With stunning beaches lining the Atlantic, Fort Lauderdale – situated just 23 miles north of Miami, Florida – has everything to offer in a truly stunning setting. Canals snake through the town and can be explored via gondola, and the coastline is distinguished by the winding white wave wall.
Visiting Fort Lauderdale means taking stepping into another world: one of luxury, with high-end hotels, designer boutiques and even tours that stop by Millionaire’s Row so you can see how the other half live.
For those looking to party, Fort Lauderdale has an eclectic mix of nightspots which cater to all tastes. The town is also home to the Riverwalk Arts and Entertainment District, an organisation that encompasses various cultural attractions situated between the beach and downtown Fort Lauderdale.
Getting the most from your experience in Fort Lauderdale means taking your trip a little bit further off the tourist track and finding those hidden gems. With plenty of local attractions to visit, it’s easy to do more than just see the beaches and the millionaires’ mansions. There is always something going on, and checking local events calendars before making your trip means you might be able to catch something a bit different while you’re there. A little bit of research will allow you to tailor your trip and turn it from a holiday into an experience.
Where to eat
As an area which is keen on keeping visitors fed and watered, Fort Lauderdale has something for everyone’s tastes. Whether you’re looking for fine-dining in a luxurious environment or something a bit more on budget and casual, there’s something for everyone. The town caters for those after a south-western fusion of food at Canyon, coal-fired pizzas at Anthony’s or even something a little more secretive at The Pillar’s Hotel. All over Fort Lauderdale there’s an abundance of eateries and being on the coastline means that the seafood served in restaurants is often locally-sourced or if you’re catering for yourself, you can buy fresh produce from the markets.
- Canyon, 1818 E. Sunrise Blvd, Central Fort Lauderdale
- Anthony’s, 2203 South Federal Highway, Nearby Port Everglades
- The Pillar’s Hotel, 111 N. Birch Road, East Fort Lauderdale
Where to shop
Fort Lauderdale has somewhere for everyone in terms of shopping. Whether you’re into designer goods from a traditional American shopping mall, looking for a bargain at an outlet mall or looking for something one of a kind at a flea market, there are plenty of spaces where you can spend your cash. For those who have chosen to holiday without a car, there are shopping tours, and many hotels provide shuttle buses. A stop worth getting off at on Fort Lauderdale’s Water Taxi system is Las Olas – a boulevard filled with boutiques, fashion houses and plenty of cafes and restaurants to rest your feet at between shops.
- Florida Swap Shop (Flea Market), 3291 West Sunrise Blvd, Central Fort Lauderdale
- Galleria Shopping Mall, 2414 East Sunrise Blvd, East Fort Lauderdale
- Sawgrass Mills (Outlet Mall), 12472-12680 West Sunrise Boulevard, Crossroads of West Sunrise Boulevard and Flamingo Road
Where to party
By just staying around the beach, you can go from sunbathing and relaxing straight to the bars along the front. There are several multi-level complexes in Fort Lauderdale, including Beach Place, which is home to shops, eateries, bars and clubs. River Front is home to another multi-level complex also with varying hotspots for those looking to party. For a more mature scene, the previously mentioned Las Olas is the perfect destination for a quieter evening with fine dining. An up and coming area of Fort Lauderdale is Young Hollywood, with a similar atmosphere to Las Olas, though for a slightly lower budget.
- Elbo Room, 241 Fort Lauderdale Boulevard, Situated on the beach front
- Las Olas, runs between Downtown Fort Lauderdale and the beach, East Fort Lauderdale
- Riverfront, downtown Fort Lauderdale
Where to go
Though Fort Lauderdale is known for its beautiful beaches, the stunning scenery does not stop there as the Hugh Taylor Birch State Park allows visitors to get closer to nature in a tranquil setting, hidden in the heart of Fort Lauderdale. There is also plenty for families to do to keep their children entertained – while the kids might not enjoy sitting quietly on a gondola, they’ll love a being a pirate for the day on an adventure across the high seas (getting back in time for tea, of course).
Tours are a great way to see all of Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding areas. A boat can take you through the swamps to spot alligators, the Duck Tour will transport you over land and through the waters without you needing to leave your seat and you can even take to the skies and see Fort Lauderdale via an aircraft. For those who want to take in the scenery in a true Florida way, Segway Tours are the way to go. Seeing how the other half live is a must when visiting Fort Lauderdale and whether you’re taking in the luxury scene yourself or just having a nosy at the size of the yachts that moor around the area.
Fort Lauderdale really does have something for everyone, so seeing it all is the key to a fantastic experience.