Following on from our previous article on alternative towns and cities to visit while in Florida (we previously looked at Miami), we now take a look at Fort Lauderdale which is situated 24 miles from Miami on Florida’s Atlantic Coast. Fort Lauderdale hosts in excess of 10 million tourist visitors every year, attracted by the pleasant climate (which averages around 75 degrees Fahrenheit with over 3,000 hours of sunshine) as well as the wide range of activities open to tourists. Fort Lauderdale’s name derives from a series of forts built during the Second Seminole War, by Major William Lauderdale, although the city itself did not did not begin to develop until several decades after the conflict finished.
Fort Lauderdale experiences a tropical rainforest climate with a summer ‘wet season’ and a winter ‘dry season’. The ‘wet season’ runs from May through to October and is very hot and humid with average high temperatures approaching 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and just about every day will bringing afternoon rain bursts. The ‘dry season’ runs from November through to April and although warm experiences average high temperatures of around 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Ten things to do in Fort Lauderdale, in no particular order;
#1 – Fort Lauderdale Beach
One of the top tourist attractions in the area, this is a lovely beach. Life guards patrol part of the beach and there is a selection of shops and restaurants to be found at the intersection of Las Olas Boulevard.
#2 – Fort Lauderdale Sun Trolley
Similar to the trolleys to be found in Miami, this is a great way of getting around and they will take you to just about anywhere in Fort Lauderdale for a very reasonable fare.
#3 – Nightclubbing
There are in effect, four areas of Fort Lauderdale to head to if you want to experience the nightlife. These are Los Olas Boulevard, The Beach, The River Front and The New Hard Rock Seminole Hotel. The Beach tends to cater for a younger crowd and can get quite lively, whereas Los Olas Boulevard attracts an older clientele and is considerably more relaxed.
#4 – Riverfront Cruise
This is a fantastic way to spend a couple of hours, meandering past luxury villas, accompanied by the crews amusing tales of the occupants, some of which may actually be true!
#5 – South Florida Jazz Festival
This is a series of Jazz concerts showcasing a mix of jazz legends, current stars and up and coming talent. All concerts take place at the Miniaci Performing Arts Center at Nova University.
#6 – Shopping
Try the Sawgrass Mills Mall, under half an hour from mid-town Fort Lauderdale in Sunrise Florida, this is a huge mall with an equally huge range of shops and restaurants to suit all tastes and desires.
#7 – Sightseeing Cruises
Take a sightseeing cruise on the Carrie B, sitting on the sun deck or making use of the air-conditioned splendour of the Main Deck. There are 3 cruises per day at 11am, 1pm and 3pm and the boat is large enough to accommodate all who want to get on board.
#8 Performing Arts
Take in a performing art show at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts which is located in the entertainment center in down-town Fort Lauderdale
#9 More Jazz
The first Sunday of every month the Riverwalk is the venue for a lunchtime spent listening to some great local jazz musicians and best of all its is free!
#10 – Budget Dining
There are plenty of cheap places to eat in the Fort Lauderdale area and these include The Floridian Restaurant (Los Olas Boulevard and 15th Avenue), Mi Casa Su Casa (Mexican on Griffin Road West) and Greek Island Taverna (near Oakland Boulevard)
If you are looking for something to more widely in Florida try our article What is there to do in Florida?