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What Makes Fort Lauderdale Stand Out?

Lake view with boats and buildings

Fort Lauderdale stands as a beloved haven for vacationers across America, drawing crowds with its stunning scenery and abundant offerings. While sun-soaked beaches beckon many, this vibrant city boasts a trove of attractions catering to every traveler’s whim. Join us as we explore the cream of the crop among Fort Lauderdale’s tourist hotspots, accompanied by handy tips to elevate your next getaway to this coastal paradise.

2 - A woman on a boat, snapping photos of swans

Fort Lauderdale’s Top Tourist Attractions

Once famed solely for its spring break revelries, Fort Lauderdale has evolved beyond its party scene, now emerging as a versatile vacation spot catering to all ages. Be it basking in the sun, immersing in nature, indulging in retail therapy, or dancing the night away, Fort Lauderdale promises an experience tailored to your desires.

Fort Lauderdale Beaches

When it comes to Fort Lauderdale’s must-visit spots, its beaches steal the show. Drawing over 13 million visitors annually, these stunning coastal stretches captivate tourists from all walks of life. With seven miles of pristine shoreline adorned by a charming pedestrian pathway and framed by gleaming luxury condos, the beach scene here is unparalleled.

Amidst the myriad options for a sun-soaked day, Fort Lauderdale Beach Park stands out as our top pick. Nestled conveniently near the bustling shopping and entertainment hub of Las Olas Boulevard, this picturesque expanse promises ample parking and endless relaxation opportunities.

An orange flamingo in a lake

Flamingo Gardens and Wildlife Sanctuary

Don’t overlook Flamingo Gardens and Wildlife Sanctuary when visiting Fort Lauderdale. With 11 gardens boasting a plethora of tropical and subtropical flora, including thousands of orchids, it’s a botanical paradise. Additionally, the arboretum showcases Florida’s grandest trees.

For animal enthusiasts, the wildlife sanctuary is a must-see. From hand-feeding flamingos at the pond to spotting eagles, alligators, bobcats, and bears, there’s no shortage of wildlife encounters. Cap off your nature-filled day with a tour of the meticulously restored 1930s mansion for a glimpse into the city’s history.

Stunning beach with coconut tree

Fort Lauderdale’s Stunning Sights

Fort Lauderdale offers an array of captivating sights to explore, with must-see destinations dotting the city. Whether strolling on foot, cruising aboard a boat, or touring by bus, each sightseeing option promises an unforgettable experience, ensuring a fantastic time for all.

Fort Lauderdale Riverwalk

The Fort Lauderdale Riverwalk spans two-and-a-half scenic miles along the picturesque New River, passing by historic homes and modern condo towers. With 10 parks along the route, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Kids can play in playgrounds, while fitness enthusiasts can utilize outdoor gyms. Plus, hop on the Riverfront Water Trolley for a free ride along the Riverwalk. Treat yourself to the various cafes and restaurants dotting the trail, or opt for a Segway or e-bike tour for a different perspective on this vibrant city.

Bluefoot Pirates boat sailing on an adventure

Bluefoot Pirates Adventures

Embark on an Unforgettable Voyage with Bluefoot Pirate Adventures! As South Florida’s premier boating attraction, consistently earns rave reviews on Tripadvisor for thrilling experiences. The dedicated crew promises a swashbuckling adventure for all ages aboard the pirate ship, navigating Fort Lauderdale’s scenic Intracoastal Waterway. Experience action, excitement, and a sprinkle of magic every day. Don’t miss out – check the daily sail times, make your reservations early, and gather the whole crew for a memorable journey on the high seas. Secure your spot on the Ft. Lauderdale pirate cruise today!

Fort Lauderdale Private Sunset & Booze Cruise 

Experience the Majestic Sunset Sail with Bluefoot Pirate Private Sunset Cruise for an unforgettable adventure immersed in the beauty of nature. Tailored to synchronize seamlessly with Fort Lauderdale’s breathtaking sunsets, the voyages promise an enchanting escapade.

Indulge in the lap of luxury aboard the opulent cruise vessel, boasting panoramic views from all angles. With a range of seating choices both indoors and on deck, complemented by top-notch amenities, a guarantees a delightful journey for every guest.

