Pompano Beach, Florida, is a city full of beach charm, delicious restaurants, live entertainment, a bustling arts scene, and plenty of hidden gems that many tourists don’t know about. If you’re looking for an authentic Pompano Beach experience, you’re in luck; the team at Beach Vacation Rentals is here to help. With our local expertise, we’re happy to point you to some of Pompano Beach’s more unique attractions off the beaten path.
Art at the Intracoastal Waterway Bridge
If you’re traveling to Pompano Beach, there’s a good chance you’ll drive over the Intracoastal Waterway Bridge – the gateway to the beach area – with decorative sails on masts anchoring both ends of the bridge. But the bridge is more extraordinary to see at water level, with spans on both sides covered in fabulous fine artwork. In 2019, artist Daniel Friel completed the Atlantic Harmony mural, a permanent public artwork depicting the area’s local marine life. The best ways to view it are via boat, from adjacent waterfront restaurants, or by walking down to the water’s edge, where you can rent small boats and personal watercraft. When you stay at Cottages by the Ocean, the bridge is only a five-minute walk away, making it a popular destination for our guests.
Goodyear Blimp Base
Since 1979, Goodyear has operated a blimp base in Pompano Beach at historic Pompano Air Park. Today, it is one of just three blimp bases in the country. When the blimp is in town and not covering a ball game or special event, it takes off and lands about every 20 minutes for trips up and down the beach with passengers who won promotional tours at charity fundraisers. If you’re sunbathing on the beach or swimming in the ocean – just look up! You can check out take-off and landings of this massive blimp yourself at Goodyear’s free spectator stand. It’s just a five-minute drive from Cottages by the Ocean. Seeing the huge blimp up close is quite a sight! You can watch the 12-man ground crew on the tarmac as they grab ropes to hold the blimp down while passengers get on and off. In most places, seeing a blimp in this day and age is rare, so take advantage when in Pompano Beach.
The Barefoot Mailman Statue
On the middle of the drawbridge overlooking Pompano’s fishing fleet, historic Hillsboro Lighthouse and inlet, look up and you’ll see a peculiar bronze statue portraying a mailman running at top speed with his mailbag – and he is barefoot! In the late 1800s, the U.S. Mail route only went as far south as Palm Beach. Seeing a need for mail delivery, a father and son team took up carrying mail from Palm Beach to Miami, a route that was 68 miles long.
The route, known as the “Barefoot Mailman Route,” was challenging and dangerous, and the easiest way was to go barefoot along the shoreline. The mailmen would cross inlets along the barrier islands by rowboat, but barefoot mailman James “Ed” Hamilton found his boat missing at Pompano’s Hillsboro Inlet. It is thought that he tried to swim across the inlet, as his clothing and possessions were found on the banks of the inlet. He was never seen again and is presumed to have drowned in the strong current, or eaten by alligators trying to cross. The Barefoot Mailman Statue honors Hamilton and all the brave barefoot mailmen who took this dangerous route for a few years until the first railroad was completed in South Florida.
Phil’s Heavenly Pizza
If you’re looking for another uniquely Pompano experience, be sure to stop at Phil’s Heavenly Pizza. While it just may have the best pizza in town, Phil’s Heavenly Pizza bills itself as the world’s only church inside of a pizza parlor. The lovely outdoor entrance is like a “Garden of Eden” with little bistro tables and lush tropical and flowering plants. Inside the picture-perfect pizzeria are messages like “Praise the Lord” and “Jesus is Lord” adorning the edges of carry-out pizza boxes and banners over the menu on the wall. Phil typically holds non-denominational church services two days a week inside the pizzeria, and gives a free meal to anyone who attends. Always community minded, Phil has been doing this since 1994. His ministry offers services, Bible studies, spiritual boot camps, and more. Phil’s places a big emphasis on the community and is a Pompano Beach staple.
Charming Accommodations in Pompano Beach, Florida
After exploring Pompano Beach’s off the beaten path attractions, head back to your comfortable vacation rental from Beach Vacation Rentals. Our rentals are in a great location, with many attractions, restaurants, and shops within walking distance. Please visit our contact page or call 954-283-1111 today to start your booking.