Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, is known far and wide as a great place for families to vacation, for college students to spend spring break, and for retirees to spend their golden years. However, it is also a wonderful place to go to get a taste of the finest foods from many different countries. There are a number of restaurants in Ft. Lauderdale that offer fine, international fare.
You’ve got a lot of things to think about when you’re moving to Ft. Lauderdale – home security, school systems and whether or not you’ve got enough homeowners insurance but what are you going to DO with the kids once they get bored of the new backyard? Here are a few of the family friendliest ways to spend a day in this great city!
Billie Swamp Safari – If the kids have any interest in animals, this is the way to go. They can see live alligators in their natural habitat and countless birds and fish, too, when you show them the nearby Everglades National Park.
Butterfly World – Butterfly World is home to thousands of species of unique and rare butterflies – the kids will love roaming about and if they’re lucky they may even feel the wings of a butterfly as it lands on their shoulder!
EZride Surf School – The ocean is your playground when you live in Ft. Lauderdale – if your kids already know how to swim take them down for a lesson in the area’s favorite pastime. They’ll love it!
Fort Lauderdale, Florida occupies a famous stretch of ocean, thus it’s no surprise if is also home to aquatic world’s crowning achievements. The water has undoubtedly shaped the culture of Fort Lauderdale, with the city now repaying its gratitude through two tribute museums to man and water’s harmony.IFGA Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum The International Game Fish Association keeps active records of the largest catches ever made across hundreds of species. The Hall of Fame and Museum displays these accomplishments proudly for all to see. Not only does the site provide a look at fishing history, visitors will also find a wide variety of educational exhibits centering around the diverse fish population in the area, complete with virtual reality fishing games and interactive activities. Also at the IFGA Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum can you find live alligators swimming around in a recreated wetlands habitat, as part of the renowned wetlands exhibit. Enjoy an educational day of both sides of the city, from swamp to sea at one of the city’s premiere attractions for all ages.
Florida’s most famed and feared aquatic animals are found far from the sandy white beaches to which tourists frequently flock. While Ft. Lauderdale’s majestic coastline is no doubt worth a visit, be sure not to overlook the city’s other natural treasure, the Everglades National Park, home to one of America’s largest alligator populations. Not only does it house enough gators to make the University of Florida green with envy, the Everglade’s swamp, marsh and wetlands also protects some of the state’s most endangered species, including the Florida panther, the American crocodile and the West Indian manatee. In total, the park boasts over 350 species of birds, 300 species of fish (both saltwater and freshwater), 40 species of mammals and 50 species of reptiles, balancing a delicate and diverse ecosystem amid the surrounding human development.
If you’re vacationing in Florida, chances are you’re looking to spend some time in the sun. Lucky for you, Fort Lauderdale is home to some of the best beaches the Sunshine State has to offer. Set your expectations high, because this 23-mile stretch of white sand crystal water beaches has yet to disappoint.
- Deerfield Beach: This beautiful seashore has won more awards than any other Greater Fort Lauderdale beach. A great family destination, Deerfield Beach offers a variety of fun beach activities offered at few places around the world. For example, go fishing off Deerfield pier or try waterskiingwithout a boat! At Ski Rixen, an innovative waterskiing system based on cables pulls you across the smooth waters of the coast. Of course, the option to sit back and relax is always available. The beach is lined with numerous open air eateries so you won’t have to sacrifice your tanning while you grab a bite to eat.
- Pompano Beach: Named for the saltwater fish found exclusively off its shore, Pompano Beach is a sport lover’s dream vacation spot. Whether you want to play volleyball on the beach or shake the sand out of your shoes and tee up for a game of golf, Pompano Beach offers it all. The Pompano fish isn’t the only ‘exclusive’ part of this shore. It is also home to the Pompano Seafood Festival and Fishing Rodeo. Plus, the water is the clearest and warmest around due to a bend in the Gulf Stream.
Leave your bathing suits at the hotel and take a break from the hot sun. Fort Lauderdale beaches may be hard to resist, but just wait until you see what else the city has to offer. Whether a resident or a tourist, these fun attractions are a great alternative to the beach, especially on rainy days.Fort Lauderdale Swap ShopThe Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop is Florida’s second largest tourist attraction (second only to Walt Disney World)a pretty big feat considering the size of the Sunshine State. What makes this place so popular? Well, it’s probably a combination of being the largest drive-in theater in America and the largest daily flea market in the world. The drive-in theater portion of the Swap Shop contains 14 screens for your viewing pleasure, and the flea market is both an indoor and outdoor collection of fun (and cheap) trinkets that are great for browsing or buying. Better yet, the Hanneford Family Circus performs daily in the Swap Shop food court, providing entertainment for the 12 million or so people who visit each year.Fort Lauderdale Aquatic ComplexLocated on Seabreeze Boulevard, the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex is home to anything and everything aquatic. Complete with an Olympic sized swimming pool and 3 meter springboards, the FLAC offers swim camps, lessons, aerobics, and clubs. If you’d rather play tourist for the day, the FLAC is also home to the International Swimming Hall of Fame. This world-renowned swimming shrine immortalizes the achievements of athletes in competitive swimming, water polo, diving, marathon swimming, and synchronized swimming.
