An Insider Guide to Fort Lauderdale

Beaches, boats and the Las Olas Boulevard strip are what most people think of when they think of Fort Lauderdale – the city an hour north of Miami on the Florida coast. Here’s our guide.

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The Main Attractions

Sitting on the southeast coast of Florida, the Sunshine State, Fort Lauderdale often flies under the radar because of its close proximity to Miami. It’s possibly best known as a Spring Break destination for party-hunting college students, but the city has matured in recent years (though you can certainly still find that side of things in the nightlife scene if you’re looking for it). Las Olas Boulevard is where most visitors who go make a start – and there’s a good reason why. The boulevard is the main strip in the city, bustling with bars, restaurants, shops and even a few museums – including the fantastic NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale. The tall palm trees of Las Olas Beach are a few moments' walk away, though beware, this is very much a beach for those who don’t mind sharing the sand and fantastic ocean views with a crowd. A manageable walk north from Las Olas, near the Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, is the also popular Fort Lauderdale Beach. Don’t just skip over the state park though – it’s a really great spot for spotting gopher tortoise, indigo snakes and turtles, and there are great cycling, fishing and canoeing options, too. If you’re after some more remote greenery, head through the city to the west and out of town to the Sawgrass Recreation Park. You'll find yourself in one part of the enormous Everglades – a 1.5-million acre wetlands preserve in Florida – and have the option to take airboat tours that whizz through gator habitat. It’s a fantastic day out and a huge contrast to the sand and oceans. Spare time? Take the mile-long Riverwalk along the New River, visit Stranahan House, the oldest surviving structure in the city, or tour the picturesque Bonnet House estate. Either that or hit the bars and tour the beaches – there’s no shortage of options, from Dania and Diplomat Beach to Hollywood, Hallandale and more.

Know Before You Go

Learn about the city's local customs, traditions and festivals

Neighborhoods in Fort Lauderdale