The once-upon-a-time image of Fort Lauderdale had students sleeping in their cars or on the beach and having a wild vacation from school. New restrictive laws were put into place and, over the last 10 years, a new Fort Lauderdale emerged. The Clean Beaches Council, an American national coastal group, designated Greater Fort Lauderdale’s beaches as Florida’s first Blue Wave Beaches, placing them among the entire USA’s cleanest, safest and most user-friendly beaches.
At the same time, Greater Fort Lauderdale has been attracting great restaurateurs, hotels and retailers. And that’s just the beginning.
Where it is
Greater Fort Lauderdale is on the east coast of Florida, in the centre of South Florida’s Gold Coast (midway between Palm Beach and Miami). Half a million acres of Everglades border the western edge. It has 31 different cities and is home to almost two million people. (The city of Fort Lauderdale has 180,000 residents. )
January is the coolest month (about 17ºC) and August is the hottest month (about 29ºC).
The area has 300 miles of navigable inland waterways and 44,000 resident yachts. No wonder it’s known as the yachting capital of the world.
Everyone shops on a vacation, and Fort Lauderdale tempts the spender, starting with the hundreds of designer outlets at Sawgrass Mills.
You’ll find a selection of department stores and flea markets as well as an eclectic mix of boutiques and galleries on Las Olas Boulevard.
Antiquing in Dania is interesting and Greater Fort Lauderdale also has keepsakes that are more unusual than your typical souvenir.
Whether you love to watch or play, Greater Fort Lauderdale is heaven for the sports lover. Planning a sports event? Visit the Greater Fort Lauderdale Sports Development Office page for your sporting group needs.
More than 50 area golf courses offer you the full country club experience as well as public links for any skill level.
See the NHL in action at the Bank Atlantic Center, home to Florida Panthers ice hockey. And the buzz is already in the air, as South Florida prepares to host the Big Game at Dolphin Stadium in 2010.
Greater Fort Lauderdale is flowing with water-based activities. Ramp up your vacation with scuba diving, jet skiing, parasailing and sport fishing. If fishing is indeed your thing, don’t miss the interactive exhibits at the International Game Fish Association’s Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum.
Spectator sports include cheering for the NFL Miami Dolphins, NHL Florida Panthers, the MLB Florida Marlins and the NBA Miami Heat. Go to Dania to watch Jai-Alai.
Go to the track or take your chance on some gaming at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino or The Isle Casino and racing at Pompano Park. Go cycling or blading.
- Sightsee: Take a 90-minute cruise and see the yachts and homes of the rich and famous. About $17.
- Eco-tour: Take a guided kayak eco-tour. Snorkel, visit quiet lakes, tidal mangrove wetlands and explore the intracoastal waterway. $30 to $70.
- Glass bottom excursion: Enjoy a 2-1/2 hour narrated tour in an air conditioned glass bottom boat to see mansions, yachts and coral reefs. Adults $30.
- Adventure: Parasail, kite surf, wind surf, rent peddle boats, paddle boards, and kayaks.
- Sport fishing: Explore offshore waters, see sailfish or barracuda tearing up the surface. There are boats, captains and guides to get you into the action.
There are 23 miles of beaches and each beach has its own personality.
- Fort Lauderdale beach: Stroll, jog, or rollerblade.
- Hollywood Beach: Known for its casual atmosphere and free entertainment.
- Pompano Beach: Playgrounds on the beach, fine seafood, and home to an annual Pompano seafood festival and fishing rodeo.
- Deerfield Beach: Award-winning, cove-like beaches and home of the power boat races each summer.
- Dania Beach: Known for the Dania Beach fishing pier, 30 marinas and John U. Lloyd State Park.
- Lauderdale-By-The-Sea: There’s a popular fishing pier where pelicans fly overhead. Dive and snorkel from shore along the three-tiered reef system.
For more information visit sunny.org.