A Long (Affordable) Weekend in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea

Sometimes you just need a girls’ weekend away. When North Carolina can’t decide what season it is, it’s a perfect time to head south. My friend, Kathryn, and I decided to take ourselves on an “adult spring break” to Lauderdale-by-The-Sea in Florida. Allegiant airline flies out of Concord, NC for cheap and paired with an affordable AirBnB, it makes perfect room for selective splurging! What I saved in accommodation costs, I could splurge a little more on what really matters, like food.

Lauderdale-by-the-Sea is a small town about 20 minutes north of Fort Lauderdale – far enough from the crowd to easily find an open area on the beach at this time of year (late March), but close enough to enjoy the bustle of a popular city. Staying in this area was also cheaper than staying right in the madness of downtown.

Here’s what you can’t miss in the Lauderdale-by-the-Sea/Fort Lauderdale area.

1. Paddleboarding. 

Who knew that AirBnb now has “Experiences“? You book a tour with a local guide and theyarrange everything about the experience for you. The AirBnB app tells you the location and what’s included in the cost. It’s just as easy as booking a place to stay. This particular one is hosted by an outside company and our guide was beyond amazing! The tour was only $25/person and included water, beer and many photo ops. We paddleboarded through Wilton Manors, a beautiful and calm neighborhood on the water. It was my first time paddleboarding and now I’m hooked. This was easily my favorite part of the trip. It was about a 15 minute Uber ride away from where we stayed.

2. Exploring Local Food/Drinks.

Yelp and local word of mouth are my favorite resources for finding good restaurants. I like “hole in the wall” type places that I won’t find at home. Lauderdale-by-the-Sea has plenty of fast-casual places to eat and hang.

We got a recommendation from an Uber driver about Aruba Beach Café and were stoked to find it right on the beach in Anglin’s Square, within walking distance from our place. We stopped in for dinner with a view our first night and for drinks before the beach during the day. The prices are definitely affordable for an oceanfront café and the crab cake sandwich was delicious!

Since we were a 5 minute walk or so from the Square, we went there pretty much every day. We found a couple great breakfast spots, Delacaseas Café and Diner-By-The-Sea, that should surely work their way into your plans at least once.


3. Shopping.

Also located in Anglin’s Square are a few beach and gift shops. No matter where I go, I never tire of these cliché stores. I can’t believe that I forgot my sunglasses and towel — the Walgreens around the corner definitely came in handy for the necessities. I picked up the cutest mermaid shell tank (similar linked here) from a local boutique, Glam Sparkle N’ Glitz. They also have a lovely hand-drawn design of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea for t-shirts and other souvenirs.

4. Boat Tour.

Kathryn found a cool company, Jungle Queen, that hosts dinner, show and sightseeing boat tours. While they boast a variety of entertaining cruises, we went with the River Queen down Millionaire Row and it did not disappoint. The sights were breathtaking!

5. Beach Time.

Last but certainly not least, and I hope this is a given – but don’t forget to really relax and soak in the environment around you. If you’re not from LBTS, notice how different the sun, sand, water, and people are here. When you need a break from the sun, hit up Bamboo Beach Tiki Bar.

Where do you “Spring Break”? Have you visited Lauderdale-by-the-Sea? Please let me know if you have tried any of the places on my list!

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