Fort Lauderdale may be a city made for beach bums and nature lovers. Case in point: Fort Lauderdale Beach and Sawgrass Recreation Park, home to alligators and other Florida wildlife. History buffs will find things to try to to here also (we recommend a stop at the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens). And though the Venice of America may lack the rollicking nightlife adjacent cities are known for, downtown Fort Lauderdale has its charms. The Riverwalk, the humanities and entertainment district along the New River , and Las Olas Boulevard host art exhibitions and concerts which may surprise you with their quality.
Fort Lauderdale Beach
Want a beautiful Florida beach without a crazy party scene? Fort Lauderdale Beach could also be just what you are looking for. Here you will find a calmer and fewer chaotic version of Miami Beach – but with an equivalent sugary sands and crystal clear water. There are still parties, but you’re more likely to seek out families relaxing or leisurely walking the waterline than raucous groups of school kids. Backing the shoreline, the palm tree-lined promenade bustles with visitors looking to buy and eat in the various establishments along it. There also are deck chair and water sporting goods rentals near the shore.
Recent visitors loved Fort Lauderdale Beach for its wide, expansive shoreline, with some noting that even when there have been tons of individuals , it didn’t feel crowded. Many were also impressed with how clean the beach is, adding that its calm waters make it an excellent place to bring kids.
There is no charge to enter the beach, but on-site parking will cost you $1.75 per hour. Sun Trolley’s Las Olas Link and Beach Link routes also stop by the beach, otherwise you can take the No. 11 or 40 bus to at least one of the stops along North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard. Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, Hugh Taylor Birch State Park and hotels like the Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach and therefore the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort are within walking distance also . The beach welcomes visitors 24 hours each day .
Fort Lauderdale Beach Park
Located but a mile south of Las Olas Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale Beach Park beckons to families who want to spend their beach day doing quite just lounging and swimming. At this free beachfront park, visitors have access to all or any kinds of facilities, including volleyball and basketball courts, outdoor showers, restrooms, a playground and a picnic ground with tables and grills. Plus, the park’s sands are less crowded than nearby Fort Lauderdale Beach, and lifeguards are on duty daily during daylight .
Overall, recent travelers enjoyed their time at this park, citing its beautiful setting and top-notch amenities as highlights. Many also appreciated the property’s proximity to varied shops, restaurants and hotels, like B Ocean Resort and therefore the Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa. However, some past visitors warned that additional charges apply for select services. Expect to pay about $50 for deck chair and umbrella rentals, and $6 to $8 per vehicle for parking, counting on the time of day. Parking is restricted (especially on weekends and holidays), so consider arriving early.
Fort Lauderdale Beach Park is open a day from 5 a.m. to midnight. Driving is that the easiest method to urge to the park, but visitors without vehicles also can use the No. 40 bus. The water taxi’s No. 5 stop sits across the road also .
Las Olas Beach
Head north from Fort Lauderdale Beach Park or east on Las Olas Boulevard and you will find Las Olas Beach, alittle stretch of sand that draws beachgoers of all ages. Beach amenities aren’t as plentiful as those offered at Fort Lauderdale Beach Park; however, visitors have access to deck chair and water sporting goods rentals, restrooms and metered parking. Restaurants, bars and shops also are available across the road .
Reviewers rave about this beach’s clean sand and clear water, although some cautioned that the world can get a touch rowdy in the dark , especially when college students are in town for respite . cops are always present, though, and alcohol and loud music are never permitted. If you tire of sunbathing or swimming, a couple of travelers suggest taking a stroll along the paved esplanade up to Fort Lauderdale Beach.
Hugh Taylor Birch State Park
Located a couple of blocks north of Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, Hugh Taylor Birch State Park’s position between the Intracoastal Waterway and therefore the Atlantic makes it a fun locale for all kinds of travelers. Those looking to urge a touch wet can canoe or kayak within the largest of the park’s coastal dune lakes. Adventurers who want to urge their adrenaline pumping can bike along the nearly 2-mile paved park drive. Meanwhile, visitors preferring to explore by foot can hike the Coastal Hammock Trail, which snakes through a native maritime tropical hardwood hammock ecosystem, one among the last of its kind within the county. Fisherman can make a catch at the seawall, while birders can search for 250-plus species that sleep in and frequently grace the park.
Many past visitors were quick to call this attraction a hidden treasure that should not be missed, regardless of how long your trip to Fort Lauderdale is. Travelers found the park to be an oasis, citing its abundant flora and fauna and plentiful activities as highlights. Others appreciated the straightforward access to the beach, as there’s a tunnel that brings visitors under the highway and on to the shoreline.
Hugh Taylor Birch State Park is open from 8 a.m. to sundown daily. there’s a $6 admission for vehicles with up to eight people; single-occupant vehicles pay $4. Travelers who bike or walk to the park are going to be charged $2.
