John U. Lloyd State Park
Dania Beach, Florida
The John U. Lloyd State Park is located in the Dania Beach, Florida area and it represents an ideal in the state park system. The beachfront property in Florida is well developed but some of the natural beauty of the Florida beaches has been preserved in a few spectacular state parks. The John U. Lloyd State Park beaches provide visitors with a park-like beach experience that is lower key than the beach areas accessible at hotels and resorts.
There is a daily parking fee of $8 to enter the park so be prepared to pay at the gate. When you enter the park and drive down the road the first area you get to is the public marina. It was very crowded on the weekend day we visited but quiet on the weekday. We headed down the road and chose to park in lot 5. It was much less crowded than the first few lots but was not the end lot which would put you right near the jetty I describe later. On the way you will pass the educational center which has an easy tour through the mangrove preserve and during winter months you may be treated to a mantee viewing.
The beach here is nicely protected from the parking lot by fairly healthy dunes. I always enjoy dunes and the walk along the protective boardwalks. The beach itself was very wide and long enough for a decent walk. If you walked far enough south you would eventually run into Hollywood Beach, Florida. At the very north end of the park there is a very long jetty that has been built to protect the park from the cruise ships and cargo ships entering and leaving the Ft. Lauderdale port nearby.
The sand was notable for the greyish/black tone but it was clean and soft. The park ranger explained that the sand was brought in from Pompano beach to build up the park beaches and that is why it was such an unusual color. One negative on the John U. Lloyd State Park beach was the distinctive beach erosion cliff along the north part of the park beach; evidence of the need to bring in sand to maintain this park so often hit by hurricaines. It wasn’t so big it was a big issue, but it was necessary to be mindful of it when walking and when choosing a spot to call your own.
Tip: This beach area is often noted for the ability to snorkle or shore dive. The ranger did confirm a reef XXX yards out, but the water clarity both days we visited was very poor and suggested it wasn’t worth our effort to swim out. If you are visiting the beach to snorkle or dive, you should ask at the gate before you pay and the rangers can provide guidance to make an informed choice. The rock reef is about 100 yards off the beach in 15 to 20 feet of water.
We visited John U. Lloyd State Park twice during our weeklong stay, once on the weekend and once during the week. The weekend brought in many local families and there were familiy reunions taking place in the pavillions available at the beach. There are also BBQ pits and picnic tables available at the park and these were being put to very good use as well. The weekend visitors did not overwhelm us, but it was a popular Saturday destination. A nice outdoor shower and well maintained restrooms are conveniently placed at each parking area.
Our weekday visit was a very memorable beach-therapy experience. We spent all afternoon enjoying the beach and for many of those hours it was only a man paddle boarding, a man fishing and us enjoying our virtually private beach. This day on the
John U. Lloyd State Park beach was a true beach-therapy experience
, not just for me but for my hubby, my kids, and my sister as well. We will look back on that day and compare many other beach days to it I’m sure.