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Things You Can Do In Fort Lauderdale Before Or After Your Cruise

A stunning view of a luxurious cruise ship

When your cruise departs from Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale, You can start your adventure with boat tours to explore the area. Known for its sun-drenched beaches and myriad activities for all ages, Greater Fort Lauderdale is a top-tier destination. It serves as the ideal starting point for your tropical vacation. Here’s a comprehensive guide to things you can do in Fort Lauderdale before or after your cruise to make the most of your time in this coastal paradise.

A young couple enjoying the beautiful attractions and sights of the area

Experience Fort Lauderdale Like a Local

Things You Can Do

Kick off your day by catching the breathtaking sunrise from one of Greater Fort Lauderdale’s eight picturesque beaches. Stretching over 24 miles, each beach offers unique activities such as fishing, volleyball, and various water sports. Be sure to visit the quaint Lauderdale-By-The-Sea for a taste of old Florida charm, or enjoy the weekend farmers market and live music at Las Olas Oceanside Park.

Discover Segway Tours

Explore Fort Lauderdale’s attractions with Segway Fort Lauderdale. With numerous routes available, there’s no better way to see local food spots, parks, and landmarks. Choose from the Yacht & Mansion tour, the Birch State Nature Park tour, or one of the two food tours. For a delightful outing, head to Hollywood for the Beach Boardwalk tour, where you’ll be treated to complimentary ice cream.

A couple with a lot of shopping bags from a boutique

Shopping Extravaganza

Shopping on Las Olas Boulevard

For shopping enthusiasts and people watchers, Las Olas Boulevard is a must-visit. This pedestrian-friendly strip is lined with unique shops, art galleries, and boutiques. Whether you’re searching for a new bathing suit for your cruise or a special souvenir to take home, Las Olas has it all. Enjoy the lively atmosphere and find something truly special.

Enjoy Free Events and Attractions

Greater Fort Lauderdale offers a wealth of free activities and events throughout the year. From parks and nature trails to live music and public art, there’s something for everyone. Dive into the local culture and check out some of the favorite free attractions to make the most of your visit.

A group of tourist looking directions from their map

Navigating the Area

Navigate Greater Fort Lauderdale effortlessly with the LauderdaleGO Micro Mover, a free eco-friendly shuttle service. With routes covering the beach, Las Olas Boulevard, and Downtown, getting around has never been easier. Use the “Ride Circuit” app for on-demand rides or take advantage of the dedicated beach route, complete with ample space for your beach gear.

Explore with B-Cycle

See the city up close with B-Cycle, Fort Lauderdale’s bike-share program. With stations from Pompano to Hollywood, B-Cycle offers a fun and healthy way to explore. A weekly membership provides unlimited free 30-minute trips, making it an affordable and enjoyable transportation option.

Take a Water Taxi

Experience the beauty of the Intracoastal Waterway on a boat tour. Purchase a Water Taxi day-pass for unlimited rides from 17th Street in the south to Oakland Park in the north, offering scenic views of waterfront mansions and yachts. Don’t miss the chance to stop at Las Olas and connect with the free Water Trolley to explore the Historic New River area.

A young tourist taking pictures of her variety of foods in the plates

Delicious Dining and Delectable Desserts

Savor Local Seafood

Indulge in local flavors at Coconuts, where fresh seafood, laid-back vibes, and waterfront views create the perfect setting for a memorable lunch. Their garlicky, buttery “Scoobies” crab claws are a must-try. For a dining experience to remember, visit 15th Street Fisheries. Where creative dishes made with local ingredients and a stunning seaside setting await.

Here, you can enjoy fresh seafood while overlooking the Lauderdale Marina and feeding the impressive tarpon in the surrounding waters. 

Treat Yourself to Sweets

If you’re craving something sweet, Hof’s House of Sweets on Las Olas Boulevard has an array of treats to satisfy any sweet tooth. From chocolate and ice cream to candy, you’ll find the perfect indulgence. Las Olas is also home to the famous Hollywood Donut Factory, where you can enjoy a wide variety of fresh, decadent donuts served all day.

Enjoy the diverse attractions and experiences that Greater Fort Lauderdale has to offer, from beautiful beaches and unique shopping to delicious dining and fun transportation options. There’s something for everyone in this vibrant coastal paradise.

Grandparents enjoying water activities with their grandchildren

Family-Friendly and Outdoor Adventures

Explore Nature at Tree Tops Park

For those who love the great outdoors, Tree Tops Park is a must-visit. With scenic trails, picnic areas, and opportunities for birdwatching, this park offers a peaceful escape into nature. Whether you’re hiking, biking, or simply enjoying the serene environment, Tree Tops Park is perfect for a day of relaxation and adventure.

