If you’re wondering what to do in Fort Lauderdale, look no further. This guide is your ticket to a world of fun and adventure in this charming southeastern Florida city. While Miami may hog the spotlight, Fort Lauderdale boasts its own unique charm and a plethora of attractions that are simply waiting to be explored. So join us as we take a detailed look at the best Fort Lauderdale attractions for you to explore in this fascinating city.
The Best Fort Lauderdale Attractions
Beaches and Outdoor Adventures in Fort Lauderdale
1. Fort Lauderdale Beach – A Serene Escape
No visit to Fort Lauderdale is complete without a dip in the refreshing waters of Fort Lauderdale Beach. Unlike its more vibrant neighbor, Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale Beach offers a tranquil and serene atmosphere. Here, you can enjoy the same pristine sands and crystal-clear waters that Florida is renowned for, but without the bustling party scene. Families love to unwind here, and you can often spot them leisurely strolling along the shoreline.
Not far from Fort Lauderdale Beach is Las Olas Beach, another inviting spot. This smaller yet equally charming stretch of coastline attracts beachgoers of all ages. You’ll find amenities like an amphitheater, splash pad, and rental facilities for beach chairs and water sports equipment. Plus, an array of restaurants, bars, and shops are conveniently located just across the street.
2. Waterways Galore
Fort Lauderdale has earned its nickname as the “Venice of America” due to its extensive network of over 300 miles of navigable waterways. This aquatic paradise is perfect for kayaking and paddleboarding, with tours available along the canals of Las Olas Isles, the Intracoastal Waterway, the Middle River, and the New River. If you’re a fan of watersports and picturesque canals, you’re in for a treat. It’s a quintessential Fort Lauderdale experience.
3. Everglades National Park – A Natural Wonder
Everglades National Park, often referred to as one of the world’s wonders, boasts titles like World Heritage Site, International Biosphere Reserve, and Wetland of International Importance. Its vast, shallow, and slow-moving water system covers over 7,800 square miles, earning it the moniker “River of Grass.” The park plays a vital role in providing a home for a wide variety of distinct flora and fauna, some of which are exclusive to this place on our planet. It’s a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts who love bird watching, hiking, and canoeing while also serving a vital role in environmental conservation. Ticket Prices: Start from $25.
One of the park’s standout features is its expansive sawgrass marshes, home to a diverse range of wildlife, including alligators, turtles, and countless bird species. Two primary entrances provide access to this natural wonder, one in Homestead with informative displays and walking trails, and the other through the Shark Valley Visitor Center, offering a 15-mile scenic drive through the Everglades’ winding waterways.
4. Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show – A Must for Boat Enthusiasts
For boating enthusiasts, the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) is a major event. This prestigious boat show, held annually in Fort Lauderdale, showcases a wide range of boats and marine-related products. From luxury yachts to smaller boats, marine accessories, and cutting-edge boating technology, FLIBS has it all. The show spans multiple locations and millions of square feet of exhibition space, drawing boating enthusiasts, buyers, sellers, and admirers from around the world. If you have a passion for boating or an interest in the marine industry, this event is not to be missed.
Family-Friendly Activities in Fort Lauderdale
5. Hugh Taylor Birch State Park – Nature at Your Doorstep
Families looking for things to do in Fort Lauderdale with kids will find solace in Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. This natural oasis, a short stroll from beachside shops and condos, covers approximately 180 acres. You can rent a canoe and paddle along a peaceful mile-long freshwater lagoon, try your hand at fishing from the seawall, or explore short hiking trails while learning about local plants and wildlife. Biking and skating enthusiasts will find smooth paved roads, and beach lovers are just a short walk away from a sandy shoreline. The park offers picnic areas with lovely channel views and pavilions available for rent, making it an ideal spot for family gatherings.
Opening Hours: Daily from 8 a.m. until sundown.
Ticket Prices: Start from $2.
6. Museum of Discovery & Science – Educational Fun
The Museum of Discovery & Science is a perfect destination for families with children and science enthusiasts. It features hands-on exhibits and interactive displays that keep young minds engaged for hours. From aviation-themed activities in The Hangar to the fascinating Florida EcoScapes exhibit, there’s something to pique everyone’s curiosity. The museum also houses a five-story IMAX 3D Theater, allowing you to immerse yourself in the world of cinema while exploring scientific topics. For a dose of excitement, head to the Storm Center and experience hurricane-force winds. The museum is not just educational but also incredibly fun.
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday – Noon Time to 5 p.m.
Ticket Prices: Adults – $19, Seniors- $18, Children (2-12) – $16, and Children (under 5) – free.
7. Butterfly World – A Colorful Experience
Butterfly World, located in Coconut Creek, is a delightful and educational attraction, known as the first butterfly house in the United States and the largest in the world. Upon entering, you’ll find yourself surrounded by lush gardens adorned with colorful flowers and thousands of beautiful butterflies from around the world. The park also features open-air aviaries where butterflies may gently land on your shoulders or hands, creating delightful moments. You can also learn about the life cycle of butterflies and their importance to our ecosystem. In addition to butterflies, the park is home to various other wildlife, making it a unique and natural experience.
Opening Hours: Daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Ticket Prices: Start from $22.50.
8. Flamingo Gardens – Wildlife and History
Flamingo Gardens, located just 17 miles west of downtown Fort Lauderdale, is not your typical botanical garden. This nonprofit sanctuary is on a mission to protect endangered animals while educating visitors about South Florida’s history and its unique plants and creatures. On-site, you’ll find a variety of animals, including sea otters, rehabilitated Florida panthers, alligators, and numerous bird species. The park’s star attraction is its elegant Caribbean flamingos. You can also explore the Wray Home Museum, providing a glimpse into 1930s South Florida life and the history of Flamingo Gardens.
