Fort Lauderdale’s 23 miles of beaches along the Atlantic Ocean have kept the city among the country’s top resort destinations for decades. Nearly every aspect of the place seems designed to keep you near sun, sand, and surf at all times. It’s been called the “Venice of America” for this water centrism; as in that Italian city, an intricate canal system crisscrosses Fort Lauderdale, buoying a thriving boating scene—100 area marinas accommodate some 42,000 pleasure crafts. You can hop onto a water taxi to reach cultural, historical, and retail destinations, as well as hundreds of restaurants and dozens of golf courses.
Fort Lauderdale by Day
- Hollywood Beach: Two and a half miles of white sand and a paved path run along the beach. Go for a scenic bike ride or settle in for some prime people-watching at one of the outdoor cafes.
- Riverboat tour: The popular Carrie B sightseeing cruise is a 90-minute guided tour along the Intracoastal Waterway to Port Everglades. Gawk at extravagant waterfront mansions and over-the-top yachts.
- International Swimming Hall of Fame celebrates the men and women who have excelled at the backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, and freestyle. Check out vintage swimwear, memorabilia, a 50-meter pool, and a 25-yard diving well with open swim hours.
- Everglades Holiday Park: Take an airboat ride, fish for large-mouth bass, or glide past gators.
Fort Lauderdale by Night
- The Elbo Room: A historic bar prominently featured in the 1960 spring-break movie Where the Boys Are, which helped make Fort Lauderdale a draw for college kids for years afterwards.
- Collee Hammock: Nowadays, the under-35 crowd heads to this neighborhood—especially the stretch of lively bars and restaurants along SW 2nd Street.
- Riverwalk Arts & Entertainment District: A bustling, hip area with theaters, museums, and restaurants along the New River. Enjoy an outdoor concert amid palm trees glittering with thousands of twinkling lights.
Where to Stay
- Spluge: The Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina hotel has its own 33-slip marina, poolside bar, and water-taxi service to city attractions and shopping.
- Relax: Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa features an 8,000-square-foot lagoon pool and a lavish spa onsite.
- *Save: Located just across the street from the beach, Days Inn Ft. Lauderdale/Bahia Cabana hotel boasts a large waterfront patio and restaurant.