Welcome to Ft. Lauderdale, FL!
There’s the parties of Miami, the amusement parks of Orlando, & the European vibes of St. Augustine. And then there is Ft. Lauderdale. A city that sits just to the north of Miami, it can sometimes get overlooked but that would be a huge mistake. With gorgeous beaches, winding canals, a lively jazz scene, killer clubs, a fun downtown, and gorgeous parks, it brings many of the things the state does best into one fun little city. Ft. Lauderdale is quintessential Florida, perfect for a weekend to relax, unwind, soak up the sun, & get yourself out of your daily routine!
Here is a playlist to help you get into the spirit of your destination!
One last thing...
Here's Whym's top ten things to know about Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Designated the “Venice of America” with 300+ miles of scenic inland waterways that wind through the city, Ft Lauderdale is a sight to behold! Famous for the canals, the beaches and the beautiful sunrises over the Atlantic that gave this town the nickname the name “the gold coast,” there’s a lot to fall in love with here. People come from all over the world to relax, sunbathe, eat great food, and party in one of the most fun cities in the country!
Finding Your Way
The best way to get around Ft. Lauderdale is by car, whether yours or via rideshare. Much of the city adheres to an easy-to-navigate north-south grid. The Water Taxi (watertaxi.com) stops at 14 ports of interest around the city and Hollywood Beach. You can take it to one stop, cruise all day, or hop on-hop off as often as you want. It runs from 10 am-10 pm and tickets range from $20-35 per adult depending on what you choose to do. Yellow Cabs, Lyft and Uber are available all around town. The Sun Trolley costs $1 for a single ride, $3 for all day and $12 for a weeklong pass. It stops all around downtown, the beach and Las Olas Blvd.
Ft Lauderdale International Airport (FLL) services primarily Ft. Lauderdale, Hollywood, and Dania Beach and it’s only 21 miles north of Miami! Did you know FLL is ranked 21st in the U.S. for total passenger traffic with more than 600 flights a day? The easiest way to get to your hotel is by rideshare. A Lyft will cost about $15-25 depending on where in town you’re staying and take about 10 minutes to downtown Ft. Lauderdale, 15 minutes to Ft. Lauderdale beach & 20 minutes to Hollywood beach. The transportation options are available outside baggage claim on the lower level.
The city of Ft. Lauderdale is named for a Second Seminole War fortification built on the banks of the New River in 1838. Volunteer troops led by Major Lauderdale secured the area and settled there. It would be incorporated in 1911, encompassing approximately 36 square miles with an estimated population of 186,220. At this point, it would boom, becoming a hub for military & smugglers alike, anyone who wanted access to ports. By the 1950’s Ft. Lauderdale was the one and only spring break destination for kids from all over the country. This would change and future generations would migrate slightly south to Miami, but the generations that grew up partying here would contribute to build this city to what it is today - a fun, thriving city next door to the party but with their own sense of self which values arts, relaxation, beaches & epic epic boats.
Why Am I Here?
Ft. Lauderdale is actually one of the ten largest cities in America. The picturesque riverwalk serves as the cornerstone of the city’s arts, science, cultural and historic district. This town boasts an awesome arts scene - The Performing Arts center, Museum of Discovery and Science, Museum of Art and the Old Fort Lauderdale Village and Museum are all nestled into one convenient the area. As for downtown, Las Olas Boulevard has gained international acclaim as the centerpiece of fashion, dining and entertainment in town. But let’s be honest - you’re here for the beaches. And they don’t disappoint. With great water activities - both high and low energy ones - this town is a perfect place to while away a long weekend in the sunshine.
The semi-tropical climate is highlighted by more than 3,000 hours of sunshine year and pleasant ocean breezes. The coldest month is January with average highs of 76 degrees and lows near 59. The hottest and rainiest months are July-September when its near 90 everyday and lows only get down to the mid-70s. It rains on average of 12 days month in the summertime but it’s almost always quick spurts due to the heat and then it’s right back to the beach for you!
Seafood. Seafood. Oh did we mention? Seafood. When you’re right on the Atlantic, you can’t expect anything but the best fish around. When you want a break from the seafood, Cuban & Argentinian food is to die for in this area. Once you’ve had some of that, try a few tacos around town and then immediately return to the seafood! If you’re after a cold one to wash it down with, there are a few great breweries around town but our favorite is the German-style Khoffner Brewery.
Ft. Lauderdale is a beach town so it’s not surprising the souvenirs would follow suit. Straw hats, salt water taffy, & beach wear are all readily available around town. Go digging for a seashell or two or buy a few really amazing local cigars and you’re set!
The style is beach casual at most spots around town. Bathing suits, cover ups, hats, and sandals are all that’s needed when strolling the beach & boardwalk. If you’re looking for one step up while exploring town, expect to see lots of linen shirts and cotton dresses and don’t forget a hat for the sun. If the nightclub scene is what you’re after, be prepared - clubs often won’t allow open toe shoes for men or flats for women. The most important facet of any outfit? Sunscreen. The Florida sun is no joke.
Great beaches, wonderful weather and many job opportunities has people moving to Florida in droves and Fort Lauderdale is no exception so be prepared for traffic, especially during spring break months. Just because it’s raining, don’t let it ruin your plans, it’ll probably stop shortly. Ft. Lauderdale is definitely more chill than Miami, but if you want to go explore, South Beach is a hop skip and a jump away for an afternoon!