Woman carrying many shopping bags

Shopping and Fun Things to Do in Fort Lauderdale

In Fort Lauderdale, you’ll find everything you need for an unforgettable vacation. From fantastic shopping and vibrant nightlife to mouthwatering dining experiences, the city has it all. Explore eclectic boutiques and upscale retail stores during the day, then indulge in delicious meals at casual eateries or upscale restaurants. When night falls, the fun continues with lively nightclub scenes, thrilling casino action, or captivating shows for an unforgettable evening.

Man inside a casino

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

No visit to Fort Lauderdale’s entertainment scene is complete without mentioning the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Renowned as one of the largest casinos in the US, its $1.5 billion renovation in 2019 elevated it to unparalleled heights. Impossible to overlook with its iconic tower resembling a colossal electric guitar, the casino offers much more than just gaming. Indulge in fine dining at steakhouses, savor diverse cuisines at various restaurants, or experience the classic Hard Rock Café vibe. Plus, immerse yourself in world-class entertainment at the 7,000-seat arena for a Vegas-style experience like no other.

Las Olas Boulevard

Las Olas Boulevard pulses with life at the heart of Fort Lauderdale’s entertainment hub. Hosting over 100 stores, cafes, and restaurants along its stretch between Tarpon Drive and SE 15th Avenue, this vibrant boulevard promises unique finds at every turn. Indulge in sidewalk bistros for a meal accompanied by prime people-watching, or opt for an alfresco dining affair beneath the enchanting glow of illuminated palm trees after a day of shopping.

Sawgrass Mills

To reach Sawgrass Mills from Fort Lauderdale, expect a drive of around 14 miles, but the journey is well worth it for avid shoppers. Boasting over 350 retail stores and boutiques, Sawgrass Mills stands as the largest outlet mall across America. It’s a haven for bargain hunters, offering designer goods sporting prestigious Italian and French labels, alongside numerous choices for those on tighter budgets. Notably, one of the busiest stores caters to travelers in need of extra luggage space for their journey back home.

Lady looking for interesting places in Ft. Lauderdale

Interesting Places in Ft. Lauderdale

For those who crave adventure beyond the ordinary vacation, Fort Lauderdale awaits. With its intricate canal network earning it the nickname “Venice of America,” alongside historic mansions, racetracks, and entertainment hubs, the city offers a nostalgic journey through time. After basking in the sun and surf, indulge in Fort Lauderdale’s hidden gems—unexpected delights await at every turn, ensuring an unforgettable experience.

Two beautiful butterflies

Butterfly World

Witness the beauty of butterflies at Butterfly World, where 20,000 of these captivating creatures await. Step into six screened aviaries teeming with butterflies and enchanting birds, some of which you can feed by hand. Wander through lush tropical gardens as butterflies flutter around you, and birds may even perch on your arm. Don’t miss this must-see attraction if you’re in Fort Lauderdale, especially if you’re with kids.

Broward Center for the Performing Arts

For an unforgettable entertainment experience in Fort Lauderdale, look no further than the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. With over 700 annual performances attracting over 600,000 patrons, it ranks among the top 10 theaters in America. From ballets and rock concerts to Broadway musicals, there’s something for everyone. Plus, don’t miss the chance to catch a performance by the Florida Grand Opera. Take a behind-the-scenes tour on the first Sunday of each month to get a glimpse of what performers experience. Afterward, unwind to the sound of soothing jazz outside the venue.

Gulfstream Park Racetrack

Just a quick 15-minute drive from Fort Lauderdale lies Hallandale Beach, a gateway to Gulfstream Park. Step into a bygone era as you explore this historic American racetrack, virtually unchanged since its establishment in 1939. Experience the thrill of top thoroughbred races every Sunday and Wednesday from December to September, all without spending a penny on admission. Arrive early to indulge in a $10 breakfast buffet as you witness the majestic horses gearing up for the day’s excitement.

A globe and some arts displayed in a museum

Museums in Fort Lauderdale

History enthusiasts visiting Fort Lauderdale frequently opt to explore the city’s museums over its beaches. From grand homes offering insights into horse-driven eras to museums showcasing technological marvels, there’s a plethora of discoveries awaiting. Dive into the vibrant history of Fort Lauderdale and celebrate its diverse community through these fascinating museum experiences.

Museum of Discovery and Science

Experience the wonders of nature and futuristic technology at Fort Lauderdale’s Museum of Discovery and Science! Discover real dinosaur fossils and a sprawling coral reef exhibit. Feel the intensity of a hurricane in the Storm Center and embark on an exciting airboat adventure. Don’t miss the IMAX theater for an immersive cinematic journey. Plus, kids will adore the two-story otter habitat and interactive Discovery Center, where learning meets fun!

