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What Are The Must-See Landmarks In Fort Lauderdale?

a flock of seagulls standing next to a body of water surrounded by trees

Nestled in the heart of Florida, Fort Lauderdale boasts a rich tapestry of culture and an energetic atmosphere that beckons travelers from far and wide. Its reputation as a hub of artistic expression and diverse experiences precedes it, making it a must-visit destination for many.

With its picturesque beaches and captivating sights, Fort Lauderdale offers an abundance of activities to indulge in. Whether you prefer basking in the sun or embarking on a scenic riverboat adventure like the famed Bluefoot Pirate Adventures boat tour, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this vibrant city. So, whether you’re an avid explorer or simply seeking inspiration for your next getaway, here’s a comprehensive guide to the top 15 landmarks that define Fort Lauderdale’s charm. Additionally, if you’re a history enthusiast, delve into the city’s past by exploring its rich architectural heritage and iconic landmarks.

A group of people sitting in a park

15 Landmarks You Can’t Miss in Fort Lauderdale 

Las Olas Boulevard 

More than just a thoroughfare, Las Olas Boulevard stands as a pivotal landmark within the fabric of Fort Lauderdale, tracing its origins to a strategic route carved through the once sprawling wetlands of the region. Evolving from humble beginnings, this iconic boulevard now serves as a bustling gateway to some of the city’s most renowned districts, including the historic Sailboat Bend neighborhood.

After nightfall, Las Olas Boulevard truly comes alive, offering an unrivaled destination for an unforgettable evening out in Fort Lauderdale. Whether you’re in search of vibrant nightlife, delectable dining experiences, or eclectic shopping opportunities, the boulevard’s vibrant array of bars, restaurants, and shops ensures there’s something for every discerning palate and preference, making it a must-visit destination for locals and visitors alike.

Fort Lauderdale Beach 

Renowned as “The Sunshine State,” Florida lives up to its moniker, with Fort Lauderdale Beach standing as a quintessential embodiment of its sun-drenched allure. Stretching across an impressive 24-mile coastline within the city limits, the beach beckons visitors with an array of recreational opportunities, from refreshing swims to exhilarating surfing adventures, or simply unwinding amidst the soft sands.

Complementing the coastal bliss is a vibrant promenade teeming with eclectic shops and delectable dining options, offering a delightful blend of seaside charm and urban sophistication. Whether you’re seeking adrenaline-fueled water sports or laid-back relaxation, Fort Lauderdale Beach promises an unforgettable experience bathed in Florida’s radiant sunshine.

Bluefoot Pirate Adventures 

Since its establishment in 2011, Bluefoot Pirate Adventures has solidified its reputation as the premier boating attraction in South Florida, consistently earning five-star ratings on Tripadvisor. With a dedicated crew committed to providing an unparalleled experience, guests are invited to join the adventure aboard a pirate ship as it sets sail along Ft. Lauderdale’s Intracoastal Waterway.

Filled with action, excitement, and a touch of enchantment, each voyage promises an unforgettable journey for guests of all ages. Sail times vary daily, so visitors are encouraged to consult the calendar and make reservations in advance to secure their spot. With a warm welcome extended to adventurers young and old, Bluefoot Pirate Adventures ensures an inclusive experience for the entire family. Don’t miss out on the chance to embark on a high-seas adventure unlike any other—book a Ft. Lauderdale pirate cruise today and set sail for memories that will last a lifetime!

Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale 

Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale encompasses a picturesque mile-and-a-half-long pathway and park, tracing the scenic banks of the New River. Once bustling with vibrant nightlife, this revitalized walk now offers visitors a serene escape amidst lush greenery.

As you meander along the route, you’ll encounter an array of attractions, including art galleries, cozy cafes, and charming boutiques, adding a touch of cultural flair to your journey. Enhanced by strategically placed lighting, the walkway ensures a safe and enjoyable experience, inviting you to explore its enchanting surroundings day or night. Plus, with multiple verdant parks dotting its path, there’s ample opportunity to pause and immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature along the way.

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park 

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park stands as a timeless testament to Fort Lauderdale’s storied past, remaining remarkably unchanged since its inception. Originating in 1893, when its eponymous founder sought out a picturesque locale for his Florida retreat, the park’s rich history is deeply intertwined with the legacy of Hugh Taylor Birch himself.

Despite the initial acquisition of the land, actual development didn’t commence until 1940, when Birch, then 90 years old, embarked on the construction of his residence within the sprawling estate. Following his passing just three years later, stewardship of the park transitioned to the state, ensuring its preservation for future generations to enjoy.

