Fort Lauderdale’s nickname – the Venice of America – highlights one of its key assets: a waterfront location and intricate canal system. Twenty-three miles of beaches, a scenic Intracoastal Waterway and the famous Everglades offer spots to swim, snorkel, scuba dive, boat and see nature.
The city caters to a sophisticated clientele, including yacht owners and cruisegoers. However, visitors will find a range of hotel types – from budget-friendly spots to swanky resorts – and activities for every age group.
Fort Lauderdale offers water sports, upscale hotels and plenty of oceanfront restaurants. Plus, the laid-back atmosphere makes it a family-friendly destination.
A trip to Fort Lauderdale would be incomplete without a stop in the Everglades. The area houses alligators, iguanas, fish and other creatures, and delivers a glimpse into Florida’s exotic wildlife.
Plus, the city is home to one of the most active cruise ports, Port Everglades. This port serves more than three million passengers a year. The ever-growing calendar for ships ranges from single-day cruises to transatlantic trips.
When to Go
Visitors come to Fort Lauderdale year-round, but winter and early spring are the most popular times, as folks escape the chilly weather of the north. Tourism hits its annual high in March to early April, so hotel rates are highest during that time. Avoid crowds and save money by coming in the summer. Humidity reaches its peak, but the hot temperatures make a dip in the ocean even more exhilarating.
How to Get There
More than 30 airlines serve Fort Lauderdale International Airport, located less than 15 minutes from the downtown area. Plenty of taxis depart from the airport, but renting a car is the best bet to get around the city.
Things to Do
Las Olas Boulevard: A main shopping and dining strip, this street is a must-see for visitors. Some tour companies offer Venice-inspired gondola rides on Las Olas’ New River or other area waterways.
John U. Lloyd State Park: This is one of the best places to snorkel, swim or simply sunbathe. Whiskey Creek, a manatee sanctuary, also runs through the park and is an option for kayaking or canoeing.
Lauderdale-by-the-Sea: In the waters of this small town, a natural coral reef is close enough for snorkeling or diving.
Seminole Hard Rock Casino: Nightclubs, restaurants and South Florida’s largest casino make this a hot spot in the Fort Lauderdale area. It is home to Hard Rock Live, an entertainment venue for concerts, musicals and other events.
The Everglades: Several companies sell tours of the wetlands – from wildlife drives to boat rides and nature walks.