Set along Florida's southeastern coast, Fort Lauderdale is a sun-drenched sanctuary that’s hard not to love. With its golden shores alongside the Atlantic's gentle waves, the city is a vibrant mix of urban sophistication and tropical charm. The city's beaches are reminiscent of the Bahamas' idyllic landscapes, with sandy shores that could grace the cover of a postcard. As you explore Fort Lauderdale's dynamic blend of cultural hotspots and seaside tranquillity, you'll find a city where time seems to slow down amid the backdrop of azure waters and powdery sands.
Whether you’re taking a stroll through the bustling markets, navigating the picturesque canals, or indulging in the eclectic foodie scene, Fort Lauderdale, the vibrant pulse of the city promises a holiday filled with memories.
Fort Lauderdale Highlights
Fort Lauderdale has a lovely blend of sun-soaked beaches and a thriving recreational scene. Its beautiful beaches, complete with golden sands set next to the dreamy blues of the Atlantic create a serene escape that makes you feel like you’re away from it all. Dive into the turquoise depths, exploring the vibrant marine life and coral reefs, or indulge in water activities along the picturesque Intracoastal Waterway. The city's arts scene is rich and diverse, including a plethora of galleries and performances that add a touch of culture to your stay. As the sun sets, Fort Lauderdale comes alive with a lively nightlife scene, echoing the rhythmic beats of the city. Add to this a shopper’s paradise, and the city emerges as a destination that enjoys a harmonious fusion of beauty, adventure, and cultural vibrancy.
Fort Lauderdale's beaches are a sight to behold, with golden sands stretching along the Atlantic Ocean that go for miles. The gorgeous shores are great spots to bask in the sun, taking in the sound of the gentle waves as your soothing soundtrack. Whether it's Fort Lauderdale Beach or more secluded stretches like Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, each one has its own unique charm. Palm-lined coastlines, framed against a backdrop of clear waters make sunrise strolls to sunset sessions a truly special treat.
The city is a true aquatic playground, offering an array of exhilarating water activities, transforming the ocean into a dynamic adventure zone. From jet skiing along the Intracoastal Waterway to paddleboarding amid the serenity of the mangroves, the city caters to water enthusiasts of all kinds. Snorkelling and scuba diving unveil a vibrant underworld, where coral reefs teem with marine life just waiting to be discovered. Or, if you prefer to stay dry, you can charter a boat for deep-sea fishing or embark on a scenic yacht cruise along the coast.
Arts & Culture
Fort Lauderdale's arts and culture scene is a vibrant canvas, blending sophistication with creative flair. The city has a number of renowned galleries like the NSU Art Museum, as well as captivating performances at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. Art installations along the Riverwalk and cultural events give a glimpse into the city's commitment to creativity and are a great way to dive into the city culture. Historic sites, like the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, are an interesting look at Fort Lauderdale's past that history buffs will love.
As the sun dips below the horizon, Fort Lauderdale's nightlife takes centre stage. The city comes alive with a pulsating energy, from beachside bars to vibrant clubs along Las Olas Boulevard. Lively music resonates through the night as locals and visitors mingle, creating an electric atmosphere. If you love a good night out, you’ll find trendy lounges and waterfront venues that add a touch of glamour and sophistication. Whether sipping cocktails under the stars or dancing to the pumping beats of live music, the city’s nightlife is a great addition.
Fort Lauderdale is a true shopper's paradise, where eclectic boutiques and upscale retailers line the streets, creating a haven for those looking for a little retail therapy. Las Olas Boulevard stands as a premier shopping destination, with a blend of high-end boutiques, art galleries, and trendy shops. The Galleria at Fort Lauderdale is great for a sophisticated mall experience, and there are plenty of other hotspots to explore. From designer labels to locally crafted treasures, the city’s shopping districts allow you to enjoy a delightful exploration of fashion, art, and distinctive finds.
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Our Fort Lauderdale favourites
Las Olas Boulevard
Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale is a bustling street that’s known for its epic shopping. The iconic boulevard is filled with upscale boutiques, art galleries, and trendy shops, inviting you to indulge in a unique shopping spree. Beyond retail therapy, the boulevard also transforms into a culinary haven with lots of different dining experiences to enjoy, from chic cafés to fine dining restaurants. Sidewalk cafés create the perfect setting for people-watching and soaking in the vibrant atmosphere, and are a welcome treat after long days of hitting the shops. As the evening draws in, Las Olas Boulevard's nightlife really comes to life, with lively bars and entertainment venues where you can dance the night away.