Today, the former Art Deco residence that once served as Birch’s home has been repurposed into a welcoming visitor center, offering insight into the park’s heritage and ecological significance. Spanning 180 acres of protected land, Hugh Taylor Birch State Park serves as a sanctuary for a diverse array of wildlife, including gopher tortoises, gray foxes, and numerous other species, perpetuating Birch’s vision of harmonious coexistence between man and nature.

Esplanade Park 

Nestled serenely amidst the historical treasures of Fort Lauderdale, Esplanade Park emerges as a tranquil oasis, offering respite from the city’s bustling streets. Situated adjacent to the scenic riverfront, this verdant sanctuary serves as a picturesque backdrop for a myriad of cultural events, from vibrant fairs and bustling markets to enchanting concerts under the open sky.

Even during quieter moments, Esplanade Park remains a cherished retreat, providing a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Its idyllic setting and relative seclusion from the tourist throngs make it an ideal spot for those seeking solace and tranquility amidst lush greenery and scenic vistas. Whether you’re attending a lively event or simply seeking a peaceful interlude, Esplanade Park invites you to immerse yourself in its timeless beauty and unwavering charm.

Bonnet House Museum & Gardens 

The Bonnet House Museum & Gardens stands as a testament to the artistic legacy of Frederic Clay Bartlett, who called it his winter haven from 1919 to 1953. Initially gifted to him by his father-in-law, Bartlett meticulously crafted the estate and its sprawling gardens, which continue to enchant visitors to this day.

Comprising several distinct structures, including the main house, two studios, and a guest house, the Bonnet House offers a glimpse into Bartlett’s creative retreat. With its expansive 35-acre expanse, it’s no surprise that the estate serves as a sought-after venue for weddings and other special events, allowing couples to exchange vows amidst its timeless beauty. For those seeking a deeper understanding of its history and significance, guided tours offer an immersive experience, illuminating the intricate details of this historical gem.

Historic Stranahan House Museum 

Dating back to its construction in 1901, Stranahan House holds the esteemed title of being the oldest extant structure in the county, bearing witness to over a century of Fort Lauderdale’s rich history. Originally established as a trading post, the building underwent a transformation in 1906 when it was repurposed as the cherished residence of the Stranahan family.

With deep roots in Fort Lauderdale’s pioneering era, the Stranahans hold a revered place in the community’s collective memory as trailblazers who helped shape the city’s early development. Recognizing its historical significance, efforts have been steadfastly made to ensure the preservation of Stranahan House, culminating in its inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. Today, this venerable landmark stands as a poignant reminder of Fort Lauderdale’s storied past, offering visitors a glimpse into a bygone era of frontier life and resilience.

NSU Art Museum 

As the preeminent cultural institution in Broward County, the NSU Art Museum stands as a beacon of artistic expression, boasting an impressive collection of over 7,500 works from renowned artists worldwide. Notably, the museum’s extensive repertoire includes a captivating array of post-war and Latin-American art, offering visitors a unique insight into these influential movements.

Beyond its specialized collections, the gallery celebrates artistic diversity by featuring works spanning across various styles and genres, ensuring a rich and immersive experience for patrons of all tastes and preferences. Moreover, NSU Art Museum continually refreshes its offerings with dynamic temporary exhibitions, promising each visit to be a journey of discovery with new and exciting artworks to explore.

Fort Lauderdale History Center 

Managed by the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society, this museum complex boasts a collection of meticulously preserved historic structures. Among these architectural gems stands the venerable New River Inn, originally erected in 1905 as a hotel and now serving as the focal point of the museum.

Designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1972, the New River Inn stands as a testament to Fort Lauderdale’s rich past and architectural heritage. Within its storied walls, visitors are treated to a captivating journey through time, with three permanent exhibits showcasing a wealth of artifacts, photographs, and documents that illuminate the city’s evolution.

For those eager to delve deeper into Fort Lauderdale’s history, the Fort Lauderdale History Center offers a research center accessible by appointment, providing invaluable resources for scholars and enthusiasts alike seeking a more profound understanding of the region’s legacy.

King Cromartie House 

During the early 1900s, Edwin T. King emerged as a pivotal figure within the Fort Lauderdale community, leaving an indelible mark through his multifaceted endeavors as a savvy entrepreneur. Engaging in diverse ventures ranging from construction to citrus cultivation and maritime pursuits, King’s entrepreneurial spirit shaped the city’s landscape.

