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Ft. Lauderdale

"The food, pool and outside bar were fabulous."

— Jerry M., Mesa, AZ

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Fort Lauderdale has transformed itself into a thriving pleasure port, catering to individual yacht-owners and major cruise liners alike. Fort Lauderdale is famous for its beaches, arts, culture and events. Visitors are able to enjoy a wide-range of activities such as shopping on Las Olas Boulevard, taking the gondola rides on the canals, and visiting a historic riverfront. From the historic Museum of Discovery and Science to the serene Deerfield Island Park , Fort Lauderdale offers many attractions for visitors. Once billed as the home of more restaurants per capita than any city in the nation, Fort Lauderdale loves—and virtually lives in—its restaurants. Hardly a day goes by in the city where the discussion doesn't turn to the latest great restaurant find: a favorite seafood haven, the best spot for steak, a great waterside spot or a new romantic-dining discovery.

Fast Facts About Fort Lauderdale

  • Fort Lauderdale is known as the “Venice of America” for its extensive system of waterways, including the New River, Intracoastal Waterway and a large number of canals.
  • Fort Lauderdale Beach became ground zero for the college spring break craze in 1961, a direct result of the hit movie Where the Boys Are, starring singer Connie Francis, which debuted at the Gateway Theater in December 1960. Fort Lauderdale remained a major destination for college spring breakers until the mid-1980s.
  • The Florida East Coast Railway gradually extended along the entire east coast of Florida, providing rapid transportation from all parts of the nation to south Florida. The first passenger train arrived in Fort Lauderdale on February 22, 1896.

And Much, Much More!

This paradise by the ocean is gorgeous with its picturesque views and lively neighborhoods. It’s easy to find a place to relax on the beach here, but we've got 10 things you should check out when you come to this relaxation haven besides the sandy shores.

  • With shops that range from gourmet candy to hand-painted needlepoint patterns, international art galleries, and even furniture in the shape of fruits, Las Olas has more than you’d expect. Shoppers will find new treasures and enjoy the walk down the boulevard.
  • Discover 200 fascinating interactive exhibits and get a chance to pet an alligator at the Museum of Discovery and Science! Don’t forget to make a trip to the IMAX and experience the five-story screen (the largest in south Florida!). There is always something new to learn and explore here.
  • Cars are cool and when an old beauty passes by the road, can't help it but take a double-take. Why not come see the largest private collection of antique American autos in Florida? Visit Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum! It's packed with tons of memorabilia that everyone will find interesting and witness the historic progress of American Engineering!
  • Ever wonder where Animal Planet’s Gator Boys shoot most of their episodes? Right here at Everglades Holiday Park! Take a close look at some alligators and other natural inhabitants of the area. You can even take an airboat into the middle of the Sawgrass River.
  • Just because you’re shopping and dining doesn’t mean you want to be indoors (even if there are record-breaking temperatures here). At the The Village at Gulfstream Park, enjoy all of your shopping and dining outdoors and even take in a race or two at the racetrack.
  • Take a trip to romantic Polynesia and experience the Mai – Kai Polynesian Dinner Show! It's an exotic trip across the sea at this dinner and show combo where delicious gourmet food is served. Enjoy performances while sitting near lagoons and flaming torches.
  • There's an ultimate Everglades adventure in Billie Swamp Safari with a buggy tour and an airboat ride. Take part in a unique alligator and snake show where you’ll see venomous snakes and other swamp critters.
  • A great shopping plaza where you can see the beach over the sale signs and shoe racks at The Gallery at Beach Place. Dine in one of the many open-air restaurants that have an oceanfront view. After shopping, take a break and head across the street and sit out on the free beach.
  • Where else can you find an amazing collection of butterflies and birds anywhere else? Butterfly World of course! See a multitude of colorful wings as the butterflies flit between the foliage in this maze of exotic plants and insects.
  • Ready for a new experience? Go parasailing! Hang in the air as you fly above the ocean on a parasail! You won’t need any training for this ride, but you will feel like a bird as you soar over the Atlantic.