Known as a ‘low-key get-away’, Lauderdale by the Sea is a small seaside village located on a barrier island just east of Fort Lauderdale. If you’re looking for a quiet and relaxing vacation, this is the place for you.One of this beach village’s most enticing attractions is the three tier natural coral reef system. The reef is one of Florida’s only coral reef systems close enough to shore for visitors to swim out for snorkeling or diving. The beautiful underwater sights consist of gorgeous multicolored corals and a wide variety of aquatic wildlife that will make your eyes bulge. See fish of all sizes, watch eels slither through coral caves, and experience it all in the wild (not through the thick glass found in aquarium tanks).After spending a relaxing day on the beach, take a stroll to the pier and enjoy a quality meal at the Aruba caf where “good food, drinks, friends, and laughter are always the catch of the day”. We also recommend trying 101 Ocean, Lauderdale by the Sea’s casual yet classy restaurant with great food and an even greater bar. If you still have room (who are you kidding, you can always make room for dessert), head over to the Ice Cream Shop where you’ll become known on a first name basis and served first rate ice cream.
When vacationing in a place like Fort Lauderdale, your schedule probably goes a little something like: eat, beach, eat, shop, eat, sleep, repeat. Even if you fluctuate from these activities, one thing’s for certainyou’ll be doing a lot of eating. Lucky for you, Fort Lauderdale has over 4,100 restaurants for you to choose from. Here’s a list of the top ten so you don’t have to sort through the thousands of options.
- Blue Moon Fish Co.: Located on the Intracoastal Waterway in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, this white tablecloth casual eatery employs two of the country’s finest chefs. The restaurant’s dockside location allows you to enjoy an expertly crafted gourmet meal while gazing out at a dreamy parade of yachts as they drift along the waterway.
- 15th Street Fisheries: Offering a fantastic waterfront view and the freshest seafood available, this dockside delicacy is a must. With a prime location in historic Lauderdale Marina, the restaurant features upstairs dining, a dockside caf, fun upbeat entertainment, and even tarpon feedings while you wait for your table. Not to mention the food is practically straight out of heaven.
- La Brochette Bistro: Run by Lebanese American Chef Aboud, this storefront fine dining restaurant is top of the line. Our advice, don’t even look at the menu until you hear the specialsChef Aboud adds his seafood dishes daily so the freshness is unbeatable.
- Tarpon Bend Food and Tackle: This fun loving eatery serves American classics in addition to fresh catches and seasonal raw bar items. Perfect for group gatherings, Tarpon Bend is best known for their legendary happy hour.
- Himmarshee Bar & Grille: This timeless Bar & Grille serves authentic cuisine in a comfortable setting. Its lunch menu offers some of the best business deals in the city and the Happy Hour is a no brainer.
Fort Lauderdale may not be as culturally rich as Venice, Italy, but its expansive and intricate canal system is reason enough to nickname the Florida city the “Venice of America”. This American version of an Italian city got its name from Major William Lauderdale, the commanding officer in charge of building a series of forts in Florida during the Second Seminole War.
Located in the South Florida metropolitan area (23 miles north of Miami), Fort Lauderdale is a popular tourist destination as well as a great place to live. Home to over 42,000 resident yachts and 100 marinas and boatyards, Fort Lauderdale is one of the largest major yachting centers of the south. Boat owners and non-boat owners alike can enjoy the many opportunities a yacht center has to offer. Couples frequently rent yachts for romantic private getaways and eligible bachelors host classy yacht parties nightly. Also, the waters of Fort Lauderdale provide valuable fishing opportunities offshore and out in the deep sea.Even if you don’t partake in the boating scene, the city and its surrounding area contain over 4,100 restaurants and more than 120 nightclubs. Between the shopping and beach opportunities during the day and the dining and nightlife options during the evening, Fort Lauderdale never witnesses a dull moment.While “Venice of America” is suitable for the city’s waterways and boating activity, Fort Lauderdale has another nickname that isn’t quite as conventional. Dubbed “Fort Liquordale” by college students, the city has no shortage of beaches, bars, or nightclubsmaking it an optimal spring break destination for college students. Don’t worry though; strict laws have been enacted to prevent the mayhem associated with these yearly visits. In fact, the city actively discourages college students from flocking to the area, decreasing college spring breakers from 350,000 in 1985 to 10,000 in 2006. Now, the city is a perfect combination of culture, leisure, and fun for the whole familycollege students included