The 20 Best things to do in Fort Lauderdale – 2021
The popularity of Fort Lauderdale is growing at a rapid rate, yet no one is really surprised. Considering everything that the city has to offer, even more, growth is expected.
Yes, there was a time that Fort Lauderdale was overshadowed by Miami and was often called the mini Miami. But we have come far since then. Indeed, the oceanfront hotels and residential high-rises are evidence of its development.
The city has so much to offer. The international airport and cruise port lie in proximity to one another. You can travel to West Palm Beach and Miami in less than 40 minutes via the Virgin Trains station. And then there are the plethora of waterways. After all, there's a reason that the largest annual boat show is conducted in this city.
There's so much to do in Fort Lauderdale that you are bound to miss out on a lot even if you are fully prepared. Making a list of exciting places and things you must explore will undoubtedly enable you to make the most of your trip. So without further ado, let's get down to it.
Things To Do In Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale is all about the beaches, warm weather, and great company. You are in for a treat if this is your first trip. Here's everything you must cover.
1. Go Back In History With The Historic Stranahan House Museum
This is easily the oldest and one of the most historical attractions of Fort Lauderdale. If you are interested in history and architecture, this is where you can begin your trip.
It’s the oldest surviving structure in the city, built back in 1902 by the city’s founder. It was used as a schoolhouse by his wife. Since then, it has been used as a post office and town hall. Currently, guided tours are offered in this Historic Stranahan House Museum. So here’s your chance to learn something new and travel back in time!
2. Utilize Your Inner Detective At The Escape Room!
Are you looking for some fun activities to do in Fort Lauderdale? This one will be right up your alley! You can look for clues and solve puzzles as you struggle to beat the time and get out of the Fort Lauderdale escape rooms!
These rooms offer you the perfect chance to play detective by solving mysteries and cracking codes.
3. Get The Most Of Water At The Intracoastal Waterway Fort Lauderdale
If you are vacationing in Fort Lauderdale, you must love water! Why else would you go for a trip to a place known primarily for its beaches? But there’s more to it than just beaches. This Intracoastal Waterway is one place you cannot miss on your trip to the city.
It’s stretched around 3000 miles between the US’s Gulf and Atlantic coasts. Here, you can enjoy abundant access to maritime activities and similar other attractions to your heart’s content.
4. Get A Fulfilling Experience At NSU Art Museum
This museum will win you over the minute you set your eyes on it. After all, cutting-edge design isn't something you get to see every day.
If you want to capture the essence of south Florida and Cuba beyond the beaches, this museum will prove to be one of the finest attractions for you.
5. Let The History Of Cars Fascinate You At The Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum
Are you into cars? If yes, Fort Lauderdale will be heaven for you. This antique car museum features a plethora of historic automobiles on display.
Indeed, you won't realize how far we have come with automotive design until you take a trip to the Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum. It even has cars from the pre-World War II era.
There's a lot more, including the cool hood ornaments and the vintage gas stations. Yes, even if you aren't a car enthusiast, this museum will keep you captivated.
6. Know More About Swimming At The International Swimming Hall Of Fame
Yes, Fort Lauderdale is all about the beaches and more. But if you love swimming passionately, this is a must-visit place for you.
You will learn all about the evolution of this sport and also get to witness some greats of swimming. And you can get some exercise at the aquatic center. It highlights all the sports related to swimming, including diving and water polo.
7. Relax At The Fort Lauderdale Beach Park
Make it a point to spend at least one day at this beach park. You won't even know how much has elapsed as you make the most of everything that this park has to offer. It is filled with recreation opportunities.
You can enjoy the grills or shoot some hoops. There's a playground for the children. And then there's the motor-less boat you can take via the boating ramp.
8. Cruise On At The Jungle Queen Riverboat
You must take a trip on the Jungle Queen Riverboat cruise during your trip to Fort Lauderdale. These boats have been operating for more than 80 years, and they continue to give tourists a remarkable journey.
The sights outside the boat are breathtaking, and the cruise itself has so much to offer. The live entertainment and delicious dinner are more than your money's worth. It's up to you to decide whether you want to go for the 90-minute sightseeing cruise or the sightseeing cruise with Tropical Isle Dinner.
Irrespective of which tour you go for, remember that you are in for an unforgettable time on this one.
9. Come Closer To Wildlife At Flamingo Gardens
It’s both a botanical garden and a wildlife sanctuary. This is a place all nature and animal lovers must visit.
It features over 3000 plant flower species. And the sanctuary house injured animals who can’t survive in the wild. The black bear, Florida Panther and the playful river otters are surely a sight to behold.
10. Get A Peek Into The Alligator Life At Everglades Holiday Park
Want to witness some incredible animal life and wetlands greatness? This is the place to go! The first animal that springs to mind when you think about Florida is undoubtedly alligators. Well, here in this park, you can see these alligators in their full glory.
