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Things to do in Fort Lauderdale

Things to do in  Fort Lauderdale

Welcome to Fort Lauderdale

Sandwiched between the sizzling beach scene of Miami and the glitz-and-glamour of Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale offers respite for travelers seeking the simple pleasures of a Florida vacation: sunshine, shopping, and wholesome family fun. Although it has a past reputation as a spring-break party destination, the city has come into its own over the past couple decades, with a renovated waterfront, a burgeoning culinary scene, and daydream-worthy beaches bringing rightful attention to the “Venice of America.” Experience all the area has to offer with a hop-on hop-off water taxi or a sightseeing cruise down the Intracoastal Waterway, featuring views of popular attractions such as Millionaires Row, Hyatt Regency Pier 66, the 17th Street Causeway, and the Las Olas Riverfront. Round out your day with a post-cruise shopping trip or a Segway tour down the boardwalk. Practically in Fort Lauderdale’s backyard, the 1.5 million–acre (607,000-hectare) Everglades National Park promises a full day of family fun. Board an airboat to scout for sightings of alligators, roseate spoonbills, and egrets on a swamp tour through the aptly named "River of Grass;" or take a nature walk through palmetto-lined trails. Other easy day trips include snorkeling in Key West or fishing in Pompano Beach, making Fort Lauderdale a convenient base for your South Florida vacation.

Top 10 attractions in Fort Lauderdale


Fort Lauderdale Beachfront

Featuring over 23 miles (37 kilometers) of pristine beach, visitors will have plenty of opportunities to swim and sunbathe. The Fort Lauderdale beachfront offers a wide number of experiences, like wind surfing, jet skiing, boating, snorkeling, deep sea fishing and scuba diving. If you’d rather stay on land, jogging, cycling, rollerblading and beach sports like volleyball and Frisbee are worthwhile beachfront options. Spend some time in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, known for its scuba diving offerings and pier where you can watch fishermen reeling in fresh catch. Hugh Taylor Birch State Park is another top experience when exploring Fort Lauderdale’s beachfront, and can be accessed via the pedestrian tunnel under A1A. This park has a tropical-feel and offers chances to kayak, fish and cycle. And of course, visiting the beaches themselves is a must, like the family-friendly Deerfield Beach, trendy Fort Lauderdale Beach and adventure-focused Hallandale Beach.More

Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale Riverwalk is located in the historic downtown district by the New River. Experience Florida's most beautiful mile, showcasing rich tropical landscape and winding walkways linking downtown Fort Lauderdale's best attractions on the Riverwalk. Take a river bus along the canals and see elaborate homes and yachts if it suits your fancy. The Riverwalk is composed of a park and a collection of shops, restaurants, clubs bars, and a movie theatre. It also includes important Fort Lauderdale attractions, such as the Broward Center for Performing Arts, the Museum of Discovery and Science, the Florida Grand Opera, Old Fort Lauderdale. The Riverwalk is a lovely place to go for stroll, grab a bite to eat, enjoy outdoor entertainment, or revel in Fort Lauderdale’s exciting nightlife.More

Intracoastal Waterway Fort Lauderdale

Touring the Intracoastal Waterway, you’ll understand why Fort Lauderdale is nicknamed the “Venice of America.” Made up of beautiful canals lined with palm trees, restaurants, hotels and attractions, the Intracoastal Waterway is both a means for transportation and an experience in itself. Stretching 3,000 miles (4,800 kilometers) between the United States’ Atlantic and Gulf coasts, the main purpose of the Intracoastal Waterway is to provide a navigable route for ships that doesn’t present many hazards. Sightseeing from the Intracoastal Waterway is a special experience, as it allows you to take in Fort Lauderdale’s resort-like skyline, high-end real estate, yachts and attractions like Hollywood and the Las Olas Riverfront complex in a relaxing manner. For those who enjoy wildlife viewing, it’s not uncommon to also see manatees. The Intracoastal Waterway in Fort Lauderdale can also be enjoyed on land, mainly from one of the city’s waterfront restaurants.More

