Located in Broward County, South Florida, Dania Beach is a small coastal community with beautiful beaches. Being south of Fort Lauderdale, it’s often overlooked by many travelers. But as it’s just a short drive away from many of the Sunshine State’s hotspots, checking out all the best things to do in Dania Beach offers a splendid alternative without the crowds.
In Dania Beach, you can make the most of the local arts scene that includes one of the best antique districts in the region. You’ll also have easy access to white-sand beaches and untouched nature, where you can hike and paddle into the evening.
Not sure what to do? Get a head start on your planning with our complete Dania Beach guide!
Things to do in Dania Beach, FL
Dania Beach Pier
Anglers, beach lovers, and those who enjoy a leisurely stroll should definitely check out Dania Beach Pier. Walking to the end of the pier, which is just shy of 1,000 feet long, is one of the best things to do in Dania Beach.
Dania Beach Pier opens around the crack of dawn at 6 am and remains that way until 11 pm. At the popular fishing destination, many anglers arrive at opening, paying the $4 fee before setting up shop along the pier for the entire day.
Those fishing will be hoping to catch a range of local fish, including mackerel, snapper, and mutton. Anyone who hasn’t come prepared can hire all the gear, bait, and tackle at the pier’s concession stand.
For everyone else, enjoy the wide-open beach before wandering along the pier for just $1.50, bringing you some beautiful Atlantic Ocean and shore views. Afterward, settle in for seafood, bar bites, and craft cocktails at the Quarterdeck Restaurant.
Wiener Museum of Decorative Arts
Founded in 2014, the Weiner Museum of Decorative Arts is a non-profit museum inspiring admiration for glass art and ceramics. On Highway 1, cutting through the heart of town, this art museum is most likely within walking distance from your accommodation.
WMODA is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm and has a fascinating collection of unique works that will quickly draw you in. The kaleidoscopic colors will catch your eye. The angles of each ceramic or glass piece continue to change, making every viewing different. It’s as if the artwork is constantly evolving.
The museum houses several distinct sections with various exhibitions that explore an array of themes., including unique takes on everyday life, history, and culture through the use of ceramics and glass blowing.
You can also enjoy the art museum’s busy calendar of temporary exhibitions and shows. For example, at the time of writing, the Weiner Museum is hosting Glass Fashions in Wonderland, taking you on an artistic journey through the famous story.
Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park
On North Ocean Drive in Dania Beach, Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park is the top choice for outdoor fun in the local area. Just south of Port Everglades, the state park represents the last bastion of untouched coastal landscapes in the county.
The park was named after Dr. Von D. Mizell and Eula Johnson, two prominent Civil Rights leaders who helped desegregate beaches in southern Florida. The beach and surrounding lands were once a black-only beach but now boast one of the most pristine locations in Dania Beach.
Travelers can enjoy pleasant swimming and two miles of soft white sand along with lunch in the designated picnic areas, plus restrooms and an environmental education center. The latter is great for understanding the unique park before venturing out along the 45-minute nature trail.
Looking to cast a line? The Florida state park comes with a boat ramp for off-shore fishing in the inlet and the Atlantic Ocean, but you can also fish along the beach. If you prefer to paddle, then be sure to explore Whiskey Creek.
Whiskey Creek Hideout
A highlight of Dania Beach’s Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park is the Whiskey Creek Hideout. This outdoor adventure outfit is ready to help you explore the environmentally significant waters around the park.
Whiskey Creek Hideout is your one-stop shop for kayak, canoe, and SUP rentals. Each rental will come with safety vests along with a thorough safety demonstration. Choose between half and full-day rentals, both providing enough time to explore the surrounding water, the local mangroves, and even Dania Beach Pier.
You can also sign up for one of four tours, including eco-tours, full-day adventures, and sunset tours. The latter takes place every Friday.
After your day on the water, you won’t have to go far to refuel and enjoy a celebratory drink. Whiskey Creek Hideout has a waterfront bar and restaurant, plus live music on certain Saturday afternoons.
For shopaholics, there’s no better place to enjoy a day of browsing in Dania Beach than at Dania Pointe. The impressive mall spans over 100 acres of premier retail, restaurants, and entertainment.
You’ll find Dania Pointe on South Compass Way, just minutes from downtown and the Fort Lauderdale Airport. Take in the beautiful planes flying in overhead, the gorgeous landscaped gardens, and rows of palms that greet you on arrival.
As soon as you step through the glass doors, the cool A/C will sweep over you as you leave behind the Florida heat. From there you can explore all of your favorite stores, from family brands to high-end establishments.
To make your experience even better, check out the fantastic range of restaurants, the Sprouts Farmers Market, and regular events, including the Night Market, Cultural Saturdays, and Family Sundays.
Dania Jai Alai
The odd sport of Dania Jai Alai is sure to make a fan of anyone who comes along to watch. Jai Alai is a similar game to Basque pelota. It involves bouncing a rubber ball off a three-walled court using a hand-held cester, a wicker scoop strapped to the arm of each competitor. It’s an incredibly fast ball sport that makes baseball look rather pedestrian.
