Fort Lauderdale City Guide
About Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale is a city located on the Atlantic Coast in the US state of Florida. Fort Lauderdale consists of a series of islands connected by network of canals, rivers, bays and waterways and is often referred to as the ‘Venice of America’.
Vacations to Fort Lauderdale take you to a city equipped with 23 miles of shimmering sand beaches, which are surrounded by the crystalline waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The city has historically been a choice destination for spring break revelers who head here to ‘party’; in droves.
Fort Lauderdale offers a wide array of sporting facilities like golfing, boating, cycling, rollerblading, sun worshiping and scuba diving as the city is surrounded by one of the only living coral reefs in the United States that is accessible from the shore.
However besides these outdoor recreational activities, Fort Lauderdale also offers cultural attractions like museums, art galleries, the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, the Florida Grand Opera and an annual film festival, all of which render this city located on Florida’s gold coast as a choice vacation destination for visitors of all types, both young and old.
Where to stay in Fort Lauderdale
Most visitors who plan Fort Lauderdale vacations tend to stay at many hotels located in its main Las Olas neighborhoods. Tree lined Las Olas Boulevard, which is the ‘main drag’ of Fort Lauderdale, runs east from the ocean into the heart of downtown Fort Lauderdale and is equipped with beautiful, clothing and jewelry boutiques, restaurants, art galleries, spas and salons, bars and clubs and of course a huge assortment of hotels which include many of the luxury hotels in Fort Lauderdale.
Other prominent neighborhoods of Fort Lauderdale include areas like Lauderdale by the Sea, which is seaside town located on a barrier island just east of Fort Lauderdale, offers a selection of charming, well priced hotel rooms and a plethora of water sporting opportunities for enthusiasts on Fort Lauderdale vacations. Also popular is the Himmarshee Village area, which is the city’s historic district and the preferred point for artists and creative folks on vacations.
The Fort Lauderdale Beach area offers a golden sand beach front that is populated by the most prominent opulent luxury, spa and resort hotel properties of Fort Lauderdale. This might be the place to stay during Fort Lauderdale vacations if you want to wake up to some gorgeous sites.
Other visitors may choose the Hollywood neighborhood of Fort Lauderdale, which is located south of Fort Lauderdale, close to its airport and is known for the Hollywood Boardwalk which is a 2 mile strip that runs alongside the beach.
Places to see in Fort Lauderdale
International Swimming Hall of Fame
This institution commemorates famous American water sports luminaries like Johnny Weissmuller and Esther Williams. The building also offers sports-themed artwork, sculptures, exhibits, a library and an in-house theater.
IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame & Museum
This is yet another attraction that is devoted to another favored past time during Fort Lauderdale vacations: fishing. This museum extends over three floors and 60,000 square feet and offers 30 interactive kiosks that have displays of antique rods and replicas of 200 species of fish. The museum also has a full sized marina and wet lands area attached to it
Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale (MOAFL)
The Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale has a permanent collection of 6000 works from around the world though the museum also hosts ever changing temporary exhibits periodically.
Additionally, the museum also hosts several other cultural initiatives like the ‘Artist in Residence program’, ‘the Studio Arts Program’ and the performing arts program. It is also equipped with an auditorium for concerts, lectures and plays. It’s a must visit place during Fort Lauderdale vacations.
Jungle Queen Riverboat Cruise
The Jungle Queen Riverboat Cruise is a prime attraction in Fort Lauderdale. This triple tiered boat can accommodate 550 passengers and offers popular dinner cruises that depart from the Bahia Mar docks at 6pm every evening. The company that offers these cruises also offers daytime jaunts on the river, which offer great vistas of the flora and fauna of the region.
The 1913 Florida house, which is constructed out of Dade County pine, used to be the private residence of Frank Stranahan, one of the first to settlers of the Fort Lauderdale area who set up home among the Seminole Indians. His wife, Ivy Cromartie was the first teacher in the New River settlement. Over the years, this building has served as a trading post, town hall, restaurant, post office and bank and today the building has been restored to its early 20th century state and forms an important historical attraction in the city.
Museum of Discovery and Science
The Museum of Discovery and Science offers over 200 fascinating interactive exhibits like the largest living Atlantic Coral Reef in captivity, nine cockpit stimulators as well as the ‘Runways to Rockets’ space exhibit. The Museum is also equipped with an IMAX theater and is open all throughout the year including on major public holidays. Visit this during Fort Lauderdale vacations to have a nice time watching some of the best discoveries.
