The Top 25 Things to Do in Fort Lauderdale

Activities
Sep 5, 2023

Are you planning a trip to Fort Lauderdale but unsure of what to do? Known as "the Venice of America" due its expansive and intricate canal system, this city is a favorite amongst tourists worldwide.

This blog post will guide you through diverse activities that range from exploring world-class museums, enjoying sumptuous meals at renowned eateries to immersing yourself in the outdoors.

With 25 exciting things lined up for you, get ready for an unforgettable Fort Lauderdale experience!

Key Takeaways

  • Visit Fort Lauderdale Beach for pristine sand and turquoise waters, along with activities like snorkeling and paddleboarding.
  • Explore the vibrant Las Olas Boulevard for its lively nightlife scene, diverse shopping options, and proximity to Fort Lauderdale Beach.
  • Step back in time at the Bonnet House Museum and Gardens to experience a historic residence with lush gardens and insightful art exhibits.
  • Immerse yourself in Fort Lauderdale's history at attractions like the Stranahan House and History Fort Lauderdale.
  • Enjoy outdoor adventures at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, where you can hike, bike, kayak, picnic, and even go fishing.

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Top Attractions in Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale Beach, known for its stunning white sands and clear waters, is one of the top attractions in Fort Lauderdale.

Fort Lauderdale Beach

Fort Lauderdale Beach shines as a prime attraction in South Florida, boasting pristine sand and sparkling turquoise waters. The beach is well-equipped with amenities like free parking and heated pools to enhance your comfort during the visit.

Water enthusiasts revel in activities such as snorkeling and paddleboarding available at the beach. It's strategically located near renowned attractions including Las Olas Boulevard and Bonnet House Museum and Gardens, mapping an enjoyable itinerary for all visitors.

With over 9,305 guests frequenting this spot, Fort Lauderdale Beach serves both locals' leisure pursuit and tourists' exploration of the region beautifully.

Las Olas Boulevard

In the heart of Fort Lauderdale, Las Olas Boulevard beckons with its vibrant nightlife scene. The diverse selection of bars and clubs will keep you entertained into the early hours.

This bustling avenue is also a shopper's paradise. Art galleries, antique shops, boutiques, speciality stores and gift shops line the pavement creating an eclectic shopping experience.

Venture beyond just entertainment on Las Olas Boulevard. Discover cultural treasures hidden within numerous museums nestled along this lively street. Its proximity to Fort Lauderdale Beach gives visitors easy access to sun-soaked relaxation after a day of exploration and excitement in downtown Fort Lauderdale.

Bonnet House Museum and Gardens

Step back in time at the Bonnet House Museum and Gardens, Fort Lauderdale's oldest intact historical residence from the 1920s. This remarkable attraction offers an enchanting journey through preserved architecture that tells tales of a bygone era.

Wander through lush gardens flourishing with a wide range of botanical specimens painting a vibrant picture of South Florida’s unique biodiversity. Discover an array of art and artifacts housed within this charming museum, giving you insightful peeks into local culture and history.

Known as one of the top things to do in Fort Lauderdale, it also serves as a popular venue for special events and cultural performances - making each visit unique and memorable!

Stranahan House

The Stranahan House in Fort Lauderdale is a must-visit historical museum. Built in 1901, it played a significant role in Florida's land boom. Today, the house stands as a symbol of the city's early development and offers valuable insights into its history.

Preserving its unique significance, the museum allows visitors to immerse themselves in the past and learn about Fort Lauderdale's roots. Make sure to add this attraction to your itinerary for an enriching experience during your trip to Fort Lauderdale.

History Fort Lauderdale

History Fort Lauderdale is a must-visit attraction that is deeply intertwined with the rich history and culture of Fort Lauderdale. As you explore this captivating destination, you will discover fascinating exhibits and artifacts that showcase the city's past.

Immerse yourself in the stories of its early settlers, see remnants from its maritime heritage, and learn about significant events that have shaped Fort Lauderdale into what it is today.

History Fort Lauderdale offers an engaging and educational experience that will leave you with a deeper appreciation for this vibrant city's roots.

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park is a must-visit attraction in Fort Lauderdale. This beautiful park stretches from the Intracoastal Waterway to the Atlantic Ocean, offering stunning views and a wide range of activities for visitors to enjoy.

The park was generously donated by Hugh Taylor Birch, an esteemed Chicago attorney, to the state of Florida back in 1940.

Wildlife enthusiasts will be thrilled by the diverse range of animals that call this park home. From graceful birds soaring through the sky to fascinating reptiles found among the foliage, there's always something exciting to discover.

If you're looking for outdoor adventures, you'll find plenty here. Hiking trails wind through lush landscapes, providing opportunities for scenic walks and wildlife viewing. Picnic areas offer a perfect spot to relax and enjoy a meal amidst nature's beauty.

