What are the top things to do in Fort Lauderdale?

Along with its 23 miles of beach, Fort Lauderdale dishes out luxury and economy hotels, casual and destination dining, shopping, nightlife and kids attractions. Come any time of year and expect to see families frolicking on the beach, newlyweds lounging by a hotel pool, college kids hitting the bars and snowbirds dining along Las Olas. There are 33,000 hotel rooms, 60 golf courses and more than 4,000 restaurants standing by to greet you with open arms. So when you’re in Fort Lauderdale, be sure to visit these exciting spots:

1. Las Olas: Spend the afternoon on Las Olas Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale’s answer to Rodeo Drive. Grab lunch at one of the numerous restaurants and reserve the rest of your time for window-shopping and people watching.

2. Broward Center: Touring Broadway hits like Avenue Q stop off at The Broward Center for Performing Arts. But you can also see performances from the city’s best arts groups, including the Florida Grand Opera and the Miami City Ballet.

3. Beaches: Fort Lauderdale’s beaches catapulted to spring-break fame in the ’60s movie Where the Boys Are. Find out why spring breakers continue to plant their towels on these sandy shores today.

4. Discovery and Science: Children and their parents will geek out over the Manned Maneuvering Unit space ride and walk-through simulated Florida habitats like the Everglades at The Museum of Discovery and Science.

5. Outlet Shopping: Sawgrass Mills is the largest outlet mall in the state. Shop for discounted goods from high-end stores like Barneys New York and Burberry.

  • On March 27, 2013
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the best spas in Fort Lauderdale?

    Ready to unwind in Fort Lauderdale? If the miles of sandy beaches aren't enough to soothe your stress away, book an appointment at one of these spas, our top picks for their array of treatments, top-notch service and special details that make every visit better than the last one.

    The Spa at The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale is a retreat unto itself with 8,500 square feet of treatment rooms, workout facilities and comfortable lounging areas where you'll enjoy basking in the blissful afterglow of a wonderful massage. Start the day by burning off a few calories in a yoga class or by jogging on a treadmill in the spa's fitness center. Once you've finished, slip into one of the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star spa's terry cloth robes and help your body get into relaxation mode by enjoying a magazine and a glass of champagne by the pool. You're welcome to revisit the pool area after your treatment; in fact, we'd almost be surprised if you chose not to.

    If you don't mind taking a short drive to Boca Raton, we also recommend Spa Palazzo. The Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star spa has an elegant European vibe; take a good look, and you'll see similarities between the spa's architecture and Spain's Alhambra palace, which served as the design muse for this relaxing enclave. This spa, which can be found at the Boca Raton Resort & Club, makes great use of tropical fruits in its treatments: we can't stop daydreaming about how soft our skin feels after a honey-coconut-mango body scrub and how radiant our face looks after a Florida citrus facial. 

  • On November 12, 2011
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What’s the best way to tour Las Olas Boulevard?

    Las Olas Boulevard is Fort Lauderdale’s most fashionable street — it begins at the beach and connects to Riverwalk, a linear park that follows New River to many of the city’s best cultural sights. Start out at the famous beach that was the backdrop of the iconic ’60s spring-break flick Where the Boys Are with the International Swimming Hall of Fame nearby to the south. In recent years, though, spring breakers have been replaced by trendsetters. Then pass by the shops and cafés, and discover the Stranahan House off to your left. Take a tour of Fort Lauderdale’s oldest home, built at the turn of the last century, and learn about the days of Native American trading posts and the frontier.

    Continue on to the Riverwalk, a paved sidewalk for strollers, cyclists and in-line skaters that features educational stations, including one that lets you fiddle around with marine navigational instruments. It passes by charter boats, including the water taxi, which will take you anywhere along Fort Lauderdale’s extensive system of canals. On Sundays, jazz artists entertain visitors along the Riverwalk, and there are plenty of park benches where people sit and listen. Toward the end of the walk, you will come to a cluster of cultural attractions. At the Museum of Art, you’ll find impressive visiting exhibits, as well as the museum’s own collection.

    Las Olas Riverfront, a shopping and entertainment complex, is a good place to stop for lunch on the patio overlooking the river. After a quick bite, check out the Museum of Discovery and Science, which explores physics, space flight, health, fitness and nature. It also has a 3-D IMAX theater that shows science-oriented films. Down the street is the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. If you have the evening free, you can catch a performance from the Florida Grand Opera, the Florida Philharmonic, the Miami City Ballet, or even a touring Broadway show.
  • On November 12, 2011
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the best places to eat in Fort Lauderdale?

    The creative menu at Blue Moon Fish Co. is peppered with Caribbean accents, and the elegant, Art Deco-tinged interior and waterside patio are usually packed with a crowd of locals celebrating special occasions or enjoying delectable seafood dishes such as the peppercorn-crusted big-eye tuna and soy Chilean sea bass served with Asian stir fry. This seafood lover’s paradise is set right on the Intracoastal Waterway on the east side of the bridge. Show up hungry for the all-you-can-eat Sunday brunch — it brims with shrimp, shucked oysters, steamed mussels, pancakes, omelets and more.

    Casa D’Angelo is one of the most talked-about Italian restaurants in South Florida, so don’t even try to show up on a weekend night without reservations. The restaurant has Corinthian columns and creamy stucco walls, but as nice as the décor is, your focus should be on the menu. Entrées include a delicious array of pastas — such as lasagna with homemade mozzarella and Parmigiano—Reggiano cheese, or porcini mushroom risotto — and a selection of fish, chops and steaks, all prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients. The 500-bottle Italian and Californian wine list includes many gems under $50.
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  • On November 12, 2011
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the top things to do in Fort Lauderdale?

    Along with its 23 miles of beach, Fort Lauderdale dishes out luxury and economy hotels, casual and destination dining, shopping, nightlife and kids attractions. Come any time of year and expect to see families frolicking on the beach, newlyweds lounging by a hotel pool, college kids hitting the bars and snowbirds dining along Las Olas. There are 33,000 hotel rooms, 60 golf courses and more than 4,000 restaurants standing by to greet you with open arms. So when you’re in Fort Lauderdale, be sure to visit these exciting spots:

    1. Las Olas: Spend the afternoon on Las Olas Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale’s answer to Rodeo Drive. Grab lunch at one of the numerous restaurants and reserve the rest of your time for window-shopping and people watching.

    2. Broward Center: Touring Broadway hits like Avenue Q stop off at The Broward Center for Performing Arts. But you can also see performances from the city’s best arts groups, including the Florida Grand Opera and the Miami City Ballet.

    3. Beaches: Fort Lauderdale’s beaches catapulted to spring-break fame in the ’60s movie Where the Boys Are. Find out why spring breakers continue to plant their towels on these sandy shores today.

    4. Discovery and Science: Children and their parents will geek out over the Manned Maneuvering Unit space ride and walk-through simulated Florida habitats like the Everglades at The Museum of Discovery and Science.

    5. Outlet Shopping: Sawgrass Mills is the largest outlet mall in the state. Shop for discounted goods from high-end stores like Barneys New York and Burberry.
  • On November 11, 2011
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    Where is the best place to stay in Fort Lauderdale?

    Opened in the summer of 2008, the Four-Star Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale is the city’s premier luxury resort, which means it’s alarmingly easy to idle away the day without leaving the oceanfront property. Start the day with a personal training session in the 8,000-square-foot fitness center, grab lunch and a passionfruit cocktail at the pool; indulge in a sea spray massage and close out the day with dinner under the stars. Then retire to your room, a blend of old and new with black-and-white family snapshots from the 1940s paired with flat-panel LCD TVs.