Of all his residences in Fort Lauderdale, the King-Cromartie estate holds particular significance, as it remained within the family for an extended period, becoming synonymous with King’s enduring legacy. Recognizing its historical importance, the property was entrusted to the city in 1968, prompting the Junior League to orchestrate a daring relocation of the structure to its present site in 1971, safeguarding it from imminent demolition and ensuring the preservation of King’s rich heritage for generations to come.

Shippey House 

Constructed in 1914, the Shippey House once served as the residence of Frederick Bleecker Shippey, the second County Judge of Fort Lauderdale. Renowned for its historical significance and local charm, this iconic landmark underwent a preservation effort in 2011, prompting its relocation from its original site.

Today, visitors can marvel at the Shippey House’s architectural splendor in the vibrant Himmarshee Village district, where it stands as a testament to Fort Lauderdale’s rich heritage. Additionally, a poignant reminder of its past can be found at its former address on 7th Street, where a historical marker commemorates its enduring legacy within the community.

Museum of Discovery and Science 

For families seeking engaging and educational experiences, the Museum of Discovery and Science stands out as a premier destination in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Boasting an impressive array of over a dozen permanent exhibits alongside regularly rotating temporary galleries, the museum offers immersive exploration into a diverse range of scientific disciplines, from biology to engineering and beyond.

In addition to its captivating exhibits, the museum plays host to a variety of events and experiences throughout the year, catering to visitors of all ages. Notably, families can look forward to exciting opportunities such as the summer science camp for kids, providing young learners with hands-on activities and memorable adventures in the realm of discovery. Be sure to consult the museum’s calendar to stay informed about upcoming events and plan your visit accordingly for an enriching and unforgettable experience for the whole family.

The Wharf Fort Lauderdale 

Situated mere minutes from the vibrant heartbeat of Downtown Fort Lauderdale, The Wharf emerges as a dynamic epicenter of activity and entertainment, beckoning both locals and visitors alike with its diverse array of culinary delights and pulsating live music performances.

Yet, what truly sets The Wharf apart is its bustling calendar of events, ensuring that there’s always something exciting happening on its lively premises. Whether it’s a spirited concert, exhilarating game night, or any number of engaging happenings, the venue pulsates with an infectious energy that promises an unforgettable experience for all who venture within.

For families seeking wholesome fun, it’s important to note that while The Wharf warmly welcomes guests of all ages during daytime activities, evening festivities are exclusively reserved for adult patrons. So, whether you’re seeking a delightful daytime outing with the little ones or an electrifying night out with friends, The Wharf stands ready to captivate and delight with its boundless offerings and vibrant atmosphere.

DRV PNK Stadium 

For avid soccer enthusiasts, DRV PNK Stadium is a must-visit destination, serving as the proud home field for the Inter Miami CF team. Initially unveiled in 2016, the stadium’s grand opening awaited until 2020, when it finally welcomed eager fans through its gates.

Since its inauguration, DRV PNK Stadium has played host to a multitude of thrilling matches, ranging from prestigious national competitions to exhilarating international showdowns. Beyond soccer, the stadium has also become a versatile venue, accommodating American football games, particularly within the NCAA College League, further solidifying its status as a premier sporting destination for fans of all stripes. Whether you’re cheering on your favorite soccer team or catching a thrilling football matchup, DRV PNK Stadium promises an electrifying experience that’s second to none.


Fort Lauderdale stands as a vibrant mosaic of cultural heritage, artistic expression, and natural beauty, beckoning travelers from near and far to immerse themselves in its myriad wonders. From the iconic Bonnet House Museum & Gardens to the historic Stranahan House and the scenic Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale, each landmark offers a unique glimpse into the city’s rich history and captivating allure.

As you plan your visit to Fort Lauderdale, don’t miss the opportunity to embark on a thrilling adventure with Bluefoot Pirate Adventures. Set sail aboard a pirate ship and cruise along the picturesque Intracoastal Waterway, where action, excitement, and enchantment await guests of all ages. With a dedicated crew ensuring an unforgettable experience, booking your Ft. Lauderdale pirate cruise promises memories that will last a lifetime.

Whether you’re exploring the architectural splendor of the King Cromartie House, basking in the sunshine on Fort Lauderdale Beach, or delving into the wonders of science at the Museum of Discovery and Science, there’s something for everyone to discover and enjoy in this dynamic city. So, pack your bags, chart your course, and embark on an adventure filled with history, culture, and endless possibilities in Fort Lauderdale. Plan your itinerary today and prepare to create memories that will last a lifetime!