11 Reasons to Visit Fort Lauderdale Over Miami

Fort Lauderdale from above
Fort Lauderdale from above | © 12019 / Pixabay
Photo of Karina Castrillo
29 January 2019

Offering a different take on Southern Florida, Fort Lauderdale has all of the glamorous shopping and beaches without the Miami traffic. Here’s why it trumps the Magic City.

The beaches are paradise

Unlike Miami Beach where it’s always a racket, a party and where finding a free parking slot takes a half-hour, Fort Lauderdale’s beaches are what they should be: a tranquil retreat to soak up some vitamin D without the claustrophobic feeling of large crowds.

Fort Lauderdale Beach

Unique shops along Las Olas Boulevard

It’s not that Miami is devoid of creativity, there are a few quirky shops to peruse in Wynwood, but in Fort Lauderdale, these unique stores are easily accessible along Las Olas Boulevard. Prime example? Ann’s Florist. This store is a three-in-one, selling coffee, antique finds, and flowers. Grab a coffee and sit at an outdoor table to watch passersby. You’ll be thankful that you did.

Mecca for craft beer

Fort Lauderdale is a mecca for fine-tasting craft beer. Indulge in LauderAle, Khoffner Brewery, Funky Buddha and Craft Beer Cartel, to name a few. Hello, happy hour.

Locals are more fashionable

You’re most likely to catch people in suits rather than flip-flops and neon tank tops.

You can climb the Hillsboro Lighthouse

The historic lighthouse in in the Hillsboro Inlet has one of the world’s strongest beams reaching a shocking 28 nautical miles! The lighthouse was built in 1907 in order to guide incoming ships safely around the Hillsboro Point which proved a hazardous zone for navigation. You can tour the lighthouse on these following dates.


For those looking to reach their destination by boat, it’ll be easy in Fort Lauderdale. The marinas here are just as sprawling as those in Miami.

Fort Lauderdale | © qwesy qwesy / WikiCommons

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport

Conveniently, the airport in Fort Lauderdale caters to international flights too. (No need to fly into the Miami International Airport!)

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport | © Nick81aku / WikiCommons

Closer to the Everglades

The Everglades Holiday Park (the wildlife preserve and theme park) is just a short drive away from downtown Fort Lauderdale, which means more time spent hiking, camping, fishing, and birdwatching.

Everglades water way on a rainy afternoon

Cultural centers

For a dose of culture, the city is home to a string of art galleries along the Las Olas Boulevard and beyond. New River Fine Art sells acrylic sculptures, photography, fine art prints and even tapestries. Head to Artblend Gallery along East Oakland Park Boulevard to peruse an abundant collection of contemporary fine art, photography, and paintings. Finally, the long list of museums (such as the Museum of Discovery and Science and the Bonnet House) should keep you occupied for many days during your trip.

Bonnet House | © Leonard J. DeFrancisci / WikiCommons

The streets are immaculate

If order and cleanliness is a plus, then this city definitely checks those two things off the list. Fort Lauderdale’s streets do seem slightly more well-groomed than Miami’s. However, order does come with a price. There are cameras on all the streetlights to catch those who run a red light.

Aerial view of Fort Lauderdale | © Don Ramey Logan / WikiCommons

Easier to explore

Compared to Miami, Fort Lauderdale is a smaller city, making it easy for visitors to explore it fully.

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