Jungle Queen Riverboat

Voyage the waterways of Fort Lauderdale's New River on the Jungle Queen Riverboat and stop at a Native American village and experience a stunning tropical island environment complete with extraordinay plants and birds and tussling alligators. For more than 50 years, visitors have traveled on this dignified riverboat to be entertained by the crew and sights of Fort Lauderdale. The Jungle Queen Riverboat Company owns several boats and offers two distinct tours. The Sightseeing Cruise lasts about 3 hours, and will take you up the New River, including a stopover at the "Jungle Queen Indian Village." The Bar-B-Que and Shrimp Dinner Cruise lasts roughly 4 hours, and also includes a trip up the New River. There is an island stopover for an all-you-can-eat shrimp and ribs dinner and a live variety show amid tropical foliage.More

Las Olas Beach

For a top Fort Lauderdale beach experience head to Las Olas Beach. The sand is soft and white and the water is clean and calm, making it a great beach for families. In fact, even the most apprehensive swimmers appreciate this attraction’s warm translucent waves. Visitors to the beach enjoy sunbathing, swimming and body boarding. Don’t worry if you don’t have beach chairs or umbrellas, as they are available to rent for a fee (about $20 for an umbrella and $12 for a chair per day). Because of Las Olas Beach’s popularity those who want a quieter experience should go earlier in the morning, while those craving something more lively should go in the afternoon and early evening. On the weekends the beach can get wild, especially as there are many bars around.More

Sawgrass Recreation Park

A marshy expanse of humid swamps, the majority of the 1.5 million acres that make up the Florida Everglades are inaccessible wilderness. With a visit to Sawgrass Recreation Park, however, guests are able to ride on a high-speed airboat and navigate the same marshes where Seminole Indians once roamed and endangered animals still call home. Located only 30 minutes outside the urban streets of downtown Ft. Lauderdale, the Sawgrass Recreation Park not only provides thrilling rides over the glassy waters of the Everglades, but also gives visitors the chance to spot alligators living in the wild and other marshland animals such as slithery pythons, black leopards, and the endangered Florida panther. Morning hours are best during the summer months as afternoons in the Everglades are prone to wind and thunderstorms, although those looking for a unique thrill can take part in the night time alligator viewing sessions which depart into the marshes various nights per week.More

Everglades Holiday Park

Nicknamed the "Gateway to the Everglades," this 29 acre (.12 sq. km) park has been entertaining and educating visitors for more than 30 years. Most famous for its guided airboat rides, as well as being the home to the Animal Planet’s Gator Boys show, Everglades Holiday Park is a classic—if a bit kitschy—introduction to the Everglades and its wild inhabitants. With covered airboats, the ride into the Everglades is a bit more civilized and finding alligators is almost guaranteed, as the guides know their scaly neighbors by sight. The gator “wrestling” show by the Gator Boys is a crowd favorite; those who like to walk on the wild side can even get their picture taken holding a live gator.More

Las Olas Boulevard

Beginning from the beach, Las Olas Boulevard is a main thoroughfare of the Fort Lauderdale with numerous upscale shops, restaurants, and galleries. Lined beautifully with tall palm trees, it’s a beautiful hotspot of activity both by day and night. The ten main blocks that run from the ocean through to the city are well decorated with antique lamp posts, olive trees (with twinkling lights at night,) and Mediterranean style architecture. Many of the area’s best restaurants are located here, several offering al fresco dining as a way to take in the fresh air. Shoppers can find more than 65 retail stores along the boulevard, while art lovers can enjoy the many museums and galleries. Nightlife comes to life every evening as well, when bars and restaurants become especially lively. Those looking for a scenic stroll would do well to walk along the eastern side of the boulevard, which is lined with canals and some of the area’s most beautiful homes.More

Historic Stranahan House Museum

The Historic Stranahan House Museum is the oldest surviving structure in Fort Lauderdale. It was built in 1902 as a trading post by Frank Stranahan, the founder of the city, and used by Stranahan’s wife, Ivy, as a school house. Over the decades it has also served as a post office, community center, and town hall. Today it’s a historic attraction that’s open daily for guided tours.More

NSU Art Museum

The NSU Art Museum is located on Fort Lauderdale’s Las Olas Boulevard, a key part of the vibrant art district. Visitors can view more than 6,000 works in the museum’s international collection, which has a strong focus on South Florida and Caribbean culture, with artwork by Cuban artists, William Glackens, and northern European CoBrA artists.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 1 Day in Fort Lauderdale

