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3 Days in Fort Lauderdale

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If you are in Fort Lauderdale for a few days, then of course you'll want to check out the iconic beachfronts that have helped to make this city such a popular destination. But Fort Lauderdale caters to every type of traveler - whether you're a nature lover, a foodie, or an adventurer at heart. Take in the "Venice of the USA" with my guide to some of its best locations and activities.

Good for
  • Shopping Fanatic
  • Nature Lover
  • Foodie
  • Beach Goer

11 Places

3 City Tips

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11 Places

Day 1

Las Olas Beach

Beaches

Las Olas Boulevard

Shopping Malls, Points of Interest & Landmarks

BlueFoot Pirate Adventures

Boat Tours, Ports of Call Tours

Day 2

Fort Lauderdale Beach

Beaches

Tropical Sailing

Boat Tours

The Gallery at Beach Place

Shopping Malls

Secret Woods Nature Center

Parks, Nature & Wildlife Areas, Natural History Museums

Day 3

New River

Bodies of Water

Jungle Queen Riverboat

Dinner Theatres, Boat Tours

Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale

Scenic Walking Areas

Cinema Paradiso

Movie Theatres

Maddie S's City Tips

  • Many beachfront destinations are reachable by water taxi, a cheap and convenient method of travel around Fort Lauderdale.
  • If you intend to eat out after a day at the beach, be sure to bring a change of dry clothes - not all restaurants in the area allow beachwear for indoor dining.
  • When picnicking on the beach or at a park, be sure to clean up after yourself. Fort Lauderdale's beaches are extremely clean, and care and conscience help to keep them that way!
    Day 1
  • Save
    Las Olas Beach
    Beaches
    See more photos
    Maddie S Says:

    A beautiful beachfront with fewer crowds than many in the area, Las Olas Beach is situated in one of the most gorgeous parts of Fort Lauderdale. And when you're done in the sun and surf, there's plenty more to do, just off the sandy path - the shops and restaurants in the area are abundant.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Foodie
    • Beach Goer
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Water taxis service this area, and may make for the easiest journey to and from your hotel - check pick-up points in advance to plan your journey.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #5 of 162 things to do in Fort Lauderdale
    • Beautiful and clean 15/04/2015
    • BEACH WAS VERY CLEAN 14/04/2015
    • Las Olas Beach
    Address:
    S Atlantic Blvd.
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Save
    Las Olas Boulevard
    Shopping Malls, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Maddie S Says:

    Las Olas Boulevard is an architecturally quaint shopping and eating haven. Find boutiques, coffee shops, al fresco dining, bars, and even museums and galleries all on the Boulevard's stretch. There is plenty to see and do - even at night, when it's lit up to welcome shoppers and diners alike.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Trendsetter
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Parking is very difficult in this area, so it's better to walk or take a cab, bike, or water taxi to reach the Boulevard.
    • As there's so much good food in the area, if you're traveling with others, order a single plate and share! That way, you can sample a few different restaurants on the Boulevard.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #6 of 162 things to do in Fort Lauderdale
    • great walk downtown 17/04/2015
    • Inexpensive entertaining view. 17/04/2015
    • Las Olas Boulevard
    Phone:
    954 937 7386
    Other:
  • Save
    BlueFoot Pirate Adventures
    Boat Tours, Ports of Call Tours
    See more photos
    Maddie S Says:

    Slice an hour out of your Las Olas day to go on a swashbuckling adventure! Face painting, dress-up, and 'talk like a pirate' lessons are the overture to a live-action, interactive pirate play - set (literally!) at sea. On the short boat trip, a mystery is solved and everybody leaves with a piece of the treasure.

    Good for
    • Hidden Gems
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • BlueFoot sometimes does 2-for-1 tickets on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Check their online page or call to see if the deal is on during your visit by mentioning "Cruise and Play."
    • This activity is especially great for families with young children, who will enjoy the face painting and play-along elemets.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 70 Boat Tours & Water Sports in Fort Lauderdale
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Family adventure! 17/04/2015
    • fun for the whole family! 14/04/2015
    • BlueFoot Pirate Adventures
    Address:
    801 Seabreeze Blvd.
    Slip I 909
    Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
    Phone:
    +1 954-530-8302
    Hours:
    Thu - Tue
    9:00 - 7:00
    Other:
  • Day 2
  • Save
    Fort Lauderdale Beach
    Beaches
    See more photos
    Maddie S Says:

    The Beachfront is the highlight of most visits to Fort Lauderdale - block after block of clean sand, mild waves, and palm trees. There are also game courts, public parks, and picnic areas - ensuring that there's something for everyone to enjoy, whether you want to don a swimsuit, go for a run, or sit back and build sand castles.

    Good for
    • Beach Goer
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • There are a number of food trucks and restaurants nearby the beach, as well as a public-use grill area; you can't go wrong with either a picnic or a meal on the down.
    • The sand gets very hot between peak daylight hours, 11AM-4PM. Taking your sandals on a walk down to the water is advisable, especially for young children.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 162 things to do in Fort Lauderdale
    • Nice beach! 17/04/2015
    • Hey, it isn't snow! 17/04/2015
    • Fort Lauderdale Beach
    Address:
    A1A between Las Olas and Sunrise Blvd.
    Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
    Phone:
    954-828-4597
    Other:
  • Save
    Tropical Sailing
    Boat Tours
    See more photos
    Maddie S Says:

    With the motto "Catch the Spirit," Tropical Sailing catamaran company offers group sailing tours and private charters daily from Fort Lauderdale's shores. Helpful guides will tell you about the history and lay of the land, while also showing you best sailing practices - an experience not to be missed!

