With more than 300 miles of inland waterways winding through citrus groves and everglades, and an ever-changing panorama of lush tropical foliage, aquatic wildlife and luxurious yachts speckled throughout, it’s clear why Fort Lauderdale is known as the ‘Venice of America’. This US state in Florida is famous for its beckoning, its white sandy beaches and crystal clear water, arts, culture and events. There is so much on offer from this canal-laced holiday destination.
Once holding a reputation for wild student parties, today Fort Lauderdale is a leading tourist destination in the United States, offering some of the most beautiful beaches and interesting attractions in Florida. Encompassing about 36 square miles with an estimated population of 176,013, Fort Lauderdale is the eighth largest city in Florida. With almost year-round sunshine, rich natural beauty, ocean breezes and their world-famous beach, Fort Lauderdale is the perfect destination for recreation, relaxation and enjoyment.
Soak up the sun on Fort Lauderdale beach and work on your tan, or take a quiet stroll along the palm tree-fringed beachfront promenade. Take advantage of our cheap flights to Orlando, and enjoy a three-hour drive from the airport to Fort Lauderdale – the/an idyllic place to sit back and unwind. You may even choose to spend a night or two checking out things to do in Orlando before making your way to the sun, sea and relaxation that Fort Lauderdale has on offer. Choose from their six beautiful beaches – Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Dania Beach and Lauderdale-by-the-Sea – which are all Blue Wave Certified by the Clean Beaches Council, or hop between them all and put your feet up. The area is also home to five spa resorts, as well as a golf course, so you will never find yourself short on ways to relax.
If you are a little more adventurous and find yourself with itchy feet after a day or two of lying in the sun with a good book, there are plenty of water sports on offer. Kayak on the crystal waters, test your balancing skills with some paddle boarding, hire a sailboat, bump along the waves with a banana boat ride, jump on a water trampoline, or take a gondola down the Everglades. Make sure you also dive right into the beautiful waters, to experience their three-tiered living coral reef system and more than 76 artificial reefs that have made this one of Florida's most popular dive destinations. If snorkelling is a little more to your taste, you can swim a few hundred feet off shore to visit the reefs in places like Lauderdale-By-The-Sea. There is never a dull moment with so much on offer to keep you entertained. If you want to take some time out, there are also fishing trips on offer, which are extremely popular.
What’s a good holiday without a bit of retail therapy? If shopping is what you are after, then you can’t go passed Las Olas Boulevard. This popular thoroughfare runs from Andrews Avenue to Fort Lauderdale Beach. The waterfront entertainment centre is alive with an array of top-quality clothing, bridal and jewellery stores, so you can literally shop ‘til you drop. Shopping not your thing? The one-mile stretch is also rich with culture, dotted with art galleries, an art house movie theatre, and its own historic house. Your stomach also won’t go ignored with a variety of restaurants all vying for the attention of your taste buds. If you stay later into the evening the courtyards will be buzzing with live entertainment, bars and nightclubs, that will have you dancing until the early hours of the morning. With some 3,500 restaurants and more than 110 nightclubs, you can dine on a different cuisine at every meal.
If you are after some more family-friendly options, Fort Lauderdale caters to all. The Everglades Holiday Park will have your kids squealing in delight, featuring unforgettable airboat rides, where you will explore miles of the wetlands before journeying deep into the Everglades with an expert tour guide. Sit back and watch live alligator presentations with stunts, tricks and information to keep you all entertained. If this is sounding a little too full-on and adventurous for you and your little ones, why not check out the Museum of Discovery and Science. With some of the finest exhibits from around the nation, you can hang out with sharks and bats, test your pilot skills in cockpit simulators, and make a day of it at the Discovery Center, designed for young children.
There are plenty of other attractions that will keep you entertained, while also providing a little history and culture to your trip. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Bonnet House Museum and Gardens mixes art, architecture, history and ecology. And for a bit of fresh air, Hugh Taylor Birch State Park features two nature trails, picnic areas, the Birch House Museum, freshwater lagoons and canoe rental shops, providing a nice break.
Enjoy a change of scenery and check out the attractions in Miami, just a 30-minute bus ride away. Go shopping for bargains, sit down for a bite to eat while soaking up some rays, or check out the alluring beach culture. Socialise with locals and visitors, sunbathe, surf, or just relax. Miami makes for a great day trip, and flights in and out of Miami are also worth looking at, given its close proximity to Fort Lauderdale.
However you wish to travel – via Orlando, through Miami, or straight into Fort Lauderdale – there is something for everyone at this great holiday destination.