How to Spend 1 Day in Fort Lauderdale

How to Spend 3 Days in Fort Lauderdale

How to Spend 3 Days in Fort Lauderdale

Top activities in Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale Sailing Charter

Fort Lauderdale Sailing Charter


Recent reviews from experiences in Fort Lauderdale

Great cruise
Jeanne_D, Jan. 2021
Fort Lauderdale Daily Sightseeing Cruise - On the Venice of America
Wonderful cruise and informative / humorous narration A nice way to see the waters and homes of Fort Lauderdale
We had a great time on this trip...
achorpenning, Jul. 2017
Key West Sail and Snorkel Day Trip from Fort Lauderdale
The only downfall was we spent almost 10 hours traveling.
Excellent trip to see the three...
Debra P, Feb. 2017
Everglades Adventure Day Trip from Ft Lauderdale
Excellent trip to see the three different eco systems within the Everglades and Big Cypress area.
This tour was awesome my kids had a...
Rene B, Mar. 2016
1-Hour Interactive Pirate Cruise in Ft. Lauderdale (arrive 30 minutes early)
Highly recommend for parents looking for things to do with there kids in Fort Lauderdale
The water taxi is a great way to see...
James T, Jan. 2014
Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi - Hop On Hop Off
The water taxi is a great way to see Fort Lauderdale.
Sailing in the ocean
Michael_W, Jul. 2020
Fort Lauderdale Sailing Charter
It gave everyone a chance to see the sites including countless yachts, boaters and numerous drawbridges that rose at the Captain’s request.
July fourth River of Joy
Nghia_D, Jul. 2020
All You Can Eat BBQ Dinner and Show at Tropical Isle with Sightseeing Cruise
It was a joy to see families gather together in this fun freedom fest holiday of America ‘s independence .
Great bus ride, with pickup and delivery!
Tour19329438449, Jan. 2019
Fort Lauderdale to Key West Tour with Optional Add-on
After arriving in Key West after a relaxing bus trip from Fort Lauderdale, we took a local narrated train-trolley trip (paid there) from the center of town to see and tour all around and hear about this very, very historical town.
Great way to see Fort Lauderdale. Tour...
Cathy P, Oct. 2018
Fort Lauderdale Segway Tour
Great way to see Fort Lauderdale.
A unique way to see Fort Lauderdale...
Andrea K, Mar. 2017
Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi - Hop On Hop Off
A unique way to see Fort Lauderdale!
We had a fantastic time, our guide Matt...
Ken M, Sep. 2016
Fort Lauderdale Segway Tour
A great way to see Fort Lauderdale.
We were in Florida for a cruise and...
nomarfan5, May 2017
Everglades Adventure Day Trip from Ft Lauderdale
There was an abundance of wildlife to see from herons using the presence of the boat to catch fish to baby alligators laying in the sun.
Booked this trip through Viator...
Sandra V, Jul. 2016
Ft Lauderdale to Key West with Optional Activities
Kind of leary that he might fall through the floor.
This was a great way to see Key...
skolker, Feb. 2017
Fort Lauderdale to Key West Tour with Optional Add-on
This was a great way to see Key West.
We were in Fort Lauderdale for one...
Sandra N, Jan. 2014
Florida Everglades Airboat Adventure and Wildlife Encounter
Since we are from Washington state we thought it would be interesting to see alligators in the wild and see some of the swamp area while in Florida.
A good way to see the waterways of...
ROBERT L, Mar. 2018
Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi - Hop On Hop Off
A good way to see the waterways of Fort Lauderdale, but beware of being stranded.
I can't praised this too highly...
Glenna M, Nov. 2016
Everglades Adventure Day Trip from Ft Lauderdale
What impressed me in the first place was how well the whole thing was organized: not much standing around, an extraordinary number of activities that fit into one day, and the whole thing just flowed seamlessly.
The water taxi was great - we wanted...
Ellen B, May 2017
Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi - Hop On Hop Off
The water taxi was great - we wanted to see everything on our first full day in FLL, so we did the entire 'circle' first - down river, then up to the New River, then up to north Fort Lauderdale, and then back to the Hilton, where you change taxis all
My wife and I loved this Canal Tour...
Krishnamurthy C, Mar. 2014
Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi - Hop On Hop Off
This is simply the best hassle-free way to see Fort Lauderdale beaches, Restaurants and Shopping.

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