We want your entire stay in Fort Lauderdale to be just as fun as our tour, so we put together a little guide to share our favorite spots and activities in the area. (A local? You might find something new to check out too.)
Where to eat
Fort Lauderdale has no shortage of dining options. In fact, the problem might be having too many choices! To help you narrow down the options, these are a few favorites that we can’t get enough of:
Mexican Soul Food served in a festive Mexcal & Tequila Bar. Everything is made from scratch (including the fresh tortillas), and the ingredients are carefully selected from local, sustainable farmers, fisherman, and ranchers. But most importantly, the food is downright craveable.
SAMPLINGS FROM THE MENU:
- Mexican Street Corn—with lime aioli, chipotle, cilantro and Cotija cheese
- Smoked Brisket Nachos
- Pork Belly Tacos—with ancho chili and pineapple salsa
- Achiote Chicken Enchiladas
Authentic Italian dining. Chef Louie Bossi and Chef Lisabet Summa will immerse you in the experience and flavors of Italy. And, of course, there is an impressive wine menu. If you are gathering for a special occasion, they can help you create a memorable private event.
SAMPLINGS FROM THE MENU:
- Sicilian Olives & Provolone
- Calamari A La Plancha
- Scottadito-grilled lamb chops, chili oil, aioli
- Gemelli Basilico-Italian sausage, peppers, San Marzano sauce
Boathouse at the Riverside
Dining on the water and watching the boats float down the New River while being fed culinary delights from celebrity Chef Toby Joseph. On Sunday’s they host brunch with unlimited Bloody Mary’s and Mimosas.
SAMPLINGS FROM THE MENU:
- Candy Bacon BLT Sliders
- Surf and Turf Skewers
- Grilled Bavette Steak & Duck Potatoes
- Roasted Mahi with Quinoa & Summer Vegetables
What to do
Filling up your itinerary isn’t hard to do here in Fort Lauderdale—here are few inspirations that we think are deserving of any list:
Go to the Beach
Beaches, like humans, have personalities. While all the beaches in the area are worthy of visiting, we picked a few for you to match up how you would like to spend your day on the beach.
BEST FOR SNORKELING—Lauderdale-By-The-Sea
- A beautiful, relaxing beach with a great pier to walk out on
- A reef within swimming distance of the beach makes it a gem for snorkelers
- Shipwreck Snorkel Trail—an artificial reef with artifacts and abundant sea life
- Fishing poles can be rented for those who prefer to stay dry
BEST FOR PEOPLE WATCHING—Fort Lauderdale Beach
- Bustling beach in the center of the activity
- The beach is defined with the famous beachfront promenade and wavewall
- Beach chairs, umbrellas, and cabanas available for rent
- Shops, restaurants, patio cafés, and boutiques nearby
BEST FOR ALL AROUND DAY AT THE BEACH—Hollywood Beach
- Wide, sandy beaches dotted with tall palm trees
- 2.5-mile boardwalk to stroll or bike along
- A great beach to enjoy the sand, surf, and sun
- Plenty of excellent restaurants and bars around, or pack a picnic
Explore Las Olas Boulevard
Wander around the heart and soul of Fort Lauderdale, Las Olas Boulevard. One-of-a-kind shops, spas, bars, bistros, galleries, museums and historic buildings run along the lushly landscaped waterfront-boulevard making it a must-do Fort Lauderdale stop. There is almost always something on the event calendar or you can sign up for sampling tours if you want to taste a bit of it all. It’s easy to access from car, Sun Trolley, Water Taxi, or Bike.
Go to the Galleries
Fort Lauderdale is home to 10 world-class art galleries. One of the favorite galleries is the National Geographic Gallery featuring stunning, large-scale photography. Or, discover Las Olas Fine Arts. They’ve been showcasing award-winning international artists since 1923. MAC Fine Art has not only the largest exhibition space in South Florida but consistently displays works from big names in the art world. Or, for something more local, the Wyland Galleries, located in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, is an inspiring experience.
Play in the Water
With access to both the Atlantic Ocean and the New River, there are plenty of ways to get in and on the water. Adding in a day for play can level-up your vacation. Whether you want to zoom across the water or glide with the turtles and manatees by the mangroves, there are rentals available to make it happen. Maybe one of these activities piques your curiosity:
- Hobie sailing
Book a Boat Tour
Wait…you just did that!
