Fort Lauderdale Florida is a popular vacation destination for travelers looking for sun, fun, beautiful beaches, and water activities. There are plenty of activities to choose from, including boat cruises, snorkeling, scuba, party boat tours along the intercoastal waterway, and more. The choices can be overwhelming! We’ve narrowed it down to our picks for the nine best Fort Lauderdale water activities.
1) Fort Lauderdale Water Activities On The City’s Canals
There are over 300 miles of canals in Florida, with 165 miles of those canals winding through the heart of Fort Lauderdale. Visitors can explore this lively city from the water with the purchase of a Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi ticket.
The Fort Lauderdale water taxi trip is about three hours long for guests who want to sit back and enjoy the ride without getting off at one of the ten stops. However, it’s even more fun when you get off at one of the water taxi stops to site see, shop, have something to eat, and enjoy a cocktail!
Be sure to stop at one of Fort Lauderdale’s most popular areas, Los Olas Boulevard. This colorful area has over 120 boutique shops, art galleries, museums, salons, restaurants, and bars.
2) Pirate Cruise Fort Lauderdale
Take a swashbuckling cruise on Ft. Lauderdale’s Intracoastal Waterway. Pirate cruises are a fun activity for everyone in the family. Kids will never get bored as there is never a dull moment!
Fort Lauderdale’s pirate tours are interactive entertainment where kids dress in costumes, get temporary tattoos, and battle other pirates. Meanwhile, adults listen as the captain provides stories about the area and points out the mega yachts and mansions.
3) Underwater Adventures Fort Lauderdale By The Sea
In South Florida, it is possible to see marine life underwater without taking a scuba boat tour. Fort Lauderdale By The Sea is one of the top diving destinations in the United States for shore dives. The Anglin’s Pier coral reef is approximately 400 feet from shore, making this a great spot for scuba diving.
Another popular dive site is the wreck of the Ancient Mariner, just off Deerfield Beach. The ship was originally launched in 1934 as a Coast Guard cutter and changed ownership several times until, eventually, the South Florida Divers Club of Hollywood purchased the vessel and repurposed it as an artificial reef.
For deeper dives, hire an experienced outfitter like Sea Experience in the greater Fort Lauderdale area who knows the best places to go and has lots of local experience navigating these waters.
4) Everglades Airboat Ride Fort Lauderdale
There are over 1.5 million acres of protected area in the Everglades National Park, home to 39 endangered or threatened species. Staying in the Fort Lauderdale area gives you a perfect opportunity to visit the Everglades and see this vast wilderness. You can explore the park with a naturalist guide or head out on your own with a kayak or canoe.
Endangered mammals here include the West Indian manatee, Florida panther, and the Florida bonneted bat. Threatened or endangered sea turtles include the Kemp’s ridley, Hawksbill, Leatherback, and Green Sea Turtle. Kayak and canoe rentals are available at the park, or you can bring your own. If you have not been to the Everglades before then, consider taking a guided tour first to get the lay of the land.
For a fast-paced tour that is especially great for kids, there are airboat rides that can take guests through the park, sometimes reaching speeds of up to 40 miles an hour. Experienced guides will point out the alligators along the way.
5) Snorkeling In The Beautiful Coral Reefs
You don’t need to be a scuba diver to enjoy the amazing marine life of the Atlantic Ocean. There are excellent snorkeling sites in the Fort Lauderdale area.
From the beach at Lauderdale By The Sea, just south of Anglin’s Pier, snorkelers can swim past the buoy and into the beautiful coral reefs. The Marine Archaeological Council built the popular underwater trail here called the Shipwreck Snorkel Trail. The trail includes concrete cannons, an anchor, and a ballast pile surrounded by brilliant tropical fish. The water in the first reef line averages 10 to 12 feet.
The Vista Park Reef is another great snorkel site. Vista Park is 10 minutes from Anglins Pier by car. The reef is directly in front of the park. The water depth here is anywhere from eight feet to 20 feet.
6) Paddle Board Water Activities In Fort Lauderdale
One of the best activities in Fort Lauderdale is stand-up paddle boarding (SUP). From SUP beginners to highly experienced paddlers, there are plenty of excellent areas in Fort Lauderdale to get out on the water.
The canals are good for beginners to work on their SUP skills and explore the mega yachts and mansions of the Las Olas Isles. You’ll need to bring your own SUP or rent one in the area, as rentals aren’t available on the canals.
Ocean paddling is another great experience, and there are plenty of opportunities at Fort Lauderdale beach. The area is surrounded by SUP rentals so you don’t need to bring your own. However, ocean paddling can be a bit more challenging and not a good option for beginners.
7) Activities In Fort Lauderdale On Jet Skis
If you are looking for high-speed water activities and a thrilling adventure, then jet skiing is perfect for you. There are more than a dozen jet ski rentals available in the Fort Lauderdale area.
Rent a jet ski to take out on the canals and waterways, or head out to the ocean for a thrilling adventure. Rentals are available by the hour, so visitors can take them out on their own.
A jet ski tour is another excellent way to tour the area with other like-minded, adventurous travelers. Each person on tour gets to ride their own personal watercraft with a knowledgeable guide at the front of the pack leading the way.
8) Fort Lauderdale Sunset Boat Trips
Have a truly remarkable experience on a Fort Lauderdale cruise as the sun sets. Boat tours are available on the canals, the intercoastal waterway, and the ocean. If you are in town for a birthday party, friend gathering, or family reunion, then a sunset tour is a great way to get the party started.
While the crowds are gathering on the Fort Lauderdale beaches, you will be enjoying the best view from a spot on the water. Sunset cruises can be on a private boat for a romantic time with your special someone, a booze cruise with your friends and family, or a scheduled group tour.
For a truly one-of-a-kind experience, take a cycleboat sunset cruise with Lagerhead Cycleboats. Lagerhead boats offer pedaling stations where guests can pedal the boat like they would a bicycle. Participants can bring their own drinks on board, including alcoholic beverages, and pedaling is optional as there is an onboard engine that can take over.
9) Water Activities In Fort Lauderdale With A Local Guide
Spend the day on the water with Lagerhead Cycleboats and go sightseeing with our fun tour company. Share a few laughs with your friends and family on one of our private cycleboat tours. You can pedal the boat as much or as little as you want, as we have a gas-powered engine on board to help with the work.
We offer private and public booze cruises on our cycleboat. Bring your own beverages and get ready for party time. You’ll find that most people start the cruise pedaling the boat, but after a few beverages, they let the boat’s motor take over.
If you are in town for a bachelorette party, then we have the perfect event for your small group. We are the Original Fort Lauderdale Bachelorette Party Cruise! Your private party can head out for a half-day or a full day of fun. Our party cruises typically ride around the inter-coastal waterway looking for dolphins, followed by time on the sand bars or a private island. Bring your choice of adult beverages and food, and we’ll take care of the rest.
If you are ready to have the time of your life on a private or a public cycleboat cruise, then call us or go online today. We look forward to meeting you! Book your next party boat cruise today!