There are two unofficial sections of Fort Lauderdale Beach. If you are going to FTL Beach with your family or enjoy spiking a volleyball, you’ll be heading to stretch of sand between the Yankee Clipper and outdoor basketball court (don’t forget, free parking in the South Beach lot). If binge drinking and people watching is your thing, chances are that you’ll be lounging on the sand in front of Blondies, Elbo Room, Pirate Alley, or Rock Bar. I’m here to tell you there’s now a third option on the beach — a little spot I discovered a couple of years ago know as The Jetty
Now, I realize that a bunch of you probably already know about this local treasure (heck, there’s a Facebook fan page for the jetties). Also, I expect some people to berate me in the comments, telling me that they’ve known about this spot for decades. The fact is, every local deserves to know about this hidden site. For those of you who are learning about The Jetties for the first time, let me illustrate what you should expect:
The longest stretch of beach in Fort Lauderdale. Walking from the beach access to the water feels like a trek through the desert. It takes awhile to touch the Atlantic, so you might feel inclined to take a cigarette break or swig from your Vitamin Water bottle halfway through the journey. Make sure to bring a frisbee or football. You’ll have room to play a 100 yard game of two hand touch.
On the south corner is the jetty, a pile of massive boulders. Sit on the rocks with your favorite significant other and watch the waves crash. You’ll be sure to score some points with your girlfriend if you take her here, especially if you can make it for the sunrise.
Apparently, it’s a good spot for fishing as well. You will always find a couple of hardcore fisherman on the rocks. Don’t bring your $20 fishing pole you got from Sports Authority though. I promise you won’t catch anything (trust me, Fat Hand and I already tried and failed miserably).
Probably the reason most people head to this spot is to watch the giant cruise ships pass by. If you’re lucky, you can find some corny old timers who make signs like “Come Back Soon” for the people on the cruise ships. Don’t be shy to join them; after all, most of the people you know are probably getting hammered on 190 Octanes from Fat Tuesdays on the other end of the beach. The Jetty people won’t judge you.
The only problem with the jetty beach is the parking. Unless I’m unaware of covert parking spots (email me mig@ftlcollective if you know of more parking), there are only a handful of places to parallel park — all free. Once you park, walk down SE 20th Street until you hit the beach access. I’ve attached a screenshot of Google Maps, complete with manually drawn arrows and the address for the parking to aid you.