The beaches of Broward County have their own character. There are quiet beaches where you can relax with a book and a breeze. And beaches busy with rollerbladers and runners. Several have piers for fishing.

Consider this Broward County’s front porch, where people watching is at its very best. On the south end, South Beach Park is popular with families because of its picnic tables and grills. There’s also a basketball court, playground, work out area and volleyball nets. The Strip — which runs roughly from the Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach north to Casablanca Café — is a loud, bustling stretch of hotels, bars, restaurants and T-shirt/flip-flop stores popular with young people. The beach at Sebastian Street across from the Ritz-Carlton is unofficially known as the “gay beach.”

Lauderdale-by-the-Sea is best explored with fishing poles atop the 900-foot Anglins Fishing Pier and snorkeling masks diving the Shipwreck Snorkel Trail 400 feet offshore. The shaded pavilion at Anglins Square is the charming anchor of the colorful seaside village, often buzzing with weekend bands and giant Jenga, with breezy beach cafes and seafood hubs that stretch from the beach west to the Intracoastal.

Pompano Beach is quiet on weekdays but bustling on weekends, sunny on the sand but shady by the boardwalk and chock-full of family-friendly activities. Fish off the pier, surf the water or the Internet with free WiFi, and exercise at the outdoor public gym before grabbing a bite from the concessions stand or one of the few local restaurants and bars nearby.

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