18 Best Things to do in Fort Lauderdale

best things to do in fort lauderdale

Located in Broward County, Fort Lauderdale is a coastal city in southeastern Florida. The city is known for its beaches, boating canals, and Intracoastal Waterway.

It’s also home to a large number of yachts and has been nicknamed the “Venice of America.” In addition to its maritime history, Fort Lauderdale is a popular destination for both retirees and spring breakers – a testament to both its beautiful, relaxing beaches and its bustling nightlife.

Fort Lauderdale truly is a city that has something for everyone, but to help you find the best activities for you, we’ve put together our list of the best things to do in Fort Lauderdale!

fort lauderdale beach
Dawn on Fort Lauderdale Beach” by RichardBH is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

1) Visit Fort Lauderdale Beach

Fort Lauderdale beach is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Florida. Located just north of Miami, the beach is known for its clear water, soft sand, and year-round sunny weather. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities such as swimming, sunbathing, fishing, and windsurfing. There are also numerous restaurants, bars, and shops lining the beach. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day by the water or a lively nightlife scene, Fort Lauderdale beach has something to offer everyone.

beach
Image” by photographer padawan *(xava du) is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

2) Check out Las Olas Beach

Las Olas beach in Fort Lauderdale is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The white sand and clear blue water make it a perfect place to relax and enjoy the sun.

There are also plenty of activities to keep you busy, from swimming and sunbathing to shelling and windsurfing. Best of all, the beach is only a short drive from Miami, so you can enjoy all the benefits of a Florida beach without having to deal with the crowds. If you’re looking for a great place to relax, Las Olas beach is the perfect choice.

las olas boulevard
Las Olas Boulevard” by Steve’s stills is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

3) Spend a night out on Las Olas Boulevard

Las Olas boulevard in Fort Lauderdale is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South Florida. The boulevard is home to a number of shops, restaurants, and cafes, as well as a number of art galleries and museums.

The Las Olas Riverfront is also a popular spot for fishing, boating, and swimming. The boulevard is also home to a number of events throughout the year, including the Las Olas Art Fair and the Las Olas Food and Wine Festival.

In addition to its many tourist attractions, Las Olas boulevard is also a popular spot for locals to enjoy a night out on the town. Whether you’re looking for a place to shop, eat, or just stroll around, Las Olas boulevard is the perfect place to explore.

riverwalk arts and entertainment district
43.RiverwalkPark.FLFL.9February2009” by Elvert Barnes is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

4) Explore the Riverwalk Arts and Entertainment District

The Riverwalk Arts and Entertainment District in Fort Lauderdale is one of the most vibrant and exciting places to visit in South Florida.

Located along the New River, the district is home to a variety of businesses, including galleries, restaurants, shops, and more. There is also a beautiful riverwalk that winds its way through the district, providing stunning views of the cityscape. Whether you’re looking to enjoy some great food or take in some amazing art, the Riverwalk Arts and Entertainment District is definitely worth a visit.

lauderdale by the sea
Lauderdale by the Sea Florida Warm Colors at Pier” by Captain Kimo is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

5) Spend a Day at Lauderdale-by-the-Sea

Located just north of Fort Lauderdale, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea is a small town with a big personality. With its sparkling beaches, abundant seafood, and festive nightlife, it’s no wonder that this little town is such a popular vacation destination.

Visitors can enjoy plenty of activities both in and out of the water, from sunbathing and swimming to fishing and kayaking. And when the sun goes down, there’s no shortage of bars and clubs to keep the party going all night long. For a scaled-down, slightly quieter version of Fort Lauderdale, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea is the perfect place to be.

sawgrass mills
Sawgrass Mills Mall Sign, Sunrise FL” by NNECAPA is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

6) Love Shopping? Be sure to check out Sawgrass Mills

Sawgrass Mills is an outlet shopping mall in Sunrise, Florida, about 15 minutes away from Fort Lauderdale. It is the largest outlet and value retail shopping destination in the United States. With more than 350 stores, including off-price retailers and name-brand outlets, Sawgrass Mills has something for every shopper.