We know. But Lagerhead Cycleboats isn’t the only fun boat tour available. And we see no reason not to enjoy another on-the-water tour while in the area. (We might be biased, but we think it is one of the best ways to see Fort Lauderdale—it is the Venice of Florida after all.) Here are two completely different boat tour experiences you might want to check out as well:
Wild Lime Adventures
Wild Lime tours are all about becoming immersed in the local culture, tasting the local flavors, and experiencing the local wildlife. They offer many different tours, one of the most popular is a full-day airboat tour exploring the Everglades and 10000 Islands.
Riverfront Gondola Tours
If you are looking for something more romantic than alligators, a 90-minute tour on an adorable Gondola boat with just your date or a small group of friends could be perfect. There are several tour options to choose from that will take you on sightseeing tours of the waterfront homes and yachts, relaxing sunset tours, or glide you down the canals at night to see the city all lit up.
Where to stay
Pelican Grand Beach Resort
Stunning oceanfront views from the resorts wide, Old-Florida style porch sets the scene. The private beach, pools, and lazy river give plenty of opportunities to enjoy the water. Paddleboards are available and boat rentals can be arranged through the front desk. For dining the resort has three remarkable choices, or you could choose to have dinner served to you while you draw circles in the sand with your toes.
B Ocean Resort
This is an iconic (but updated) resort that has played host to American icons throughout the decades. The resort has beautiful ocean view rooms and suites. Between the private beach with guest-only lounges and two pools, there are plenty of places to relax. The Salty Siren, Naked Crab, and Wreck Bar make sure good food and drinks are available on site.
Blue Seas Courtyard
If you are looking to stay in a place loaded with charm and character, the colorful terracotta buildings and courtyards of Blue Seas Courtyard is worth checking out. The bright and warm beachside resort is inspired by San Miguel Mexico and is delightfully decorated and painted. Every room has full kitchen amenities and comes with beach towels, chairs, and umbrellas. It has a homey feel with no upcharges for Wi-Fi or parking.
Fort Lauderdale has some of the best Airbnb options—from cute beachy cottages to sprawling beach houses. Many come with bikes or kayaks for use. Laundry for the salt and sand might be handy too. If you like being in the kitchen, an Airbnb can give you the chance to toss together a fresh-catch dinner all your own.
Where to party
Waterfront beach bars aren’t too hard to find around here, and we will show you a few of our favorites when you come for your tour with us. Here are a few more we can recommend:
- McSorley-beach bar meets Irish Pub idyllically located in Fort Lauderdale Beach
- Bamboo Beach Tiki Bar-sandy beachfront bar with good drinks and tapas
- Lulu’s Baitshack-Cajun cuisine, raw bar, and drinks served in carved coconuts
Nightlife heats up on Las Olas Boulevard with so many options scattered along the waterfront. Here are a couple of spots we suggest checking out:
- Big City Tavern-try their Craft Cocktail Sampler—4 house made infusions and cocktails
- American Social-sports bar serving American Comfort food and 40 craft beers on draft
- The Balcony– a open-air rooftop bar featuring small plates, craft cocktails, and live music
How to get around
We’ll be honest, driving around Fort Lauderdale can be challenging. When planning your visit, we suggest adding alternative transportation options.
If your hotel or Airbnb doesn’t include bikes, Broward County has an easy-to-use bike rental program, BCycle. Bike stations are located all over the city, it’s easy to grab a guest pass, and the bikes can be left at any kiosk when done—no need for a round-trip.
Fort Lauderdale has a charming red and yellow trolley system that will get you almost anywhere you’d want. It’s super affordable too. All routes are free except for the Beach and Las Olas Link. But those only cost $1.00. Plus, there is no schedule or stops to figure out; they work like taxi’s. You wave one down, and they stop. When you are ready to hop off, just let the driver know.
When you do want to get in a car, Fort Lauderdale is easy to get about using any of the major ride-sharing services or taxies. Some of the bars will even give you a free drink if you arrived using one.
Have fun! can’t wait to see you!