Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States of America
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Exploring Fort Lauderdale

Known as the ‘Venice of America’, Fort Lauderdale is a stunning coastal city that is famous for its boats and beaches. It has been a popular destination since the 1960s thanks to the movie Where the Boys Are and today the city attracts more than 10 million visitors each year. It is a major yachting centre as well as being home to over 4,000 restaurants and numerous top notch hotels, such as The Atlantic Hotel & Spa and Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort.

The city is made up of over 60 neighbourhoods, with Fort Lauderdale Beach (The Strip) and the Downtown area being the most appealing to visitors. The beach culture is fairly laid back with the stretch between Las Olas Boulevard North and Sunrise Boulevard being the most popular section. The Downtown area is the city’s most lively district, with heaps of funky nightclubs, posh restaurants, chic boutiques and art galleries. It is also worthwhile exploring Fort Lauderdale’s suburbs to visit the Flamingo Gardens, Butterfly World or the Antique Car Museum.

Sights nearby

There is no shortage of things to see both in and within easy reach of Fort Lauderdale inclusive of its beaches and nightlife. There is also a great selection of hotels that range from affordable to the top end of the scale.

Las Olas Boulevard
The hub of Fort Lauderdale’s nightlife runs from the central business district to the beach. Las Olas Boulevard is home to lively courtyards, popular nightclubs, upscale boutiques, art galleries and trendy restaurants as well as a number of hotels, including the Riverside Hotel. In the past this bustling boulevard was a dirt road surrounded by swamplands, but in the 1920s it was turned into a stunning residential waterfront area that housed numerous celebrities and the famous landmark bar the ‘Elbo Room’, which still sits here today.

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park
Located on East Sunrise Boulevard along the Intracoastal Waterway, the Hugh Taylor Birch State Park is a subtropical oasis that is within walking distance of the city centre. The 180-acre piece of land was purchased by Chicago attorney Hugh Taylor Birch in 1893 and in 1940 he donated it to the state to keep its beauty preserved. Today it is home to some beautiful plants and wildlife, including over 200 species of ducks, hawks and wading birds. In the daytime visitors can go hiking, canoeing, cycling or fishing and on full moon nights the park offers picturesque mangrove tours.

Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop
Not only is the Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop home to the largest drive-in movie theatre in the world but it is also houses the world’s largest daily flea market. It is arguably the most visited attraction in Fort Lauderdale, with over 12 million people visiting each year. It is a great place for the whole family, with a flea market, food court, concert stage, carnival and cinema all under one very large roof.

Eating and drinking and shopping nearby

No one would ever accuse Fort Lauderdale for being lacking in its selection of restaurants, cafés and bars, with the best selection being found along Las Olas Boulevard and in the city centre. Of course, some of the best meals can be had at The Ritz-Carlton and W Fort Lauderdale. Shopping will also never be a problem here, with shops to be found to satisfy all sorts of shopaholics.

Public transport

Boats provide visitors with a scenic way to get around, with a water bus making stops along New River and the Intracoastal Waterway. Local buses traverse the city and connect Fort Lauderdale to other parts of the metropolitan area, while a trolley serves the city centre, the beach and the convention centres as well as making a stop at the commuter railway station.

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