In addition to great savings, Sawgrass Mills offers a unique shopping experience with its layout and directories. The mall is divided into four themed neighborhoods: Fashion Row, Overseas Connections, Oasis, and Sun & Surf. Sawgrass Mills also features a number of popular restaurants and attractions, making it the perfect place to spend a day or two. Whether you’re looking for bargains or just a fun place to shop, Sawgrass Mills is sure to please.

riverwalk trail
iOS – Riverwalk, Fort Lauderdale, FL” by Ry-2k is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

7) Rent Bikes and Explore the City

If you’re looking for a great way to see the sights of Fort Lauderdale, renting a bike is a great option. There are many different places to rent bikes in the city, and you can usually find a good deal on a daily or weekly rental.

Fort Lauderdale has slowly been becoming a more bike-friendly city, but if you’re just visiting and looking for the best place to explore, then the Riverwalk is probably your best bet. The trail runs alongside the New River and is a great way to bike through downtown Fort Lauderdale.

The weather is also generally good for biking, so you can enjoy riding year-round. Whether you’re looking to sightsee or just get some exercise, renting a bike in Fort Lauderdale is a great choice.

hugh taylor birch state park
Fort Lauderdale – Hugh Taylor Birch State Park – View Across Intracoastal Waterway” by jared422_80 is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

8) Check Out Hugh Taylor Birch State Park

Hugh Taylor Birch state park in Fort Lauderdale is one of the premiere parks in all of Florida. With its vast array of activities, there is something for everyone to do. From hiking and biking to picnicking and swimming, the options are endless.

The park also offers a variety of educational programs, making it a great place to learn about the local ecosystem. In addition, the park is home to a variety of wildlife, including alligators, turtles, and numerous birds. With so much to offer, it’s no wonder that Hugh Taylor Birch state park is one of the most popular destinations in Fort Lauderdale.

airboat
Airboat – bird surveys by contractor airboat at bay jimmy” by USFWS/Southeast is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

9) Take the Airboat Tour at Seagrass Recreation Park

For a unique way to experience Fort Lauderdale, you could head to Seagrass Recreation Park and take an airboat tour! It’s a great way to see the beautiful Everglades up close and personal. The tours last about an hour, and you’ll get to see all sorts of wildlife, including alligators, turtles, and birds. So whether you’re interested in just experiencing an airboat that can hit 40mph or just want to explore the Everglades, this is a great option!

sailing fort lauderdale
Spirit of Lauderdale” by Prayitno / Thank you for (12 millions +) view is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

10) Charter a Sailboat!

If you’re looking for an amazing sailing experience, you can’t go wrong with chartering a sailboat in Fort Lauderdale. The city is home to some of the best marinas in the world, and there’s no shortage of beautiful boats to choose from.

Whether you want to spend a day cruising the Intracoastal Waterway or exploring the Florida Keys, you’ll be able to find a charter that’s perfect for you. And don’t worry if you’ve never sailed before – most charter companies offer lessons and have experienced crew members who can help you get the most out of your trip. Once you have it planned out, sailing is definitely one of the best things to do in Fort Lauderdale.

snorkeling near lauderdale-by-the-sea
Spotted Eagle Ray: Lauderdale by the Sea, Florida” by Phil’s 1stPix is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

11) Try out Diving and Snorkeling!

Fort Lauderdale is a world-renowned destination for diving and snorkeling. The clear, warm waters offer visibility of up to 100 feet, making it an ideal place to explore the underwater world.

There are more than 30 shipwrecks in the area, as well as an abundance of marine life including turtles, stingrays, and barracudas. Fort Lauderdale also boasts many different reefs to explore. These reefs attract a variety of fish, providing divers and snorkelers with a spectacular underwater experience.

Two popular spots to check out would be Vista Park Reef or Twin Ledges. If you’ve never been snorkeling before, make sure to find a guided option to help make sure everything goes smoothly!

bonnet house museum and gardens
Bonnet House Museum and Garden, Ft Lauderdale, FL” by corsi photo is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

12) Visit the Bonnet House Museum and Gardens

The Bonnet House Museum and Gardens is a historic home and museum located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The Bonnet House was built in 1921 by Frederic Clay Bartlett, an artist and art collector.

