflecting Florida’s mid-century architecture and laid-back vibes. In fact, with less than 6,700 residents in it’s 1.5 square mile radius, it’s a world of a difference than it’s neighboring cities of greater Ft.Lauderdale and Miami.
Here you’ll find beachy cafes, local shops, live music, farmers markets, and renowned coral reefs for scuba diving and snorkeling. In fact, it’s recognized as Florida’s beach diving capital! It certainly has a small town feel but with big vacay vibes.
*Keep reading to find out how you can earn a free night’s stay at Plunge Beach Resort!
Should you decide to peel yourself away from the hotel, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea has a number of restaurants, bars, specialty shops and local activities to choose from. Here are some of my favorites!
Aruba Beach Cafe – Laid back Caribbean style seafood restaurant situated right on the sand with live music and entertainment 7 days a week.
Taco Craft – My personal favorite! Be sure to try their house made tortilla chips with salsa, the braised oxtail empanadas, and the chorizo tacos – OMG!
Sloans Ice Cream – A colorful ice cream, candy & gift shop. You can even support my sister’s whimsical company, Happi Crafts, when you purchase a “sprinkle spewn”! #supportlocal
Anglins Beach Cafe & Pier – A casual beach shack and bar with ocean views, live music and access to Anglins Pier.
Kilwins – Old fashioned confectionaries like ice cream, chocolates and other handmade sweets. Try the home made candied apples or the freshly made waffle cones!
Dancing by the sea – Danny Carter hosts his popular dance classes on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month from 5-7pm (Nov-May). Free lessons in Swing, Salsa, Tango and Ballroom.
Snorkeling & scuba diving – Revered as the best beach diving location in all of Florida, you’ll find a vibrant ocean habitat complete with coral reefs just 100 feet off the shore!
Shipwreck Expedition – For a true adventure, grab your scuba gear and explore the S.S. Copenhagen shipwreck, a British cargo steamer that sunk in 1900. The wreck is, by far, the most popular underwater preserve in Florida with an estimated 10,000 visitors per year.
Farmers market – Hop over to El Prado Park every Sunday to find an array of local vendors and fresh finds from 9am-2pm. (Dec-May)
Yoga by the sea – Wake up with the sun and stretch your way into a beautiful day with free yoga classes Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7am. (Jan-April)
Friday night music – Live music every Friday night (weather permitting) from November to May on El Mar Drive between Village Grille/Pump and 101 Ocean. 6:30-10:30pm
Shopping – Peruse the local boutiques and surf shops on Commercial Blvd. for nick-knacks, beachwear and souvenirs.
Getting around Lauderdale-By-The-Sea is rather easy considering its size. Depending on where you stay, you can walk or bike to the main strip. Alternatively, you can hop on the free Pelican Hopper Shuttle Bus. View their scheduled times and pick up locations here. Car parking can be rather limited, so it’s best to leave that as a last resort option.
Where to Staycation in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea
The Plunge Beach Resort had everything we were looking for in a Lauderdale-by-the-Sea staycation. From modern rooms to sparkling pools, beach front dining and free amenities, it checked all the boxes! We usually work a bit, even while on vacay, so it was nice to have unlimited wifi throughout the hotel. We also had an in -room work space to accommodate our busy schedules, which came in handy. The point of a staycation is to relax though, and we did just that. The resort offered us a chance to really unwind without the need to leave the property. Once we checked-in, we headed straight for the water!
Luckily the resort features two swimming pools located directly at the sands edge and only steps away from our room. The water was warm and there were plenty of pool noodles, towels and lounge chairs for everyone to enjoy.
When you make your way to the beach, don’t forget to take advantage of their complimentary beach chairs, umbrellas and volleyball nets. To add to that, on select days they even offer free beach yoga! Just check their website for scheduling.