    Good for
    • Beach Goer
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Group tours provide snacks for guests, as well as a cash-bar, so you won't go hungry (or thirsty) on your way around the city's waterscape.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 70 Boat Tours & Water Sports in Fort Lauderdale
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Catamaran Fun 15/04/2015
    • Complete waste of time 15/04/2015
    • Tropical Sailing
    Address:
    801 Seabreeze Blvd.
    Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
    Phone:
    +1 954-618-8957
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    9:00 - 9:00
    Other:
  • Save
    The Gallery at Beach Place
    Shopping Malls
    See more photos
    Maddie S Says:

    The Gallery is a three-story mall along the beach, offering everything from last-minute swimming essentials (suntan lotion, towels, or visors) and souvenirs to food and entertainment. Some of the eateries feature live music and balcony seating with waterfront views.

    Good for
    • Beach Goer
    • Like a Local
    • Shopping Fanatic
    Tips
    • "Da Big Kahuna" at The Gallery features a live Polynesian dance show every Friday at 8:00PM. Admission is free.
    • Restaurants at The Gallery validate parking. Be sure to ask your server if you park in the mall's underground lot and stay for a bite to eat.
    • Do not buy anything before being told the final price. Some stores in the area will charge you a tremendous sum for custom items (like t-shirts) that cannot be refunded.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #55 of 162 things to do in Fort Lauderdale
    • It's a place to take a brake from the hot sun. 04/04/2015
    • run down, empty storefronts and dirty restaurants 15/05/2014
    • The Gallery at Beach Place
    Address:
    17 S Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd
    Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
    Phone:
    954 764 3460
    Hours:
    Sun
    10:00 - 9:00
    Mon - Sat
    10:00 - 11:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Secret Woods Nature Center
    Parks, Nature & Wildlife Areas, Natural History Museums
    See more photos
    Maddie S Says:

    If you'd like to spend part of your day communing with nature, head on down to the Secret Woods Nature Center, where the best of Florida's true natural beauty is on display. With boardwalks over the wetlands and information tablets about the local wildlife, the lovely scenery provides a welcome respite from the bustle of the beach and shopping centers.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Hidden Gems
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Be sure to check out the butterfly garden at the entrance of the Nature Center! There is free entry.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #5 of 16 things to do in Dania Beach
    • A quiet santuary and Secret Garden of nature 01/04/2015
    • Peaceful Sanctuary in the City 22/03/2015
    • Secret Woods Nature Center
    Address:
    2701 W. State Rd. 84
    Dania Beach, FL 33312
    Phone:
    954-357-8884
    Hours:
    Tue - Wed
    9:00 - 7:00
    Sat
    9:00 - 14:00
    Other:
  • Day 3
  • Save
    New River
    Bodies of Water
    See more photos
    Maddie S Says:

    The cityscape of Fort Lauderdale is epitomized by New River, where the estates on Millionaires Row are as visible as the tall towers of the business district. Get up close and personal with the famed canals by walking the area, traveling down the river by water taxi, or taking a boat tour.

    Good for
    • Beach Goer
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Many restaurants along the river offer outdoor, waterfront seating. Take some time to explore, and make sure to get an excellent view along with your meal!
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #23 of 162 things to do in Fort Lauderdale
    • A good varied menu. 23/03/2015
    • Not your usual neighborhood sight. 18/03/2015
    • New River
  • Save
    Jungle Queen Riverboat
    Dinner Theatres, Boat Tours
    See more photos
    Maddie S Says:

    An institution for 70-plus years, The Jungle Queen is one of the only sightseeing boat cruises along the New River. In addition to a tour of the area given by your Captain, guests can enjoy all-you-can-eat, family-style southern meals. The final stop is a secluded island where a Variety Show is put on for passengers, before an evening ride back to the start point. Or, guests can choose to take one of the morning sightseeing tours instead -these are shorter with a more of a historical focus, highlighting the best of the city's nightlife and wildlife.

    Good for
    • History Buff
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The morning sightseeing cruise, departing at 10:00AM is 90 minutes long, while the dinner cruise, departing at 1:45PM is 3 hours long. Plan according to your timetable.
    • The nearest parking for the Riverboat dock is quite expensive. Depending on distance, it may be more cost-efficient to take a taxi or walk.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 9 Theatre & Concerts in Fort Lauderdale
    • The boat trip was okay, Crowded and overpriced 17/04/2015
    • A Fun Family Evening 17/04/2015
    • Jungle Queen Riverboat
    Address:
    801 Seabreeze Blvd (Route A1A)
    Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
    Phone:
    +1 954-462-5596
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    8:30 - 9:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale
    Scenic Walking Areas
    See more photos
    Maddie S Says:

    After a day on the river itself, enjoy an evening walk around the brightly-lit Downtown Riverwalk. Bars, restaurants, performing arts centers, museums, and boutiques line this scenic area.

    Good for
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • You can watch the city's yachts cruise by from one of the many parks or vantage points on the water.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #37 of 162 things to do in Fort Lauderdale
    • RiverWalk 06/04/2015
    • Peaceful Place 02/04/2015
    • Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale
    Address:
    305 South Andrews Avenue suite 410
    Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
    Phone:
    954-468-1541
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    8:00 - 7:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Cinema Paradiso
    Movie Theatres
    Maddie S Says:

    Make like the locals and head to Cinema Paradiso while in the downtown area. Vintage, plush seating and a full bar and snack stand make catching a film here a relaxing treat, sure to end any day on a positive note.

    Good for
    • Like a Local
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Cinema Paradiso plays host to a number of themed events, including most notably the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, in November.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 9 Fun & Games in Fort Lauderdale
    • Great films 22/02/2015
    • Great Films and Great Seats 19/01/2015
    • Cinema Paradiso
    Address:
    503 Southeast 6th Street
    Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
    Phone:
    (954) 525-3456
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