Lounging on sun-kissed beaches, cruising on its intracoastal waters, getting the adrenaline pumping on an airboat ride through the Everglades or strolling one of its many shopping and waterfront promenades are among the many ways to experience Fort Lauderdale.
With one of the busiest cruise ports in the world, the Greater Fort Lauderdale, Florida, area is a popular gateway to the beautiful Caribbean beaches to the south. Whether you have a few hours before it’s time to board a cruise at Port Everglades or want to tack on a couple of days at the beginning or end of your trip, Fort Lauderdale has plenty to offer.
The Greater Fort Lauderdale area stretches from Hallandale Beach and Hollywood in the south north through Fort Lauderdale to Hillsboro Beach. There are beaches along the Atlantic or a short drive west reveals the eastern reaches of the Everglades. In between, there are museums, shopping, dining and plenty of nightlife to occupy every traveler’s taste.
Fort Lauderdale once was known as a popular spring break destination, and while some of those party scenes still exist in certain nightspots, today’s community is more family friendly. Find a spot on the more than 20 miles of beaches, or consider one of these top activities in Fort Lauderdale.
Opportunities to get on the water abound in Fort Lauderdale. Get high above the Atlantic on a parasail or deep below diving around the Tenneco Towers artificial reef made of a former oil platform. Rent a kayak at The Whiskey Creek Hideout in John U. Lloyd Beach State Park. The creek is close to the beach, but the trees that line both sides keep wind to a minimum for rookie kayakers. And for those adrenaline junkies, Flyboard South Florida at Pompano Beach will teach anyone how to fly above the water.
Stroll Las Olas Boulevard
Las Olas Boulevard features dozens of shops and boutiques for anyone looking for a fun shopping spree or just a little window shopping. This stretch features sidewalk cafes to enjoy a drink and people watch, not to mention scores of restaurants, museums and art galleries, too, making Las Olas Boulevard a spot to enjoy for a few hours or all day.
Walks With a View
Beyond Las Olas Boulevard, Greater Fort Lauderdale features other fantastic spots for a walk or run. In the heart of Downtown Fort Lauderdale is the Riverwalk that follows the New River from Stranahan House to the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. This walk connects dining and shopping to some of the hot spots of Downtown. For those seeking the sound of the surf, the Fort Lauderdale Beach Promenade and Hollywood Beach Broadwalk are separate but equally impressive paved stretches of beachfront space for walking, running or biking, not to mention shopping and dining.
Experience the Everglades
In western Broward County sits Sawgrass Recreation Park on the edge of Everglades National Park. Visitors can enjoy airboat excursions in the river of grass during the day or night. Make sure you wear the provided earplugs and hold on tight; this ride glides through the park in search of alligators asleep by day and eyes aglow at night.
Dining in Fort Lauderdale
From playful beachfront spots to white tablecloth establishments, the Fort Lauderdale dining scene has a bit of everything to match all tastes.
15th Street Fisheries
This Downtown Fort Lauderdale spot presents fresh seafood with a waterfront experience along the Lauderdale Marina. The restaurant is situated inside the marina near the 17th Street bridge and Port Everglades. 15th Street Fisheries consistently is named one of the top seafood and waterfront restaurants in South Florida.
Southport Raw Bar
Sometimes, the tucked-away restaurants are some of the better spots. Southport Raw Bar is a dockside restaurant that’s tucked away off a side street off 17th Street. Walking in the front door the restaurant seems like any other dozens of seafood spots along the coast. But walk out to the back where you can enjoy a beer overlooking the water while you wait for a table where you’ll enjoy oysters and the gentle breeze.
This Fort Lauderdale restaurant has five locations that provide its unique Florida casual vibe and food. Each location settles into its neighborhood, which is partially what makes the Dania Beach location a winner. Situated on the Dania Beach Pier, Quarterdeck is unique for its views with most seats situated above the water.
Cap’s Place is a national landmark of sorts with roots in the 1920s as a casino and speakeasy. The restaurant has served every sort of celebrity, from Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill during a secret World War II meeting, to Joe DiMaggio, Jack Dempsey, Bill Clinton, Johnny Carson and Walt Disney. Celebrities, tourists and locals alike all come to Cap’s for the amazing seafood dishes, hearts of palm salad and steaks.
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