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When people think of places to vacation in Florida, immediate cities that come into mind include Miami, Orlando, and Key West or theme parks like Disney World and Universal Studios. With an average 3,000 hours of sunshine a year, Fort Lauderdale has all the Florida sun and relaxation needed for a holiday minus the huge crowds and parties found elsewhere. Here are the top things to do in Fort Lauderdale to make the most of your time in the city.
Head to the Beach
Any trip to Florida means a visit to the beach. Fort Lauderdale beaches are extremely clean and much quieter than other city beaches. For the best experience, head to Las Olas Beach. After a dip in the ocean, stroll the famous Las Olas Boulevard, and grab a bite to eat at one of its many restaurants. Just be sure to bring a change of clothes, as some restaurants don’t allow beachwear inside. Alternatively, head to Fort Lauderdale Beach, which features many game courts, public parks, and picnic areas. Local food trucks like to park at the beach as well.
Take in the City by Boat
Fort Lauderdale has gained the nickname “Venice of America” due to its huge network of canals and waterways. With more than 300 miles of waterways, there is no better way to see the city than by taking an organized cruise or hopping on a water taxi. Head to New River, and see how the 1 percent live along Millionaires’ Row. Huge homes and luxury yachts dot the landscape and waterways. Cruise by the Stranahan House, which is the area’s oldest surviving structure dating back to 1901.
Become One With Nature
Florida is home to unique flora and fauna that you can’t find elsewhere in the country. Head to the Secret Woods Nature Center to take a walk through the wetlands on a raised boardwalk and see the different ecosystems. A nearby interpretive center features displays and hands-on activities focusing on the flora and fauna spotted throughout the park. Be sure to visit Butterfly Island, where more than 20 different species of plants attract various butterflies. Just watch out for the huge spiders!
Step Into Art History
Explore the historic Bonnet House, a plantation-style building once home to artists Frederic and Evelyn Bartlett. Inside, wander the house’s halls and admire the painting collection that the Bartletts acquired. On display are also works by Frederic Bartlett himself. Outside, wander through 35 beautiful acres of land and subtropical gardens, including one of largest orchid collections in the Southeast United States. The property’s diverse collection of plants is thanks to the five different ecosystems found there. Visitors can also spot parrots, monkeys, tortoises, and manatees.
With such a variety of activities, Fort Lauderdale makes for a perfect winter escape. Enjoy the sun and beaches, but also explore a bit of the city’s local history and culture.
Have you been to Fort Lauderdale? What is your favorite thing to do there?
This post was written as a part of the #HipmunkCityLove project.