The Intracoastal Waterway is a picturesque aquatic highway that weaves through the city, connecting stunning neighbourhoods with an intricate network of canals. Lined with luxury homes, yachts, and waterside restaurants, it’s a scenic backdrop for leisurely boat cruises and water activities. Mangrove-lined sections give serene glimpses into Florida's diverse ecosystems, and the bridges become vantage points for breathtaking views of passing boats and the city skyline.
Bonnet House Museum and Gardens
Located in the heart of Fort Lauderdale, the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens is a historic treasure that transports you to a bygone era. This estate, with its art-filled interiors and lush gardens, was home to artists Frederic and Evelyn Bartlett. Here, you’ll find a delightful blend of Caribbean plantation and Southern plantation architectural styles, giving you the chance to explore a unique artistic legacy. The gardens, with tropical and subtropical plantings, are a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Guided tours provide insight into the Bartletts' lives, and the estate often hosts fascinating cultural events.
NSU Art Museum
The NSU Art Museum is a true cultural gem, housing a fantastic collection that spans centuries and continents. The dynamic institution is a hub for visual arts, featuring contemporary, modern, and Latin American art. The museum's architectural brilliance is complemented by the diverse masterpieces within, creating an immersive experience for lovers of art. The museum regularly hosts a range of fascinating lectures, performances and films as well as free admission and all-day 2-for-1 happy hour on the first Thursday of every month.
Fort Lauderdale Beach
Fort Lauderdale Beach, often referred to as ‘The Strip’, is a sun-kissed haven that has an expansive coastline, complete with powdery sands and palm trees. As well as being a great spot for sunbathing, the beach also has a dynamic water sports scene, from parasailing to surfing. The lively Beachfront Promenade is lined with trendy cafés, shops, and thriving nightlife venues, giving it a fun and eclectic feel. Sunrise strolls reveal the ethereal beauty of the beach, while sunset paints the sky a gorgeous mix of pink and orange hues.
Hollywood Beach, just south of Fort Lauderdale, is a gem known for its laid-back charm and iconic Broadwalk. This scenic stretch of shoreline is known for its signature white sand, and is a favourite for beachgoers looking to unwind against the backdrop of the Atlantic. The lively Broadwalk, a brick-paved promenade, is lined with al fresco cafés, shops, and bike rentals, creating a vibrant atmosphere. With its historic bandshell regularly hosting live music, the beach is transformed into an entertainment hub that the whole family can enjoy.
Deerfield Beach, located north of the city, is a serene coastal spot. This charming beach, with its golden sands and swaying palm trees, has a more laid-back atmosphere. On the International Fishing Pier you can enjoy breathtaking ocean views and even engage in some angling adventures if the mood takes you. Family-friendly amenities, including picnic areas and playgrounds, make the beach a hit with everyone, and the inviting boardwalk and a range of waterfront dining options add to the leisurely ambience.
Pompano Beach is south of Deerfield Beach, and is known for its wide sandy shores and crystal-clear waters. The renovated beachfront has a great blend of modern amenities and natural beauty, and the iconic Pompano Beach Pier is a focal point, attracting anglers and giving epic panoramic views of the coastline. With a burgeoning arts scene, vibrant festivals, and a growing foodie landscape, Pompano Beach is a great spot to explore and unwind.
Lauderdale-by-the-Sea is a picturesque coastal village north of Fort Lauderdale with a distinct Old Florida charm. Renowned for its gorgeous beaches and colourful coral reefs, the intimate community is great for getting away from it all. Known for its exceptional shore diving and snorkelling opportunities, the town boasts a unique living coral reef just yards from the shore. With a relaxed pace, charming accommodations, and a commitment to preserving its natural beauty, this seaside gem is a favourite with both locals and visitors.
Dania Beach, set between Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood beaches, has a great mixture of pristine coastline and historic charm. Known for its laid-back atmosphere, it’s also home to the Dania Beach Pier, which is a local landmark, and has great views of the Atlantic. The vibrant Dania Beach Arts and Seafood Celebration gives a glimpse into the community's cultural richness, and antique shops and boutiques along Antique Row give the town a lovely nostalgic feel.
