Roma 6 is across the street from the Lauderdale Galleria Mall in that strip mall by Starbucks. It's a small place, but that's what makes it good. I like intimate places which remeber your name and what cut you like.
The guys in here are talented and very upbeat and fun. They know exactly what they're doing and are quick to make suggestions if you're unsure as to what exactly you want, but at the same time will do exactly as you ask if you have a certain cut in mind.
In short, this is a friendly, neighborhood kinda place and they'll treat you right without charging you an arm and a leg.
PROS: Inexpensive, friendly
The International Swimming Hall of Fame is located on the barrier island on Lauderale Beach. This where many Olympian hopefuls have come to train since its opening in the 1960s. This is the only place which has two 50m pools along with a diving well and a swimming flume.
Besides the training pools, they have a museum at the entrance with the building being shaped like a giant wave. Pretty cool, that. The museum is worth stopping in for, especially during the hot summer afternoons here.
Johnny Weissmuller has his Olympic medals on display permanently since his death. You can also see one of his Tarzan films in the Huizenga Theater part of the complex if you ask nicely.
The Huizenga Theater is named for the owner of the Miami Dolphins, by the way. Here you can pick and choose any number of films to watch ranging from swimming and diving instruction to Water Safety to peices on Hall of Fame inductees.
And then there's the Interactive Computers to play with and tons of photographs and informational stuff.
The ISHOF is not time consuming enough to be a destination on its own, but it is a good part of Lauderdale culture. Who knows, you may even catch a glimpse of a gold medalist here...
CONS: Hmm nope
From the road, the Pillars looks like just another small motel a block off the beach. Don't let that put you off, go on.. walk inside. Wow. It's like a whole nother world.
This is an exceptionally posh spot to put in anchor right on the Intracoastal Waterway, complete with boat slips if you want to come by yacht instead of car.
They have plenty of lounge chairs out by the pier and by the pool for relaxing by the water on these hot Lauderdale days.
The rooms... oh the rooms. Wonderfully nice. I'm going to have to say that the Pillars compares to the Atlantic any day of the week.... but do be aware that you will pay the price for the extravagance. I will also say it's worth it if you can afford it.
Bottom line: If you are up for a cushy high-end vacation here, then skip the rest and pick either the Atlantic, or the Pillars.
PROS: Good place to pamper yourself
CONS: pricey, but worth it
There's a little area in south Lauderdale Beach just behind the Yankee Clipper with tons of cheap motels. Here is where you will find the Sea Beach Plaza Motel... starting at a surprisingly low $45 per night.
This one is on the Barrier Island, but a little bit of a walk to the beach across the split of A1A and a hill, the Intracoastal Waterway is just right there though on the other side. The best part of this location is that is just around the curve from the Bahia Cabana, a great place to eat, relax, and party at night.
The rooms aren't 'all that' here, but they are fairly clean and for that price you really can't complain about the small rooms or old furnishings.
The current management is friendly and outgoing, but the best one of them is the evening manager. He'll bend over backwards to make your stay pleasant.
One other thing, this is a secured motel. There is a high gate around it and the pool which can be opened with your key. Just a nice added bit there for ya. The pool is clean and there are plenty of tables around it to relax at.
So, if you're on a budget and don't need to be right on the beach, this is a good bet.
PROS: Cheap, close to food and entertainment
CONS: small, old furnishings
Location-wise, The el Mirador is pretty good. It's just a few steps off the beach and real close to dining, shopping, and entertainment. Unfortunately, it's filthy and hasn't been maintained well at all.
The rooms here are really icky and small. The majority of their business is cheap monthlies for local workers who just want to stay on the beach. That clientelle is not bad at all, but it makes me shudder to think about the condition of this place.
Quite frequently there are problems with the hot water, and air conditioning units (if you manage to get a room with one) only work off and on. the stairs are a bit rickety, and the management just really doesn't care.
Rumor has it they're staying open just until they snag a good offer for the land from one of the big developers.
Skip this. You can do much better just a block back.
CONS: shoddy and run down
When I was down last year, they were taking out their restaurant and the workers said Trump had bought that building along with the Gold Coast, but now I see the Avalon has been repainted and is doing a healthy business right now so apparently it was decided to just leave this one as it was. I'm glad.
With all the new fancy high-rises going up along the beach, we were losing some of the quaintness. The Avalon is a pretty building in white, blue, and yellow. The rooms all open up onto the nice pool in the center courtyard.
Location-wise, it's right across the street from a good part of the beach and not all too far from the north end shopping and dining.
This is a real cute place with nice rooms now. It's not the Atlantic by any means, but it has the local beach ambiance and sometimes that's more important than ammenities, isn't it?
PROS: location, clean, beachy feel
Just so ya know, this place has gone the way of the bulldozer. It's a dirt lot now, awaiting construction of the new fantabulous erection of Donald Trumps newest investment.
High-rise Condos. Like we need more condos along here...
What every hotel needs to be close to is a small local market which carries all tjhose incidentals and minchies that we forget to bring with us, right? Well the north end of Lauderdale Beach, just below Sunrise Blvd, has it goin' on with Mamma's Market.
It's like a little convenience store with beach charm right in there with all the hotels, restaurants, and tourist shops. You can pick up toothpaste, shampoo, combs, aspirin, chips, candy bars, sodas & beer and just all kinds of the usual suspects.
The place is a little dingy, but the items are not old. With no real grocery store here on the Barrier Island, Mamma's is the best thing going.
CONS: little pricey, but whaddya gonna do?
Looking for some of the best selection and prices on Lauderdale souvenirs to make your co-workers jealous? Stop in at Sand Pebbles on the north end of the beach right next to McSorleys Irish Pub.
This place is small, but boy do they pack in the tourist stuff! Shelves and shelves of boxes made from shells, ashtrays, oven mitts, coffee cups, key rings, picture frames shaped like flip flops.... you name it, they have it. And at nice low prices too.
PROS: Cheap, good selection
CONS: So full of stuff it's sometimes hard to move around
This place is right on the corner of A1A and 9th on the north end of Lauderdale Beach. There's T-shirts with funny sayings plastered all over the windows. You could spend a goodly amount of time just reading the windows!
Inside is just a wonderland of hysterical iron-ons lining the walls, and racks of some the cutest beach outfits around. Skirts galore, which are my personal weakness, and for very reasonable prices.
It gets better.
Like those prices? Offer him less anyway and see what happens. Go ahead. I ended up with $65 worth of three skirts that would sell elsewhere for about $125 collectively... I got the trio for $50. Score.
What's more, as I was walking out, he offered me yet another skirt I had been eyeing for $10 off his ticket price. The guy wants your business... go ahead and give it to him.
PROS: Willing to deal