Welcome to Fort Lauderdale!
Located just 23 miles north of Miami, the city of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is an ideal destination for a weekend getaway. From gondola rides on Venice-like series of canals to shopping on Las Olas Boulevard and walking along the beautiful promenade, there is no shortage of fun activities available in Fort Lauderdale. Whether you wish to explore the city’s lively art scene, take a high-speed airboat ride through the magnificent Everglades Holiday Park, or unwind with a cocktail at one of the beachfront bars, a visit to Fort Lauderdale is an experience unlike any other.
Visiting Fort Lauderdale as a worldwide local gives you easy access to some of the best attractions in the city without wasting time on overcrowded sites and tourist traps. This insider’s guide allows you to explore the city from a different perspective while helping you make the most out of your stay.
Find the Outdoors in the City
Hugh Taylor Birch State Park is a great spot to start your Fort Lauderdale travel itinerary. This 180-acre park is ideal for cycling along paved trails, canoeing in a freshwater lagoon, or enjoying an afternoon picnic. The park is also home to the fabulous Birch House Museum, where you can learn a bit more about the history of the park. Travelers who wish to catch an indie film can visit Cinema Paradiso, a remodeled church cinema in Fort Lauderdale.
Worldwide Local Tip: The best time for your trip is between December and April when the Fort Lauderdale weather is warm and there’s plenty of sunshine. This is the high season, so you can expect higher accommodation rates and larger crowds. We recommend packing plenty of sunscreen, some light clothing, and maybe a hat.
Fort Lauderdale Shopping
Stretching all the way from Las Olas Beach to downtown Fort Lauderdale, Las Olas Boulevard is the best place to go shopping in the city. Expect to find plenty of boutiques, waterside cafes, art galleries, and museums here, along with some of the nicest Fort Lauderdale hotels. If you are visiting with children, locals know all the best family-friendly attractions in Fort Lauderdale and can lead you to the magnificent Butterfly World, which is located just a short drive from the city. This park houses more than 20,000 colorful butterflies, and you can even feed lorikeets here.
Worldwide Local Tip: The best way to navigate around Fort Lauderdale is by car. Fortunately, there are many reliable car rental agencies with locations at the Fort Lauderdale airport, including Alamo, Enterprise, and Fox. The city is home to an extensive network of waterways. Using a water taxi to get around is another good option. Other than walking, you can use open-air sun trolleys, bicycles, or rickshaw-style Pedicabs as a way to explore Fort Lauderdale.
For the Adrenaline Junkie
Locals may tell you that no visit is complete without taking a high-speed airboat ride through the beautiful Everglades Holiday Park. From gator shows to bass fishing and alligator spotting, there is plenty to look forward to on your trip to the Everglades. For the best views of the Hillsboro and Pompano coastlines, visit the famous Hillsboro Lighthouse. This is a lesser-known attraction, but still well worth the visit. The lighthouse is only accessible via boat, but there are many boat tours available throughout the day.
Worldwide Local Tip: Don’t forget to visit the beautiful Fort Lauderdale beaches. Water sports enthusiasts will be happy to hear that the snorkeling here is fantastic! Expect to see a variety of marine life including tropical fish, sea turtles, and maybe even a lobster or two. An island-hopping excursion to the unspoiled islands of Cabbage Key and Cayo Costa is a fun and adventurous thing to do in Fort Lauderdale.
What to Eat and Drink
Las Olas Food Tours is one of the best ways to experience the local cuisine. This ultimate foodie adventure allows you to sample everything from chocolate truffles to short rib tater tots. Beer lovers can check out some of the best local breweries in the city, including Laser Wolf, 13 EVEN, Riverside Market, Tap 42, and Funky Buddha Brewery. For a good cup of coffee, and a chance to hang with the locals, visit the Expresso Coffee Co, where they serve flavored cappuccino and single-origin coffees.
Worldwide Local Tip: The incredible cuisine at the best Fort Lauderdale restaurants is all about seafood and Southern soul food. You’ll be certain to enjoy the many options found here. Just a few of the seafood options include lobster rolls, stone crab claws, or octopus salad. For some Southern specialties, tempt your taste buds with BBQ ribs or brisket. You can’t go wrong with either option, because the food here is excellent. For something sweet, order the Key Lime Pie, a famous Florida dessert.
Enjoy Your Stay!
Fort Lauderdale is an amazing city with plenty of activities and attractions to keep you entertained. To avoid tourist traps and see the city from a different angle, travel as a worldwide local. Then, you’ll gain access to the best sightseeing spots Fort Lauderdale has to offer!