Fort Lauderdale is a city along the Southern coast of Florida and also sits North of Miami. The people of Florida incorporated Fort Lauderdale as a City in 1911. It is an adventure-packed destination suitable for various visitors, including couples, families, or friends on spring break.
Moreover, some families are attracted to the Florida weather and wish to settle in a place less quiet than Miami. The beaches here may be packed but not as crowded as Miami’s. As a visitor or resident, it is fascinating to have many activities to engage in, both on weekends and weekdays.
Why is Fort Lauderdale Important?
Fort Lauderdale is a major tourist attraction because of its beaches, culture, arts, wildlife, and history. The is also a major shopping destination as it is home to Sawgrass Mills, the largest retail outlet mall in the US. Fort Lauderdale also has several other shopping strips that are easily accessible to tourists.
The city also served as a major US Navy base during World War II. They later decommissioned the airbases between 1946 and 1961. Fort Lauderdale is also the home to various historical sites and items. For example, you will find 200-year old oaks or get to see a World War II fighter plane.
To help guide your upcoming adventures, we have compiled a list of 10 activities and places you can visit for fun in Fort Lauderdale.
Fort Lauderdale Beach
Many people associate Florida beaches with some crazy parties, mainly because of Miami. However, Fort Lauderdale’s beach is a lot calmer. You will find kids playing, families relaxing, and taking leisurely walks on the sugary sands.
You can rent out various equipment, including equipment, beach chairs, and more, from rental shops along the beach. Fort Lauderdale has an expansive and wide shoreline, making it feel less crowded even when many people are visiting.
Entry to Fort Lauderdale Beach is free, and it is open 24 hours a day. However, parking costs $1.75 per hour. Alternatively, you can take bus number No.11, No.40, or Sun Trolley’s Beach Link and Las Olas Link Routes. Fort Lauderdale Beach is within walking distance of other popular destinations like Bonnet House Museum and Gardens and Hugh Taylor Birch State Park.
Las Olas Beach
Las Olas Beach is less than a mile north of Fort Lauderdale Beach Park. It also lies east of Las Olas Boulevard. Las Olas Beach is smaller than Fort Lauderdale and has fewer amenities. However, it is less crowded. You will have access to amenities like restaurants, water sports equipment, beach chairs, and metered parking. There are restaurants, shops, and bars across the street.
Authorities prohibit loud music and alcohol in these locations. There is police present at the beach to prevent rowdy behavior. Las Olas Beach is open 24 hours a day. You can access it by bus number 4 or number 11. It is a 350 store complex.
Sawgrass Mills is the largest retail mall in the US. It is a complex made of 350 stores with various retail shops ranging from regular to luxurious brands. You will also find several restaurants to Starbucks Sharps and IMAX movie theatre to food courts and a post office. Sawgrass Mills has a currency exchange station because it is close to Hollywood International Airport.
The mall can get crowded, so it is best to visit when they open or during weekdays. From Monday to Saturday, Sawgrass Mills opens from 10 am to 9:30 pm, and 11 am to 8 pm on Sundays. The time varies during holidays. It can take you a whole day to tour the entire mall.
Riverwalk Arts and Entertainment District
Riverwalk Arts and Entertainment District is a 22 block District in downtown Fort Lauderdale along the New River. It is home to many attractions, including Bonnet House Museum and Gardens, the Nova Southeastern University Art Museum, the Florida Grand Opera, the Historic Stranahan House Museum, and Las Olas Boulevard. You can walk the district or use their free Riverwalk Water Trolley that makes eight stops along the river. The Riverwalk Art and Entertainment District also has an official website to help you find daily, special events and more.
Flamingo Gardens is a non-profit organization that has a botanical garden and wildlife refuge. It sits on 60 Acres with over 3000 plant species, including 200-year-old live oak trees, flamingos, and other animals. You will find some animals like rehabilitated Florida Panthers, see auras alligators, Caribbean flamingos, and 250 bird species. Flamingo Gardens has a narrated tram tour that lasts 25 minutes. The tour is from 11 am to 4 pm and runs at 30-minute intervals.
Flamingo Gardens opens every day from 9:30 to 5 pm. However, it closes on Christmas and Thanksgiving. Admission charges include $12.95 for kids between 3 to 11 years and $19.95 for visitors 12 years and older. Children below three years of age get in for free. There is a 20% discount for military members, seniors, and college students if they have a valid id.
Butterfly World was open in 1986 and has become the largest butterfly house in the world. There are over 50 butterfly species in this location. You will also find tropical Birds and feed lorikeets. Butterfly World does not allow food from outside. However, they have designated picnic benches outside for you to eat your packed lunch. It opens Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm. On Sundays, it opens from 11 am to 5 pm kids with two years and below can get in for free. However, those aged between 3 and 11 pay $21.95 while adults and senior citizens pay $29.95.
Museum of Discovery and Science
You can also choose to spend a couple of hours at the Museum of Discovery and Science. You can make engaging exhibits sea animals, take a simulated airboat ride or climb into a World War II fighter plane’s cockpit. The museum opens from 10 am to 5 pm from Monday to Saturday. Military members and Kids aged between 2 years and 12 years pay $13. Seniors pay $15 while adults pay $16.
Fort Lauderdale Boat Tours
There are numerous boat tours in Fort Lauderdale. You can use them for sightseeing themed excursions or fishing charters. Some examples include:
- Carrie B Cruises’ standard narrated tour
- Pirate inspired tour by Bluefoot Pirate Adventures
- Tropical sailing by Spirit Yacht Charters
- Top Shot Sportfishing
- Fort Lauderdale Airboat Rides
- Traditional sightseeing with Jungle Queen Riverboat
Gulfstream Park 10 miles south of Fort Lauderdale downtown. It is a place you can enjoy top horse racing events and enjoy dinner. Entry is free, but you will have to pay for private suites and luxury boxes. Gulfstream Park hosts various horse racing events, including the annual Florida Derby. You can get to Gulfstream Park from 10 am to 9 pm from Monday through Saturday. On Sundays, it opens from 11 am to 8 pm Self-parking is free, but valet parking fees range between $10 to $30 for every vehicle.
Fort Lauderdale still has a lot more to offer. It is a destination with activities for every individual, from kids to teens, adults, and even seniors. It would help if you prepared before visiting any destinations. Check if entry fees are required and pay attention to the opening and closing times. We hope you enjoy your time.
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