Opening Hours: Daily from 9.30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Ticket Prices: Start from $15.95
9. Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale – A Historic Stroll
Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale, located along the New River near Las Olas Boulevard, is a historic site with a modern twist. It was once a trading post for Native Americans and is now a charming green space. You can explore lush gardens, enjoy shops along Las Olas Boulevard, and take in the views of high-rise condos and the Stranahan House. Monthly “Jazz Brunch” events allow you to enjoy local jazz, or you can explore Riverwalk on foot or by water, either on a free water trolley or a water taxi. It’s a delightful way to experience the best of attractions Fort Lauderdale.
Museums, Arts & Entertainment in Fort Lauderdale
10. Stranahan House Museum – A Glimpse into History
The Stranahan House Museum is a significant historical site that provides valuable insights into Fort Lauderdale’s early development. This beautiful house, built in 1901, is the oldest surviving structure in the city. It once served as a trading post, post office, town hall, community center, and residence for Fort Lauderdale’s “Founding Father,” Frank Stranahan, and his wife, Ivy Cromartie Stranahan, the area’s first school teacher. The dwelling is a traditional wooden-framed structure, showcasing expansive verandas and a stunning view of the New River. It offers guided tours that let you step back in time and explore the beautifully preserved rooms and furnishings, providing a unique perspective on Fort Lauderdale’s history.
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Friday – 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Ticket Prices: Adults – $12, Seniors – $11, and Students – $7
11. Bonnet House Museum & Gardens – Art and Nature
The Bonnet House Museum & Gardens is a historic estate that served as the winter residence of accomplished artists Frederic and Evelyn Bartlett. The house is a masterpiece of architectural design, featuring a blend of Mediterranean Revival and Caribbean plantation styles. Inside, you’ll find a vast collection of art and personal belongings that offer insight into the Bartletts’ world, allowing you to picture the lifestyle of a 1930s and 40s beachfront estate. The estate also boasts well-maintained gardens filled with a diverse array of tropical plants and wildlife.
Opening Hours: Wednesday to Tuesday – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday – Closed
Ticket Prices: Adults – $25, Children (6-17) – $8, and Children (under 5) – free
12. Broward Center for the Performing Arts – A Cultural Hub
The Broward Center for the Performing Arts is a vibrant cultural hub, hosting over 700 annual performances that draw more than 600,000 patrons. Located along the New River in downtown Fort Lauderdale, this modern venue hosts a diverse array of artistic events, including Broadway musicals, operas, concerts, plays, ballets, and more. It also offers extensive arts-in-education programs, nurturing a deep appreciation for the arts and fostering the talents of the next generation. Don’t miss the free behind-the-scenes tours on the first Sunday of each month, scheduled during the Sunday Jazz Brunch.
13. Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino – The Guitar Hotel
On the outskirts of Fort Lauderdale stands the iconic Guitar Hotel, an architectural wonder that takes the form of an enormous guitar. Inside, you’ll discover a bustling array of nightclubs, shops, restaurants, and concert halls. The hotel also features a renowned casino with thousands of slots, table games, live poker, and an extensive collection of music memorabilia. Outside, the hotel is surrounded by an expansive lagoon featuring island bungalows, making it a unique and memorable place to stay in Fort Lauderdale.
Shopping in Fort Lauderdale
14. Sawgrass Mills – Shopping Extravaganza
Sawgrass Mills, situated in Sunrise to the west of Fort Lauderdale, is an immense retail and entertainment destination. It’s renowned as the largest outlet and value retail shopping destination in the United States. The mall boasts over 2.4 million square feet of space encompassing more than 355 stores, including luxury outlets and value retailers. Sawgrass Mills offers a diverse selection of brands, ensuring there is something for every taste and budget. If you’re seeking exclusive outlets not found elsewhere in South Florida, The Colonnade Outlets at Sawgrass Mills has you covered.
15. Las Olas Boulevard – Shopping and Dining Paradise
Las Olas Boulevard serves as the vibrant core of Fort Lauderdale, extending from the city center to the picturesque shores of the Atlantic Ocean. This tree-lined street is a bustling center of energy and attractions. On Las Olas, there is a diverse selection of stores, boutiques, eateries, and coffee shops, creating a lively destination for shopping and dining. The boulevard is known for its lively atmosphere and cultural events, hosting various festivals and art fairs throughout the year.
Limousine Service: The Best Way to Getting Around Attractions Fort Lauderdale
With the vast array of things to do in Fort Lauderdale, it’s essential to have convenient transportation options. You can prebook a chauffeured limousine ride around attractions Fort Lauderdale with Mundi Limos for hassle-free navigation within the city, ensuring a comfortable and seamless travel experience. If you plan to explore more of Florida or move between different cities within the state, consider our City-to-City service. For airport transfers, trust in Mundi Limos to provide smooth transportation with professional chauffeurs who prioritize your comfort and punctuality.
For further information and booking your reservation, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. You can contact our dedicated customer service team around the clock at +1 (800) 317-7087 or drop us an email at email@example.com. We’re here to assist you and provide the information you need.
Fort Lauderdale offers a wide range of attractions and activities for visitors of all ages and interests. From stunning beaches and outdoor adventures to educational museums and a vibrant arts scene, there is something for everyone in this charming Florida city. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to “Venice of America” today and make the most of all these incredible experiences.