Fort Lauderdale is known as the Venice of the United States because of the stunning white sand beaches, upscale shopping, and high-end dining experiences in Broward County. If you’re looking for ways to enjoy a relaxing weekend in Fort Lauderdale with friends, you’ve come to the right place!
Follow our list of ways to experience the best of South Florida for a weekend of fun in the sun. You’ll discover activities that help you explore the natural beauty of Fort Lauderdale, the best shopping locations, and so much more!
Take A Sightseeing Cruise On The Intracoastal Waterway
One of the best ways to unwind in Fort Lauderdale this weekend is to take a booze cruise with Lagerhead Cycleboats! We offer two different tour experiences, one on our private pontoon boat and another on our exciting public cycle boat. If you end up on one of our cycle boats, don’t worry, we also have a high-powered engine on board, so you don’t have to pedal your way around the waterway.
Bring along your drinks of choice, as this cruise experience is BYOB, but we stop at many bars along the way so you can restock the cooler with your favorites. Each boat is also equipped with Bluetooth-enabled sound systems so you can choose the vibe of the party. Whether you like to get down to country music for a lazy day on the water or you crank up with volume with heavy metal, we’re here to help you get the party started!
Seats fill up quickly on our public and private tours, so we urge you to schedule your tour in advance to ensure you don’t miss out on the fun!
The Best Fort Lauderdale Beach Experience
Fort Lauderdale Beach Park is one of the best ways to spend the day with your friends. Not only is Fort Lauderdale Beach less intense than some other beaches like Miami Beach, but there’s so much more to do here. Whether you want to spend a relaxing day lounging in the sand or ripping it up with your buddies on jetskis, there’s something for everyone at this chill beach in Fort Lauderdale.
Although you’re close to another popular location, Las Olas Beach, Fort Lauderdale Beach offers a variety of amenities that keep locals and visitors coming back for more! If you like to keep active with your friends, there are basketball and volleyball courts available to spark up a friendly competition and watersports rentals available to ramp up the adrenaline out on the water.
You can also cook up some grub at the available grills and picnic tables to enjoy a low-key meal with your friends without leaving the beach. After a long day of fun in the sun, feel free to use the freshwater showers to wash off the seawater and sand and use the available restrooms to take care of any other business before heading off to your next stop.
Enjoy A Weekend Of Shopping At Las Olas Boulevard
If you decide to explore Las Olas Beach, then you won’t be far from one of the best shopping destinations in Fort Lauderdale! Las Olas Boulevard is highly regarded as a major entertainment district connecting Downtown Fort Lauderdale to the pristine waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
There are so many shops, art galleries, and cozy boutiques to explore on Las Olas Blvd, so if you’re a shopping enthusiast, you can’t miss the experience of shopping on the magnificent Las Olas Boulevard. After you’ve swiped your credit card and loaded your arms up with designer bags, there is a seemingly endless array of outdoor dining options to grab a drink and something to eat with your friends.
Discover The Majestic Flamingo Gardens And Wildlife Sanctuary
For those who love to meander through botanical gardens and view wildlife, the Flamingo Gardens and Wildlife Sanctuary in Fort Lauderdale is a must-stop location on your weekend getaway with friends. There are over 60 acres to explore and countless experiences to be had.
Check out the calendar of events to discover what’s going on at the gardens during your weekend stay in Fort Lauderdale. There are changing exhibits throughout the year that include anything from ancient Dinosaurs to massive bugs and everything in between. Wander through art exhibits, photography, and historical displays in the gallery, or have lunch on the dock at the Flamingo Pond for a once-in-a-lifetime dining venture.
There are countless tropical plants to discover and wildlife exhibits to encounter. Some of the animals you might see include:
Hop On The Water Taxi For A Simplified Day Trip
Simplify your trip to Fort Lauderdale with friends by purchasing tickets to the infamous water taxi! This taxi doubles as a sightseeing cruise of Fort Lauderdale and allows you to jump on and off at 11 different spots throughout the city.
Stop at Las Olas Boulevard to grab a bite to eat or get some shopping done, hop off at your favorite beautiful beach for some time in the sun without losing your parking place at the hotel, or simply use the water taxi as a designated driver as you bar hop throughout Fort Lauderdale!
Discover The Rich History Of The Bonnet House Museum & Gardens
Once the home of artist Frederick Clay Bartlett, the Bonnet House Museum and Gardens is a popular stop on any trip to Fort Lauderdale. The stunning estate is still furnished with some of the original pieces, and you can wander through galleries of original art perfectly restored on the property.
The home is surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens for you to wander through, making this a great stop for a quiet destination to reflect on your weekend in Fort Lauderdale.
Take A Trip To Hallandale Beach
Hallandale Beach is a small town located in Greater Fort Lauderdale and is home to Gulfstream Park. This entertainment plaza is a well-known location with world-class horse racing and a massive casino open 365 days a year! If you and your friends like to take your chance betting on the races or trying to win at the slots, this is the place for you!
If gambling isn’t your thing, you can still enjoy a day at this Fort Lauderdale destination! The nearby Gulfstream Park Village is a wonderful place to go shopping, and there are tons of dining options, from upscale restaurants to simple eateries with family favorites. There’s also a bowling alley and karaoke on site for those who would rather avoid a loss at the casino.
Make The Most Of Your Day In Fort Lauderdale
If you want to avoid busy beaches and high-priced restaurants, we’ve got a tip for you! North Ocean Park in Hillsboro Beach is home to the magnificent Hillsboro Lighthouse, which makes this one of the prettiest beaches in the area without being bogged down by droves of tourists. Watch as the boats bob along the choppy water near the inlets, and rest under a swaying palm tree for a quiet beach day.
There’s also the vibrant Lauderdale-By-The-Sea Beach where you can find a colorful square full of chairs and umbrellas to lounge in, fresh seafood to chow down on, and a colorful coral reef just off the shore that’s perfect for a snorkeling adventure!
Once you’re done at the beach, you can wander the streets of Fort Lauderdale and find a food truck on nearly every corner! Some of the best food trucks to find a tasty meal include:
- Food in Motion
- Pop’s Food Bus
- Bruno’s Foodtruck LLC
- Las Carnitas Food Truck
Wind Down With Live Music
Every trip to Fort Lauderdale should include a trip to the bar with your friends where you can enjoy some live music. Every night of the week in Fort Lauderdale has music pouring from nearly every bar or club along the streets, so finding something you love won’t be difficult.
From country music to reggae, there’s a vibe for everyone in Fort Lauderdale. Check out the following bars and restaurants to find music during your trip to the area:
- The Deck on 13th
- Golden Lyon Vintage Pub
- Bo’s Pub
Fun In The Sun With Friends Is Best At Fort Lauderdale
How could you not want to spend a few days with your closest friends in Fort Lauderdale after that list of fun and exciting things to do here in town?
Hop on one of our boat tours and bring the booze for a day of relaxation and fun in the sun. Whether it’s on a public tour where you’re sure to meet new friends or on a private pontoon boat excursion, we guarantee good times on the water!
Head to our website to save your seat on your preferred tour of Fort Lauderdale.