Dining at Plunge Beach Resort
One of the things I loved most about our Lauderdale-By-The-Sea staycation was being able to jump out of the shower and be at dinner in a matter of minutes. Backflip Beach Bar & Kitchen is located – you guessed it – right on the sand. The atmosphere is casual but the food is delightful. The tacos were tasty, burgers were delicious, the drinks were stiff, and the yucca fries were surprisingly legit! Side note, our waiter was actually a member of a popular 90’s band. The rumor is, he’s been known to perform live on occasion, too!
For breakfast, Bean and Barnacle offers easy grab-n-go items like pastries, breakfast sandwiches, Starbucks coffee, juices and even gelato! However, if you’ve got a hankering for something different you’ll find a plaza with First Watch (cafe), Publix and Dunkin’ Donuts conveniently located across the street. Furthermore, Plunge is only a direct half mile walk from the main strip, making it an enjoyable beach side stroll if you’re up for it.
As any parent knows, traveling with a 3 year old in tow adds a different dynamic to travel. Hence the importance of finding accommodations that would make our stay as easy as possible for all of us. I truly loved this resort because the guests were a blend of couples, friends and families. Plus, the overall vibe is hip, eclectic and fun.
We chose The Bungalow Queen Suite for its close proximity to the pools/beach, queen beds and kitchenette. Of course we didn’t plan to do much cooking on our stay, but it’s nice to have the option, especially for parents with younger children or those with special dietary needs. Plunge also offers 2 bedroom suites, perfect for bigger families, couples and larger groups.
Lastly, let’s get down to one of the most important factors in a staycation experience. I don’t know about you, but I tend to judge a hotel by their bedding. That being said, I’d easily give Plunge a 5 out of 5 for comfort, cleanliness and quality. We all slept like babies. The next morning Fiona even asked if we could make the bungalow our “new home”. I’d say that’s a win!
The Perks at Plunge
Earlier I mentioned some complimentary perks and The Plunge comes with quite a few. Included in the resort fee is access to free:
Beach cruisers – Bike ride to El Prado park, Anglins Fishing Pier, Aruba Beach Cafe & more!
On-site parking – Grab a space right by your room for easy loading & unloading!
Beach chairs + umbrellas – Lounge by the pool or sea side comfortably!
Yoga – Stretch your way into staycation mode with free beach yoga!
Beach Volleyball – Grab some equipment & get your game face on!
Wifi – We like our coffee & our wifi strong, luckily Plunge has you covered!
Other On-Site Features
On occasion, Plunge Beach Resort also hosts events, weddings and conferences. Their lobby doubles as an open concept boho-industrial event space complete with a horseshoe bar. Our Lauderdale-By-The-Sea staycation just so happened to coincide with an Artists Showcase where we were welcomed to meet the artists, view their work and mingle.
Plunge also hosts BBQ’s, karaoke nights & other fun activities so be sure to check their events page!
Since COVID, the travel industry has put safety protocols at the forefront of their mission. As a frequent traveler, I certainly appreciate the efforts. Here are a few ways Plunge is doing its part to make your stay seamless, safe and comfortable.
- Every room is cleaned with EPA approved sanitizers using a stringent TrustClean protocol
- Contactless check-out when you provide your email address at check-in
- Housekeeping will not enter your room for routine cleaning unless a stay is 3+ days
- Housekeeping disinfects highly trafficked areas at least once per hour (elevator buttons, door knobs, etc.)
- Reusable items such as pens and notepads are kept at the front desk and are disinfected after each use
Never underestimate the power of a 24 hour staycation, especially in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea. There’s just something about fresh, salty air and the warm, vibrant sun that soothes the soul. Maybe it was the fact that I could breathe deep, or the sensation of sand between my toes and the fluffy pillows that lay beneath my head that night, but I left feeling relaxed and restored. Sometimes all we need is some good food, a little sun and some quality time with our loved ones to set us right again. My wish for you is to enjoy the same!
*A special Lauderdale-By-The-Sea staycation offer*
If you’re planning a stay at the Plunge Beach Resort, take advantage of their “book 4 nights, get the 4th night FREE” summer offer! *Available until 9.30.21
Did you stay at Plunge Beach Resort or make Lauderdale-By-The-Sea your staycation destination? Drop a comment below and tell me your favorite part!