Jai Alai made its way over to the United States at the beginning of the 20th century at the World Fair hosted by St. Louis in 1904. The sport found a home in Florida, especially around Dania Beach and Miami, where it was taken up in great numbers and became popular among gamblers.
If you’re itching to watch some live sport while in town, then why not experience something new and fresh at the same time?
World Famous Dania Jai Alai Casino
When the sun goes down on Dania Beach, treat yourself to a night of adult fun and entertainment at the World Famous Dania Jai Alai Casino. Also known as the Casino @ Dania Beach, travelers can expect a thrilling night at the blackjack tables or along the endless rows of slot machines.
With a hint of Las Vegas, the casino comes with a packed calendar of live events that’ll take your run-of-the-mill gambling experience and turn it into a thrilling evening. After collecting your winnings, make your way to Stage 954 for a wide range of music acts, many of which are cover bands celebrating music legends from around the world.
Whenever you’re hungry, choose between multiple restaurants and bars ranging from sports pubs to high end eateries, not to mention some excellent happy hours thrown in for good measure.
A few steps away from the elegant casino, Frost Park is a family-friendly spot and fun for both young and old. Filled with recreational activities plus spacious picnic areas, the park is great for big gatherings.
The young and energetic can run amok on the playgrounds or take to one of the many sports fields, including the baseball diamond, basketball, and tennis courts, along with the skate park.
Alongside the fields and picnic areas is Frost Park’s indoor recreational facility. This Community Center is available for hire and includes a recreation room, reading room, fitness center and an adjoining full kitchen. If you’re looking to put on a park day event for your traveling crew, then definitely check out Frost Park.
Throughout the year, Frost Park hosts a number of community events. These include Dania Beach Arts & Seafood Celebration along with the Christmas Flea Market.
Many travelers make their way to southern Florida for the sun-soaked beaches, golf courses, and good times. But for those in the know, Dania Beach’s Antique Row is one of the top reasons to visit. Anyone who loves their antiques will have a blast exploring the rows of thrift stories and dozens of antique shops in what adds up to a shopper’s paradise.
In Dania Beach’s Art District, Antique Row is an exciting hub of all things old and fascinating from classic jewelry and retro fashion to 20th-century decor. You could spend multiple hours perusing the various windows on a fashionable adventure along Federal Highway 1.
Venture into the stores that capture your imagination, and maybe you’ll walk away with an invaluable item to remember your trip by.
Anne Kolb Nature Center
Spanning an impressive 1,500 acres near Hollywood, West Lake Park is the largest public park in Broward County and is home to the insightful Anne Kolb Nature Center. Opening in 1996 after years of planning, it has helped to protect Dania Beach’s vital mangrove wetland habitats that are home to endangered wildlife and rich flora, as well as providing a space to learn about the local nature.
On its own 20 acres, the nature center features a fascinating exhibit hall with a simulation of the park’s mangrove habitat along with a large aquarium. For some hands-on fun, head to the EcoRoom or climb up the 68-foot observation tower.
Once you have a good understanding of the park’s ecosystem, set out on one of the many trails to explore the beautiful habitats or wander down to the Intracoastal fishing pier.
Another great spot to go when in Dania Beach is Hollywood Beach. A short drive from town, the beach has all the stunning scenery typical of Florida’s southeast coast. Giving you a taste of Fort Lauderdale, you can expect crystal white sand, lines of palm trees, and sparkling green-hued water.
Often rated as one of the best beaches in the United States, there are few better places to lay down the towel and sunbathe. Lively Hollywood Beach is beloved among locals and travelers, with plenty of cheap eats and beachfront cocktails within walking distance.
Fringing the sand is the Hollywood Beach Boardwalk. This 2.5-mile brick walkway takes you along the coast as you mingle with joggers, fluorescent-clad roller skaters, and cyclists.
Along the way, you’ll pass the Hollywood Beach Theatre and Charnow Park, where you can break out the picnic basket and revel in the atmosphere.
Where to eat & drink
When it comes to beach bars and seafood restaurants that are as fun as they are tasty, few states do it better than Florida. Dania Beach lives up to the state’s reputation, with plenty of eateries and tiki bars to keep you busy and well-fed throughout your trip.
One of those is Tarks of Dania Beach. A local institution, this Highway 1 restaurant has been serving classic seafood dishes since 1966. Enjoy their beloved shrimps, oysters, and even gator.
Padrino’s Cuban Restaurant is on South Compass Way and is a family-owned eatery slinging the best of Cuban cuisine with a full bar. Just around the corner, you’ll find the upscale Firebirds Wood Fired Grill. With delicious seafood and pub fare, this is a great spot for travelers after a day at Dania Pointe.
On Highway 1, the Fish Grill is a laid-back establishment that serves grilled seafood and steaks with the night’s top games splashed across the TVs. With a spacious dining area, lunch specials, and quick service, Ocean One Bar & Grille is another great choice to chow down on your favorite seafood dishes.
For a taste of tropical bliss on your travels, head to Paradise Tiki of Dania Beach after the sun goes down. Enjoy pub classics under a thatched roof alongside craft cocktails and beer.