Thursday, July 12, 2018

Day 290 A Florida Off Season Summer Excursion-Lauderdale by the Sea (LBTS)/Perfect Mature Playground

You would think that a southern Florida vacation would be unbearable making you feel like a dripping candle in the sun.  My recent  discovery  of  a quaint area to relax, Lauderdale by the Sea, and a  boutique hotel located  on the beach, The Plunge Beach Hotel, changed my perspective. LBTS, just 7 miles north of Fort Lauderdale, is a perfect mature playground where you can relax, eat well, and  snorkel or dive on it’s off  shore coral reefs  and a  nearby ship wreck (SS Copenhagen). The town square invites you to rest in a rainbow colored Adirondack chair and is lined with charming restaurants that do not disappoint the taste buds. Everything in this playground is within walking distance in a 2.5 mile stretch! 

View from Plunge Beach  Hotel


Florida during the off season offers less crowds, better hotel prices  with airline flights from Pittsburgh that will not break your piggy bank. Spirit Airways offers  direct 2.5 hour flights and, with some planning, you can find flights for less than $100 each way, even with the luggage fee.  The summer rays are bearable with the cool breeze off the ocean, the distraction of the rolling waves, fish diving pelicans, and the ability to intermittently splash in a pool-so  why not try it!

Plunge Beach Hotel offers beach service and bikes 

LBTS is like traveling to the beach in your childhood memories (see live web came here). It has a small town charm in the absence of  towering hotels along  El Mar Drive (directly on the beach) or on Ocean Drive (across the street) because of the area’s four story or less hotel rule. Although there are a variety of reasonably priced  establishments  on both drives, I still gravitated to the artsy Plunge Beach Hotel (see Day Day 289) located directly on the beach. 

The Plunge is private because it is the last hotel before the residential condos. Each day Howard or Livingston (who worked there since it opened)  smiled and seemed to remember something about each guest  as they set up beach umbrellas and chairs. The pool bar served   everything   from burgers to fish tacos and even ceviche and injected occasional lunch time entertainment.  I pedaled the complementary bikes in the mornings to explore shops and new places for my wake-up coffee or breakfast.  There is a daily service fee of $30 for all this convenience. I would have prefered coffee to be provided in the room  but overall this place has everything contained to "plunge" into play.   

Creamy "to die for" Gelato
As an 80's girl, there was a comfort level  when most of the  bar/restaurants filled the scene with live or piped 80’s music- the spring break music in my' day.  It was cool enough for an evening walk to find a new place for dinner each night. Enticed by the sweet vanilla smell that lingered near the  town square,  I joined others in the Adirondack chairs for an after dinner gelato from my favorite, Pan'E Dolci Italian Bakery, or one of the 2  ice-cream establishments (Sloans or Kilwins).

Diner By The Sea
Many of the restaurants'  staff charmed us with an eagerness to converse making you feel welcome. Diner By The Sea  even offers weekend complementary breakfast  Mimosas and the  place felt like  I was eating at the 1980’s diner from the sitcom Alice. I loved my  spunky waitress with the beehive hair up-do who at 76, recently moved to LBTS.  Ocenas 101 had great food  and their big draw is a  hardy poured daily happy hour with  ½ price on all drinks (even top shelf drinks).  Like Cheers, there seemed to be a group of regulars where, “everyone knows your name and they are always glad you came”.
Frenchy Table
We visited the French Rivera at Frenchy Table enjoying a 4 course authentic dinner. At least it seemed authentic owned by a women with a French accent. Either way, my escargot, red snapper and  desert sampler with cream burette was delicious. I also discovered  a fantastic culinary experience at   Delacaseas Cafe and learned that  our  food was created by their frequent  guest chef  who was featured on the show “Top Chef”.  On the first  Monday of every month,  Delacaseas Cafe also offers a special 5 course meal paired with 5 different wines.    

Delacaseas Cafe

Whether  you’re sunning, swimming, eating, biking, or just relaxing with some gelato, LBTS gives you a lot of ways to enjoy this mature playground. Next is an  exploration of their  off shore coral reefs and ship wreck.

Other Sources
 LBTS Chamber

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