Broward County’s most memorable locations

Talk about South Florida’s highlights, and you think South Beach, the Florida Keys and maybe Everglades National Park. Broward County often gets overlooked. Of course, there is the beach, Las Olas and Port Everglades. But there is so much more. When talking about South Florida, Miami takes the spotlight often and with good reason because there is so much culture and history in Miami. But Broward County has some interesting places to check out as well. Here are some of the most classic places in Miami’s neighbor to the north, Broward County, with some interesting history.

A pound of Rustic Inn’s famous Garlic Crab Legs. (Gabriela Enamorado/SFMN)

Rustic Inn Crabhouse
4331 Anglers Ave, Fort Lauderdale
(954) 584-1637
Prices: $9.50-$83.00

Established in 1955, Rustic Inn is known for its garlic crab. If you’re a seafood enthusiast, you’ll immediately sense the garlic crab is something special. But crab is not all they offer. The place offers a variety of seafood, steak, ribs, lobster rolls and more. Rustic Inn was originally an Italian restaurant, but the owner used to get some crabs from the Dania cut-off canal for himself. One day a customer took notice and wanted to try some crab — the rest is history. In its long background are sight-seeing, alligator wrestling and beer drinking pigs. The appetizers can go for as low as $9 while giant Alaskan Crab Legs can go for up to $83. The hours during the pandemic are currently Monday to Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Sundays noon to 9:00 p.m. 

The iconic hotel tower looking over the Marina. (courtesy of Tavistock Development Company)

Pier 66 Hotel & Marina 
2301 SE 17th St,
Fort Lauderdale
(954) 525-6666

The Pier 66 Hotel that towers over Fort Lauderdale beach is one of the most memorable and iconic buildings in the area. The hotel is temporarily closed due to renovations and should reopen in 2022. However, the marina is still open for docking. The prices for docking is $2 per foot per day plus tax until October 1, 2020. After October 1, 2020, it will be $3.50 per foot per day. The place was originally opened as just a pier for the docking of luxurious yachts. In 1957, the hotel was opened. In the 1960s, the spire-top tower was added. The hotel has a mid-century modern look that was popular at the time. Celebrities like Frank Sinatra, Walter Cronkite, and Burt Reynolds have stopped by in the past. The 66 in its name comes from an old Phillips 66 gas station that used to be on the site.

A delicious banana split waiting to be eaten. (Gabriela Enamorado/SFMN)

Jaxson’s Ice Cream & Restaurant
128 S Federal Hwy, Dania Beach, FL 33004
(954) 923-4445
Prices: $8-$20

No list of classic Broward locations can be complete without mentioning Jaxson’s Ice Cream Parlor. Jaxson’s is a family-owned business known for their homemade ice-cream. One of their most famous ice creams is called the “Original Kitchen Sink” and is a huge sundae meant to serve up to four people. Besides ice cream, they also serve burgers, fries, sandwiches and more. Jaxson’s was founded way back in 1956 by Monroe Udell. Back then, Broward County was still segregated but Udell hired and served black people despite this. They are open Sunday to Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 10:45 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.

The hotel lobby looks straight out of the 1920s. (Gabriela Enamorado/SFMN)

Historic Hollywood Beach Resort 
101 N Ocean Dr, Hollywood
 (954) 921-0990
Prices: $65 per night

This resort has been around since 1925 and has some rich history. It was built during Florida’s early land boom by Hollywood founder Joseph Young. It was viewed as one of the best resorts of the Roaring ‘20s. It was nicknamed the “Grand Lady.” The place was originally built in a Mediterranean Revival style but was remodeled in the 1940s in Art Deco. The hotel sits right on the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk and just about all the rooms have an ocean view. The resort hosts two restaurants, a cafe, and a beach-side bar.

Large movie screen hovering over the Swap Shop. (Gabriela Enamorado/SFMN)

Swap Shop & Thunderbird Drive-in 
(954) 791-7927
Prices: Adults: $7, Ages 5-11: $2, Ages 1-4: Free

Broward County’s Swap Shop hosts one of the largest drive-in movie theaters in the country as well as among the biggest daily flea markets. It was founded on November 22, 1963, by entrepreneur Preston Henn. This happened to be the same day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Back then, Broward County — and this property — was still segregated. Today it has 14 screens and is a great destination to check out in the midst of a pandemic since many movie theatres are closed. The Swap Shop itself has arcades, shops, and more. All movies begin at 7:00 p.m. The Swap Shop’s current hours are Saturday to Sunday 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Gabriela Enamorado is a junior at Florida International University majoring in journalism and minoring in History. She grew up in Fort Lauderdale and hopes to one day work for a magazine or newspaper.