Shopping at Las Olas Boulevard
Las Olas Boulevard is a fashionista's paradise, with a curated blend of upscale boutiques and unique shops. Lined with palm trees, this iconic destination creates a sophisticated shopping experience against the backdrop of charming streets. Explore designer stores showcasing the latest trends as well as chic boutiques offering one-of-a-kind fashion finds. Indulge in some retail therapy while enjoying the charming ambience, before relaxing in trendy cafés and bistros scattered along this fashionable stretch.
The Galleria at Fort Lauderdale
This sophisticated mall has a great collection of designer boutiques, including Neiman Marcus and Macy's. Here, you can peruse a diverse range of fashion, accessories, and lifestyle brands in a modern and spacious environment. When you’ve shopped until you dropped, The Galleria has great dining options, from fine restaurants to casual eateries, so you can put your feet up and enjoy some great food while you watch the world go by.
Sawgrass Mills is the largest outlet and entertainment destination in the US, and promises an epic shopping adventure. Set in Sunrise, not far from Fort Lauderdale, this sprawling complex has over 350 stores, with an extensive array of fashion, home goods, and luxury brands. The outlet mall is a total haven for bargain hunters, with discounted prices from renowned designers. Beyond shopping, Sawgrass Mills also has lots of other things to do, including restaurants, a cinema, and even indoor attractions like the cool Florida Panthers IceDen.
Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop
Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop is a unique spot to explore, combining a flea market, drive-in movie theatre, and retail spectacle all in one. This expansive space has an eclectic mix of vendors selling everything from vintage finds to everyday items. Explore the outdoor flea market with its vibrant atmosphere and diverse merchandise, before heading to the indoor marketplace, featuring an array of shops and stalls. As dusk falls, the Swap Shop transforms into one of the largest drive-in movie theatres in the world, providing an old-school cinematic experience not to be missed.
Hugh Taylor Birch State Park
Nestled amidst the urban landscape of Fort Lauderdale, Hugh Taylor Birch State Park is an expansive natural retreat, with a lush oasis of greenery and outdoor activities to enjoy. Spanning 180 acres, the urban park has scenic trails winding through tropical hammocks and along the Intracoastal Waterway. Immerse yourself in the diverse ecosystems, spot wildlife, and enjoy the picturesque picnic areas along the way. The park's proximity to Fort Lauderdale Beach makes for a great day of coastal and nature exploration. Whether you’re kayaking on the water or exploring the nature trails, Hugh Taylor Birch State Park is a lovely spot that outdoorsy types will enjoy.
Everglades Holiday Park
If you love nature, heading off on an adventure to the Everglades is a must. Located just an hour's drive west of Fort Lauderdale, this expansive subtropical marshland is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. Airboat tours are a great way to navigate the sawgrass expanses and encounter resident alligators, manatees, and an array of bird species. Everglades Holiday Park, a popular entry point, has plenty of guided tours and wildlife shows. The journey from Fort Lauderdale to the Everglades is a seamless transition from urban to wild, promising an immersive encounter with one of Florida's most iconic and ecologically diverse landscapes.
Butterfly World, situated south of the city in Coconut Creek, is a magical haven where the enchanting world of butterflies comes to life. As the largest butterfly park globally, it features lush botanical gardens adorned with thousands of fluttering butterflies from around the globe. Stroll through vibrant butterfly habitats and witness the mesmerising life cycle at the Butterfly Metamorphosis Center, before exploring the picturesque outdoor gardens. The park also has a variety of exotic birds in its Aviary, making it an immersive and educational experience that will delight nature enthusiasts and animal lovers.
Secret Woods Nature Center
Secret Woods Nature Center is something of a hidden gem - it’s an urban oasis boasts a network of winding trails that meander through lush hardwood hammocks, creating a serene escape from the city noise. The Butterfly Island and scenic boardwalks enhance the experience, offering opportunities to spot local wildlife and appreciate the diverse flora. The nature centre also has educational programmes and interactive exhibits, making it an ideal destination for families and those seeking a peaceful retreat amidst South Florida's natural beauty.