Best time to visit Fort Lauderdale
The peak tourist season for Fort Lauderdale vacations is between the months of January and April, when most vacationers choose to come to Florida’s gold coast to escape the harsh winters elsewhere. Temperatures during these months record average highs in the 70s and there is very little rainfall, though occasionally Florida does experience a cold snap which causes temperatures to fall all the way down to the 40s.
The summer months of May to September are considered to be ‘the off season months’ in Florida as the climate is usually hot and humid with daytime temperatures in the 80s and 90s but savvy holidaymakers often aver that this is the best season to get cheap hotel deals in Fort Lauderdale.
However, you should keep in mind that the official hurricane season for Fort Lauderdale is from June to November, with the largest number of named storms hitting this coastal community in the months of August and September. Ideally, you should avoid this time for Fort Lauderdale vacations.
Getting around in Fort Lauderdale
If you want to spend more time on the sand than on seats, it is best that you get to Fort Lauderdale through air. We, at Fare Buzz, offer some of the most exciting and cheap air flight deals through the year. Give our platform a try for cheap air tickets.
Once you have reached the place, moving around is easy. Fort Lauderdale is well served by a public transport system that consists of public buses, water taxis and the tri-rail commuter rail system. The Broward County transit operates 41 bus routes that provide transport links throughout Fort Lauderdale and its surrounding areas.
The tri-rail commuter rail, additionally, offers transport links to the Fort Lauderdale airport, major attractions and connections to the cities of Miami and Palm Beach. However, one of the best ways to enjoy Fort Lauderdale vacations is to travel aboard its water taxi system that makes use of its waterways to provide transport connections throughout the city.
You can also try car rentals for driving across the city on your own.
Where to shop in Fort Lauderdale
Need a touch of retail therapy during your visit to Fort Lauderdale? Fear not for this perennially, sunny, oceanfront paradise offers a good mix of high-brow and low-brow shopping options to suit all tastes and preferences. The city’s prime shopping districts include the wide Las Olas Boulevard and the riverfront Riverwalk enclave. Both these lively locales are littered with several style-forward boutiques, chic lifestyle stores and art galleries, along with al fresco cafes and top-notch restaurants, which offer shoppers a chance to pause and take a breath as they dispense with their dollars.
However if you have a penchant for shopping at all-inclusive malls, then its best that you head to city’s open-air Pompano Citi Center which hosts stores belonging to familiar names like Macy’s, Pier 1 imports, JC Penney amongst others. For a more upscale shopping experience, try the Galleria Mall home to upmarket names like Louis Vuitton, the Apple Store, Williams-Sonoma and Neiman Marcus and various dining options.
The Dania Antiques Row on Dania Beach, the famed Swap Shop Circus on Sunrise Boulevard, and the Festival Flea Market offer plentiful options for shoppers who enjoy looking for vintage or wallet-friendly ‘finds’. Outlet shopping aficionados will similarly be delighted with the numerous offerings of the Sawgrass Mills mall, Florida’s largest shopping destination, which hosts more than four hundred outlet stores of well-known brands along with several restaurants and coffee shops.
Where to eat in Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale offers stellar gastronomic adventures at its many excellent restaurants and cafes, offering a wide variety of cuisines. Casual dining, fine dining, farm to table experiences, Fort Lauderdale is equipped to cater to all sensibilities. For a true ‘taste of the city’ head to long established stalwarts, like Mai Kai Restaurant (Polynesian) and Buca di Beppo, (Italian), both popular restaurants that have long reigned on Fort Lauderdale’s culinary scene.
Explore newer options at equally well-regarded eateries like Market 17 Fresh Farm Restaurant and Bar, Corelli’s and La Dolce Vita (Italian fare), Le Patio (American), Sunfish grill, Bonefish grill, Sea (seafood), Steak 954 and Timpano Chophouse and Martini Bar (Steakhouses) and Tequila Sunrise Mexican Grill (Mexican).
Nightlife in Fort Lauderdale
Beachfront bars, dive bars, thumping night-clubs, cocktail lounges, live-music venues, Fort Lauderdale offers countless avenues for entertainment as night falls over the city. Current favorites on Fort Lauderdale’s constantly evolving nightlife scene, include hot spots like Original Fat Cat’s, 5 Points Tiki Lounge, McSorley’s Beach Pub, Pierre Top Lounge, Parrot Lounge, Seventh Street Wine Company, Christopher’s and Lulu’s Bait Shack.