Stranahan House Museum

Florida’s oldest standing residence stands as a captivating attraction, yet visiting on Sunday or Monday isn’t possible due to nearby construction. The Stranahan House Museum, constructed in 1901 and expanded over time, boasts wide verandas, bay windows, and breathtaking ocean vistas. Surprisingly, this remarkable abode once functioned as the region’s primary post office. Additionally, it has served as a town hall and restaurant before being meticulously restored to its original splendor.

Bonnet House Museum & Gardens

Experience Fort Lauderdale’s Pre-Development Charm at the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens. Step into 36 Acres of Pristine Beauty amidst Urbanization. Delight in the Architectural Marvels of the Main House, Adorned with Fine Furnishings and Artwork. Wander through the Stunning Formal Gardens with the Orchid Display House as the Highlight. Dive into Nature’s Bounty with Five Surrounding Ecosystems to Explore.

Restaurant by the beach

Best Restaurants in Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale boasts top-notch dining spots in South Florida, offering palate-pleasing options that won’t break the bank. From cozy cafes serving up savory sandwiches and rich coffee to seafood joints showcasing local flavors, and waterfront eateries with breathtaking views, the city has something to satisfy every taste bud without draining your wallet.

Edelweiss German Bakery & European Cafe

Looking for something different in Fort Lauderdale? Delve into the hidden gem that is the Edelweiss German Bakery & European Cafe. Indulge in authentic German and Eastern European flavors, from savory German sausages to delectable schnitzel and beyond. Enjoy breakfast until noon, with a lunch menu boasting soups, salads, and sandwiches. Don’t miss their freshly baked breads, cakes, and pastries straight from the oven!


Coconuts is a casual waterfront seafood eatery that serves up simple and delicious local cuisine. The atmosphere is relaxed and laid-back, and the food is fantastic. From the fresh seafood tower on their loaded bar to flame-broiled steaks to crab cake entrees, this restaurant will not disappoint. They also have signature creative cocktails, such as Save the Whales with Save the Whale Gin and fresh mint-containing Blackberry Mojitos. If you’re looking for a delicious seafood meal and cocktails in Fort Lauderdale, Coconuts is the perfect place to stop.

The Rusty Hook Tavern

Head just north of Ft. Lauderdale to Pompano Beach and discover The Rusty Hook Tavern, a beloved local gem renowned for its exceptional beer and wine selection. This cozy bar has become a hotspot for socializing, attracting both locals and visitors alike. Indulge in their daily fresh fish specials and hearty steaks with a touch of Mediterranean flair. Make sure to mark your calendar for Moroccan Tuesdays, where you can savor their tantalizing three-course Moroccan dinners, featuring the crowd-favorite tagine dish.

Shooters Waterfront Café

Indulge in mouthwatering seafood, steaks, and more at Shooters Waterfront Café while soaking in the scenic views of passing boats along the Intracoastal Waterway. Housed in a charming historic building, its outdoor patio boasts unmatched vistas of Fort Lauderdale’s stunning sunsets. With a full-service bar serving up tantalizing tropical cocktails, you can toast your meal in style. Don’t miss the chance to dine al fresco and catch glimpses of playful seagulls and majestic passing ships from the waterfront patio.

15th Street Fisheries

Since 1976, this upscale eatery nestled in the Lauderdale Marina has been serving up fresh seafood delights to locals. At 15th Street Fisheries, expect a diverse menu featuring local favorites like grouper, snapper, and mahi-mahi, alongside imported treasures such as South African lobster tail. With an extensive wine selection to complement your meal, dining upstairs offers a delightful experience with sweeping views of passing yachts and boats below. Whether it’s before or after a day at Fort Lauderdale’s beautiful beaches, this spot promises a memorable culinary journey.

The Best Way to See Fort Lauderdale

While Fort Lauderdale boasts breathtaking beaches, its offerings extend far beyond. Dive into a distinct perspective of this vacation hub with our exceptional boat tours. Elevate your events with our unparalleled cruising experiences.  Contact us today to book an adventure on our private charter options. We’ll bring your ocean dreams to life. Contact us today by phone at (954) 530-8302 or email us at