Stone Crab Claws
Fort Lauderdale is renowned for its tasty treats,, and Stone Crab Claws take centre stage in the city's seafood scene. The delicious claws, harvested from the waters of Florida, are a local delicacy, celebrated for their sweet and succulent meat. Served chilled and accompanied by tangy mustard sauce, they embody the essence of coastal indulgence. Restaurants along the waterfront, such as Joe's Stone Crab and Billy's Stone Crab, have the claws as a seasonal delight, which is typically available from October to May.
Breakfast at the Floridian
The Floridian is a historic diner in Fort Lauderdale. Established in 1937, the iconic eatery exudes retro charm with its vibrant neon sign and checkerboard floors. The breakfast menu pays homage to classic American comfort food, featuring hearty favourites like fluffy pancakes, omelettes bursting with fresh ingredients, and crispy bacon. The Floridian's timeless ambience, complete with vinyl booths and friendly service, makes breakfast here an epic morning ritual.
This flavourful masterpiece reflects the fusion of Latin and Caribbean influences, featuring layers of roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, mustard, and sometimes salami, all nestled between pressed, soft Cuban bread. Local eateries like Old Fort Lauderdale Breakfast House (O-B House) skillfully craft this iconic sandwich, ensuring a symphony of savoury and tangy flavours with each bite, transporting you right to the heart of Havana with every tasty bite.
Bimini Bread at Gran Forno
Gran Forno, a beloved bakery in Fort Lauderdale, is celebrated by locals and visitors alike, and is known for its Bimini Bread. This sweet and savoury bread, inspired by the flavours of the Bahamas, is an iconic treat to try. At Gran Forno, expert bakers skillfully craft this specialty, infusing the dough with a yummy combination of tropical ingredients. The result is a loaf with a golden crust, moist interior, and a hint of sweetness that transports taste buds to island paradises. Whether enjoyed on its own or paired with spreads, Bimini Bread at Gran Forno is a delicious homage to the region's culinary diversity.
Seafood at Coconuts
Coconuts is an iconic waterfront gem in the city, and is a must for seafood lovers. Overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway,this much-loved restaurant creates a delectable ocean-to-table dining experience. The menu boasts an array of fresh catches, from succulent shrimp to flavour-filled fish tacos, expertly prepared to highlight the region's maritime bounty. Enjoy the daily catches, often sourced locally, in a relaxed and nautical-inspired vibe. The delicious food, paired with stunning waterfront views, creates a foodie’s haven where each dish tells a tale of the sea.
Fort Lauderdale FAQs
Fort Lauderdale FAQs
Fort Lauderdale FAQs
Fort Lauderdale has a tropical climate that benefits from warm temperatures throughout the year. On average, temperatures range from around 28°C during the warmer months to around 23°C in cooler months. December to April is usually considered the best time to visit - during this period, there are generally pleasant and dry weather conditions. It’s worth noting that Fort Lauderdale, like many coastal areas in Florida, is susceptible to hurricane activity. The hurricane season typically spans from May to October, and is characterised by higher humidity, frequent showers, and the occasional tropical storm. Another thing to note is that at certain times, such as Spring Break, tourist activity ramps up, so if you’re looking to avoid crowds, avoid this time when planning Fort Lauderdale twin-centre holidays.
Fort Lauderdale is in the Eastern Time Zone (ET), which is 5 hours behind the UK. For Florida multi-centre holidays, flights from the UK to Fort Lauderdale generally have departure times in the morning, and the flight duration from London to Fort Lauderdale is around 10 to 11 hours for non-stop flights.
Renting a car can be a handy addition for multi-centre holidays to Fort Lauderdale, although isn’t strictly necessary. If you’re looking to explore lots of different attractions and head further afield to explore other beaches and nearby towns, a car could be a good bet. The city's spread-out layout and numerous points of interest, including the Everglades and Miami, make it possible to explore more of what the Sunshine State has to offer. However, the city does have good public transport options, so for the most part, you can get by without a car just fine.
Absolutely! The city is a fantastic gateway for Fort Lauderdale multi-centre holidays. With its relatively close proximity to various other Florida cities like Miami or Orlando, you can easily combine your trip to see more of what the state has to offer. Alternatively, you can consider jetting off internationally - there are plenty of options via connecting flights to destinations like the Caribbean for your twin-centres.