The house is named after the bonnet lilies that grow in the gardens, and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Bonnet House Museum is open to the public for tours, educational programs, and special events. The gardens are also open to the public for walking, picnicking, and photography.

stranahan house museum
Historic Stranahan House Museum” by Timothy Wildey is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

13) Check out Stranahan House Museum

The Stranahan House is the oldest surviving structure in Broward County, Florida. The house was built by Frank Stranahan, the city’s founder, and his wife Ivy. The two-story wood frame house is located on the New River in downtown Fort Lauderdale.

The house served as the community’s post office, trading post, and general store. Ivy Stranahan ran the post office from the front porch of the house. In 2006, the Stranahan House was purchased by the City of Fort Lauderdale and opened to the public as a museum. The museum is furnished with period furniture and features exhibits on the early history of Fort Lauderdale. Guided tours of the house are offered daily.

museum of discovery and science
Museum of Discovery and Science” by Ennio Fratini is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

14) Go to the Museum of Discovery and Science

The Museum of Discovery and Science in Fort Lauderdale is one of the most underrated museums in the country. It’s packed with interactive exhibits that are both educational and fun, making it the perfect place to spend a day with family or friends.

And if you’re a fan of science fiction, you’ll definitely want to check out the museum’s impressive collection of memorabilia from movies and TV shows. Whether you’re interested in learning about space travel or the human body, the Museum of Discovery and Science is sure to have something that will pique your curiosity. So if you’re ever in Fort Lauderdale, be sure to add the Museum of Discovery and Science to your list of must-see attractions.

Marina with Yacht Fort Lauderdale City” by Captain Kimo is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

15) Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show

The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is the world’s largest in-water boat show. The show features more than 3,000 boats on display, ranging from small inflatables to mega-yachts. In addition to the boats, there are also hundreds of vendors selling everything from marine engines to fishing tackle.

The show takes place every year in late October, and it is a great opportunity for anyone interested in boating to see the latest products and speak with experts in the field. Whether you’re in the market for a new boat or just looking to explore the latest in boating technology, the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is a must-attend event.

16) Go to the Las Olas Art Fair

The Las Olas Art Fair is one of the premier art events in South Florida. This two-day event attracts thousands of visitors to Fort Lauderdale each year, and features the work of hundreds of local and international artists.

Whether you’re looking for paintings, sculptures, photography, or jewelry, the Las Olas Art Fair is sure to have something to suit your taste. In addition to the art on display, there are also live performances, food trucks, and a kids’ zone to keep the whole family entertained. With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder that the Las Olas Art Fair is one of the most popular events in Fort Lauderdale.

broward center
Broward Center for the Performing Arts (How the Grinch Stole Xmas)” by Claudiabrauer is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

17) Watch a performance at the broward Center

The Broward Center for the Performing Arts is one of the top performing arts venues in South Florida. The center is home to the Florida Grand Opera, the Broward Symphony Orchestra, and the New World Symphony.

It also hosts a variety of other performances throughout the year, including Broadway shows, concerts, and dance recitals. The Broward Center is located in downtown Fort Lauderdale, just a short drive from Miami. With its convenient location and world-class facilities, the Broward Center is an ideal place to see a live performance.

flamingo gardens
Flamingo Gardens (9)” by billy kerr is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

18) Visit the Flamingo Gardens

The flamingo gardens in Fort Lauderdale are one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. The gardens are home to a large flock of flamingos, as well as a variety of other birds and animals.

Visitors can take a tour of the gardens, feed the flamingos, and even take a ride on the glass-bottom boat. The gardens also have a restaurant, gift shop, and an aviary. The flamingo gardens are open all year round, and there is always something new to see. Whether you’re a bird lover or just looking for a unique place to visit, the flamingo gardens are definitely worth a trip.

Recap of Best Things to do in Fort Lauderdale

  • Fort Lauderdale Beach
  • Las Olas Beach
  • Las Olas Boulevard
  • Riverwalk Arts and Entertainment District
  • Lauderdale-by-the-Sea
  • Sawgrass Mills
  • Bike along the Riverwalk
  • Hugh Taylor Birch State Park
  • Seagrass Recreation Park Airboat Tour
  • Chart a Sailboat
  • Go Snorkeling!
  • Bonnet House Museum and Gardens
  • Stranahan House Museum
  • Museum of Discovery and Science
  • Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show
  • Las Olas Art Fair
  • Broward Center
  • Flamingo Gardens

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