Take a trip on an airboat and witness up close how alligators really live. And of course, there's the show by the crew of Gator Boys Alligator Rescue that you must catch.
The park doesn't only have alligators. You can see raccoons, pigs, and tortoises here. And also, catch some largemouth bass along the way.
11. Enjoy The Bird Show At The Hugh Taylor Birch State Park
The diversity of animal life is undoubtedly the highlight of this park. You can see it all, from all sorts of birds to turtles and gophers. Indeed, the park has over 200 birds.
Of course, there are plenty of great trees for you to marvel at too. And you have to be careful about scaring off the critters. It's right by the Atlantic Ocean, and the beauty is just one of the many things that make it a must-visit on your trip to Fort Lauderdale. And it's pretty romantic too.
12. Make The Most Of Live Entertainment At Broward Center For The Performing Arts
Fort Lauderdale doesn't undermine the importance of culture. This is why the Broward Center for the Performing Arts continues to thrive. This is a must-visit for all those who love live entertainment.
Interestingly, it hosts every type of live entertainment that you can think of. These include singing, dancing, and acting.
A day at this center will undoubtedly prove to be a fulfilling experience and give you many cherished memories.
13. Find The Inner Artist At Parker Playhouse
So you are a theater lover? Well then, this is one place that you absolutely cannot miss out on. And, of course, it's the ideal destination if you want to get someone else hooked onto theater.
The performances that feature in the Parker Playhouse not only mesmerize you but also induce some hearty laughter. It's one of the most loved venues, and understandably so. You are in for some incredible experience with this one.
14. Enjoy The Music At Fort Lauderdale Symphony Orchestra
If you are a music lover, you can't miss this one. It features some of the top musicians in the area who come together to provide you with a moving performance. Indeed, the performance is enough to give you Goosebumps!
This is something you will enjoy even if you aren't well versed with classical music. And the group also performs on popular songs so you won't be feeling left out.
15. Shop To Your Heart's Content At Galleria Fort Lauderdale
You might be thinking shopping all the time isn't your idea of a fun vacation. But Galleria Fort Lauderdale will change your mind in no time. Especially if you are a shopping addict.
Indeed, you will find yourself shopping quite a lot here. The shops feature top-of-the-line luxury items. Just make sure that you have enough to spend. You can enjoy the best dining experiences once you are exhausted with all the shopping. This shopping extravaganza isn't something you should miss when in Fort Lauderdale.
16. Marvel At The Beauty Of The City With Riverfront Gondola Tours
Who said that Gondola journeys could only be enjoyed in Venice? You must take a trip up and down the canals of Fort Lauderdale when you visit the city. Indeed, the experience will be pretty unique.
This is something that you must do if you want to relax and soak in the environment. After you are tired of swimming and jet skiing, take a gondola tour to conclude your trip.
It's pretty romantic. So if you are in Fort Lauderdale with your special someone, this isn't something you can miss. You won't be able to realize how beautiful Fort Lauderdale is until you go on one of the gondola rides.
17. Grab A Cup Of Coffee From Circle House Coffee
What's so special about getting a cup of coffee? You won't know it until you visit Circle House Coffee. Opened in 2018 by a former Football player, Stephen Tulloch, it's a major attraction of the city.
It caters to everyone's needs. After all, everyone has their own preference about their brews, and this coffee place understands that perfectly.
You can sit inside on the patio or grab a cup via the drive-through. If you want a cup of coffee with character, here's your perfect chance.
18. Enjoy The View And The Drink At Sparrow
The highest rooftop in the city has some quite inventive cocktails. And the chic décor doesn't hurt either. Located on the 25th floor of the Dalmar, this one will take you back to the 90s.
Just keep in mind that drinks in this one aren't going to come cheap. But if you are looking for a breathtaking view and fulfilling experience, this is something you must check out.
19. Enjoy The Food At Monkitail
This one's for all the foodies out there. If you want to make the most of the tasty food at Fort Lauderdale, don't miss out on Monkitail.
It has some delicious food made by Michael Schulson that will leave you licking your fingers. There's so much, including the Toro Caviar, dragon cocktail, and Salmon Tataki. The food here will make your mouth water for a long time!
20. Take an expedition on Virgin Trains
There's no savvy transportation system in Fort Lauderdale like the metro or bus system. But the European-style train undoubtedly makes up for it. The virgin trains have sleek interiors, spacious seats, and free cart service.
Even if you don't need to travel to Miami or West Palm Beach, taking a trip on the train will be worth it, only for the experience.
Make The Most Of Your Trip!
Fort Lauderdale has so much to offer! We have only revealed some of the most exciting experiences waiting for you, but there's a lot more to the city. You are in for some great surprises if you are visiting Fort Lauderdale for the first time!