Charity De Souza is a Florida native and travel enthusiast. Traveling to over 50 countries abroad and residing in 6, she has a passion for exploring new cultures. While Central Florida is where she calls home, her favorite travel memories include skydiving in Switzerland and watching the sunset in Morocco.
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Nicknamed the “Venice of America,” Fort Lauderdale is a fun-in-the-sun city located on the Atlantic Coast, considered a haven for nature enthusiasts and beach lovers. Not only is Fort Lauderdale home to a wealth of outdoor adventures and beachfront hotels, but it also boasts a vibrant arts scene and a range of cultural attractions. From glitzy yachts and millionaire mansions to natural landscapes and a picturesque canal system, read on to discover the best things to do in Fort Lauderdale.
What Is It? It may be an obvious first stop on your Fort Lauderdale itinerary, but it must be said. The beaches in Fort Lauderdale are stunning and are one of the best beach destinations in Florida.
Why Do It? It boasts 23 miles of expansive shoreline, backed by a pedestrian area lined with hotels, restaurants, and shops. More laid-back than nearby Miami, you’ll find the same sugary sands and crystal clear water.
Good to Know:Sunseekers will find an array of activities to enjoy here, from sunbathing to surfing, swimming or beachcombing.
What Is It? A shopper’s paradise, Las Olas Boulevard is a street that runs through the center of Fort Lauderdale from the Central Business District to Fort Lauderdale Beach.
Why Do It? Lined with trendy restaurants, upscale boutiques, international art galleries and buzzing nightclubs, this area lures travelers in with its landscaped green spaces and Mediterranean architecture.
Good to Know:Whether you’re window shopping or just soaking in the vibrant atmosphere, this commercial street is the perfect place for an evening stroll.
What Is It? Located in Coconut Creek, Butterfly World puts you up close to more than 20,000 winged creatures in a range of aviaries and gardens that cover nearly 10 acres.
Why Do It? Take the kids to this fascinating attraction, where you can walk among over 50 species of colorful butterflies as you’re surrounded by a lush canopy of exotic plants and flowers. It’s considered one of the best kid-friendly attractions in South Florida.
Good to Know:A tranquil space outside of the city, you can spot hummingbirds and lorikeets as well as you explore the 30-foot Tropical Rainforest Aviary, featuring waterfalls and observation decks.
What Is It? A must-see on any first trip to Fort Lauderdale, Millionaire’s Row is the quintessential look at the wealth that surrounds this city.
Why Do It? Most commonly seen on a boat tour, you’ll catch a glimpse of the glitzy multi-million dollar mansions and yachts that dot the waterways, stretching from Tarpon Bend all the way out to the Intracoastal Waterway.
Good to Know:Drive past the homes of famous celebrities, CEO’s and even billionaires, as Millionaire’s Row offers a picturesque backdrop of the Fort Lauderdale skyline.
What Is It? The perfect indoor activity for little ones is a day trip to the Museum of Discovery and Science.
Why Do It? It offers a wide range of interactive, hands-on exhibits that will keep your kids engaged for hours.
Good to Know:You can take a simulated airboat ride along the Everglades, learn about Florida’s weather patterns at the Storm Center, and test your pilot skills on a DC-9 commercial airliner, as you’re sure to have a full day of fun and adventure at this fascinating attraction.
What Is It? A vibrant mix of history, art, and architecture, the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens is a plantation-style house built on 36 acres of lush tropical vegetation.
Why Do It? Once the winter retreat of the Birch/Bartlett family, you can admire the collections of art and personal treasures and then meander through five distinct ecosystems featured here, from mangrove wetlands to maritime forests.
Good to Know: You can also soak in the beautiful views of the largest collection of orchids in the Southeast United States.
What Is It? It’s probably the most famous boat tour in Fort Lauderdale.
Why Do It? The Jungle Queen Riverboat offers a wild ride through the “Yacht Capital of the World,” delighting visitors since 1935. It’s a historic sightseeing tour, which cruises past Millionaire’s Row,
Good to Know:You’ll also have the chance to choose from tours that allow you to explore the lush foliage of a tropical isle filled with native wildlife or have dinner and live entertainment in addition to your cruise.