Dive into Water Sports

Greater Fort Lauderdale is a haven for water sports enthusiasts. Rent a paddleboard or kayak and explore the crystal-clear waters, or try your hand at jet skiing and parasailing for an adrenaline rush. The area’s numerous rental shops and guided tours make it easy to dive into aquatic adventures.

Fishing Adventures

Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, the fishing opportunities in Fort Lauderdale are unparalleled. Join a deep-sea fishing charter for the chance to catch marlin, sailfish, and more. Alternatively, cast your line from one of the many fishing piers or the beach and enjoy a relaxing day by the water.

Visit the Museum of Discovery and Science

A perfect outing for families, the Museum of Discovery and Science offers interactive exhibits and educational displays that are both fun and informative. Kids will love exploring the various science exhibits, watching IMAX films, and participating in hands-on activities. It’s an ideal spot for a day of learning and excitement.

Explore Butterfly World

Take a trip to Butterfly World, the largest butterfly park in the world. Located in nearby Coconut Creek, this park features thousands of butterflies, exotic birds, and beautiful botanical gardens. It’s a magical experience for visitors of all ages and a great way to connect with nature.

Visit the NSU Art Museum

Immerse yourself in the local art scene by visiting the NSU Art Museum in Fort Lauderdale. With a diverse collection of contemporary and modern art, as well as rotating exhibitions, the museum offers a rich cultural experience. Don’t forget to check out the museum’s events and programs, which often include lectures, workshops, and special exhibitions.

Explore Historic Stranahan House Museum

Step back in time at the Historic Stranahan House Museum, Fort Lauderdale’s oldest surviving structure. This beautifully preserved house offers guided tours that provide insight into the city’s early history and the life of the Stranahan family. It’s a fascinating visit for history buffs and those interested in local heritage.

Tourists enjoy having a night out party


Experience the Nightlife on Himmarshee Street

When the sun sets, head to Himmarshee Street for Fort Lauderdale’s vibrant nightlife. This area is packed with trendy bars, clubs, and live music venues. Whether you’re in the mood for dancing, enjoying a cocktail, or listening to live bands, Himmarshee Street has something for everyone.

Enjoy a Show at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts

For a more cultured evening, catch a performance at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. With a lineup that includes Broadway shows, concerts, ballets, and more, this venue offers top-notch entertainment in a stunning setting. Check their schedule for upcoming performances and enjoy an unforgettable night out.


Greater Fort Lauderdale is a vibrant coastal paradise brimming with activities and experiences perfect for pre-cruise adventures. From the serene sunrise on its 24 miles of stunning beaches to the eclectic shopping on Las Olas Boulevard, there’s something to captivate every traveler. Explore the city’s unique attractions with a Segway tour, enjoy the scenic waterways on a Water Taxi, or indulge in delectable local seafood at iconic restaurants like Coconuts and 15th Street Fisheries. Families will find joy in visiting the Museum of Discovery and Science or the magical Butterfly World, while nature enthusiasts can hike and bike through Tree Tops Park. As the sun sets, the nightlife on Himmarshee Street and performances at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts promise unforgettable evenings. Make the most of your time in Fort Lauderdale and discover why it’s an ideal starting point for your tropical cruise vacation.


  1. What are the best beaches to visit in Fort Lauderdale before my cruise?
    • Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Las Olas Beach, and Pompano Beach are some of the top beaches, each offering unique activities like fishing, volleyball, and water sports.
  2. How can I get around Fort Lauderdale easily?
    • The LauderdaleGO Micro Mover is a free shuttle service that covers major routes, and B-Cycle offers a bike-share program. Additionally, the Water Taxi provides scenic boat rides along the Intracoastal Waterway.
  3. What family-friendly attractions are there in Fort Lauderdale?
    • The Museum of Discovery and Science, Butterfly World, and Tree Tops Park are excellent choices for families, offering interactive exhibits, nature trails, and opportunities to explore and learn.
  4. Where can I experience the local dining scene?
    • Coconuts and 15th Street Fisheries are popular for their fresh seafood and waterfront views. For a more upscale dining experience, Burlock Coast Seafare & Spirits at The Ritz Carlton offers creative dishes with local ingredients.
  5. What are some cultural activities to enjoy in Fort Lauderdale?
    • Visit the NSU Art Museum for contemporary art exhibitions, explore the Historic Stranahan House Museum for a glimpse into the city’s history, and catch a performance at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts for a cultured evening out.