Fort Lauderdale Boat Tours
One of the simplest ways to require in your surroundings is to check in for a ship tour. Fort Lauderdale boat operators offer a spread of the way to urge out on the water, from traditional sightseeing outings to fishing charters to themed excursions in specialty boats. the subsequent are a couple of traveler favorites:
Carrie B Cruises: For a typical narrated tour of Fort Lauderdale’s waterways, consider booking a cruise with Carrie B Cruises. Lasting one-and-a-half hours, Carrie B Cruises’ sightseeing excursions travel up and down the New River and Intracoastal Waterway, passing Port Everglades and Millionaires Row (a waterfront strip of mansions within the Las Olas Isles neighborhood) along the way. Each trip departs daily at 11 a.m., 1 or 3 p.m. from October through April, but cruises aren’t available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between May and September. Adult tickets cost $23.95; passes for youngsters ages 3 to 12 are $12.95, and youngsters 2 and younger ride for free; reduced rates are available for visitors who book beforehand online.
Bluefoot Pirate Adventures: consistent with reviewers, families will love exploring Fort Lauderdale’s Intracoastal Waterway with Bluefoot Pirate Adventures. All outings, which last a touch quite an hour, include rides on a reproduction pirate and commentary from captains and guides with pirate-inspired names like Barnacle Bill and Cannonball Kiki. Excursions are available four or five times a day and price $6.50 or $25 per person, counting on age. Extra charges apply for drinks and pirate accessories (think: eye patches, swords and bandanas) purchased on board.
Spirit Yacht Charters: Also referred to as Tropical Sailing, this boat operator offers four tour options in Fort Lauderdale , including trips with stops to snorkel or play on water toys sort of a waterslide and a water trampoline. Spirit Yacht Charters’ popular “Cast Away the Day Sunset Cruise” features a more romantic atmosphere, with soothing music and cold beverages to enjoy as you looked at Millionaires Row’s lavish homes. Sunset tours last two hours and price $25 for youngsters ages 2 to 12, $40 for seniors and $50 for passengers between 13 and 59.
Top Shot Sportfishing: Fort Lauderdale’s quick access to the Atlantic makes it a world-renowned spot to fish. to assist you reel in everything from barracudas to sailfish to sharks, choose an outing with Top Shot Sportfishing. The operator’s fishing charters last four to eight hours, though departure times vary by excursion. Rates – which cover a fishing licence and therefore the use of rods, reels, tackle and dead bait – start at $500 per charter, otherwise you pays $130 per person to share a ship with another group.
Fort Lauderdale Airboat Rides: If you are not planning a visit to Sawgrass Recreation Park, travelers recommend paying for an airboat tour with Fort Lauderdale Airboat Rides. These private excursions on smaller boats offer you the chance to ascertain alligators as you explore parts of the Everglades that larger vessels cannot reach. Tours last one to 3 hours, and therefore the longest option includes a lunch break on a personal island. the foremost commonly booked excursion, the two-hour ride, will set you back $375 for 2 adults; additional passengers cost $75 each, but reduced rates are available for youngsters between 6 and 12.
Jungle Queen Riverboat: Visitors who need a unique twist on a standard sightseeing tour will enjoy booking a cruise with Jungle Queen Riverboat. because the company’s name implies, these excursions happen on a classic riverboat. Past visitors recommend booking the essential tour, which features one-and-a-half hours of exploring the New River and Millionaires Row, and costs about $14 to around $25 per person. Morning cruises are available daily at 11 a.m., while afternoon and evening trips depart at 4:30 and seven p.m. on select days.
Whether you are looking to spend each day at the races or simply find a pleasant spot for dinner, Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach has you covered. The Gulfstream Park racetrack opened in 1939 together of the highest racing venues within the us . it’s continued its legacy with world-class races every Wednesday to Sunday from December through September, and it caters to both beginners and experienced bettors. Admission is free, but various luxury boxes and personal suites are available for serious racing enthusiasts. Special events at the park include Breakfast at Gulfstream (December through March), where visitors can enjoy a bottomless buffet for $10 per person while watching morning training on the track, taking note of guest speakers and more. Gulfstream Park also hosts the annual Florida Derby – considered the most important racing day of the year in South Florida – at the top of March or beginning of April.
In recent years, Gulfstream Park has grown to incorporate the Village at Gulfstream, a dining, outdoor shopping and entertainment venue. There you will find stores like Crate & Barrel and Bang & Olufsen, dining options starting from Texas De Brazil to Brio Tuscan Grille and even a casino, a bowling alley and karaoke rooms. The Village at Gulfstream is that the first facility of its kind at a thoroughbred racetrack in North America.
You’ll find Gulfstream Park about 10 miles south of downtown Fort Lauderdale . it’s open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. Self-parking at Gulfstream Park is free, and valet parking is out there for $10 to $30 per car. Plus, a complimentary shuttle operates between the parking lot and therefore the racetrack, casino and shops.
Recent visitors of Gulfstream Park loved the variability of entertainment options, with some even calling it an “adult dream world.” Many also praised the on-site dining options. Though criticisms were few and much between, one common issue was with the casino, which patrons say could use some sprucing up.
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