For those seeking more active pursuits, biking and kayaking are popular options within the park grounds. You can rent bikes or bring your own along for an exhilarating ride along designated paths.

Cultural and Entertainment Activities

Explore the vibrant cultural scene of Fort Lauderdale with a visit to the NSU Art Museum, Broward Center for the Performing Arts, and Riverwalk Arts and Entertainment District.

NSU Art Museum

NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale is a must-visit attraction in Fort Lauderdale. It offers a range of cultural and entertainment activities for visitors to enjoy. The museum specializes in showcasing works of black art, providing a unique and enriching experience.

With its focus on contemporary art, the NSU Art Museum provides a vibrant atmosphere that will captivate art enthusiasts and anyone looking to explore diverse artistic expressions.

Broward Center for the Performing Arts

The Broward Center for the Performing Arts is a vibrant multi-venue theater and entertainment complex in downtown Fort Lauderdale. It is a must-visit destination for cultural and entertainment activities in the area.

The center offers an impressive range of performances, including theater productions, ballet shows, opera performances, and concerts featuring local and international talent. Located in the heart of downtown Fort Lauderdale, it is easily accessible for tourists looking to experience the artistic side of the city.

Riverwalk Arts and Entertainment District

The Riverwalk Arts and Entertainment District is a must-visit destination for tourists exploring Fort Lauderdale. This vibrant district offers a wide range of cultural and entertainment activities for visitors to enjoy.

From the Bonnet House Museum and Gardens to the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, there are plenty of attractions to explore in this area. Additionally, Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale is a beautiful walkway, bike path, and jogging trail along the New River, where you can admire pioneer homes that tell the story of Fort Lauderdale's history.

At night, the district comes alive with its bustling nightlife scene, offering an array of bars, clubs, and entertainment centers for everyone to enjoy.

Fort Lauderdale Fire and Safety Museum

The Fort Lauderdale Fire and Safety Museum showcases the history and evolution of fire and safety equipment and techniques. Visitors can learn about the brave men and women who have served as firefighters and first responders in the Fort Lauderdale area.

The museum offers interactive exhibits and displays, allowing visitors to experience what it's like to be a firefighter or emergency responder. Cultural and entertainment activities at the museum may include live demonstrations, educational programs, and special events.

The museum provides a unique opportunity to learn about the importance of fire safety and emergency preparedness.

International Swimming Hall of Fame

The International Swimming Hall of Fame is a must-see attraction in Fort Lauderdale. This cultural and entertainment hotspot showcases the history and achievements of swimming and aquatic sports.

Visitors can explore exhibits and displays that highlight famous swimmers and their incredible accomplishments. The facility also includes a museum that educates visitors about the sport and its significance.

Whether you're a fan of swimming or simply interested in learning something new, the International Swimming Hall of Fame is definitely worth a visit during your time in Fort Lauderdale.

Museum of Discovery and Science

The Museum of Discovery and Science is a must-visit attraction in Fort Lauderdale. This interactive museum offers exhibits and displays that cover a wide range of scientific and technological topics.

You can explore fascinating exhibits on space exploration, natural history, ecology, and technology. One highlight of the museum is its large IMAX theater, where you can enjoy educational films and documentaries on a massive screen.

What sets this museum apart is the opportunity to participate in hands-on activities and experiments. Don't miss out on their special events either – they regularly host science demonstrations, workshops, and guest speakers.

Outdoor Activities

Experience the beauty of Fort Lauderdale's waterways and beaches, explore lush parks, and encounter wildlife in the Florida Everglades. There's something for everyone to enjoy outdoors in this vibrant city.

Read on to discover more exciting outdoor activities in Fort Lauderdale!

Intracoastal Waterway

The Intracoastal Waterway in Fort Lauderdale offers a wide range of outdoor activities for tourists to enjoy. Whether you're into boating, fishing, or paddleboarding, this scenic waterway has something for everyone.

You can explore the waterway by taking a boat tour or renting kayaks to navigate its tranquil waters. Along the way, you'll be treated to breathtaking views and picturesque surroundings that showcase the natural beauty of Fort Lauderdale's waterways.

Don't forget to check out the parks and nature preserves located along the Intracoastal Waterway, where you can go on nature walks and spot wildlife in their natural habitats. And if you're looking for a memorable experience, hop aboard one of the sunset cruises offered on the waterway - it's a perfect way to end your day in paradise.

Fort Lauderdale Beach Park

Over seven miles of sparkling beaches await you at Fort Lauderdale Beach Park. This popular destination offers a range of activities for visitors to enjoy. You can swim in the refreshing waters, soak up the sun on the sandy shores, or have a fun game of beach volleyball with friends and family.

If you're feeling adventurous, try out thrilling water sports like jet skiing, paddleboarding, or parasailing. Don't worry about facilities - restrooms are conveniently available along with picnic areas where you can relax and enjoy a delicious meal.

And when it comes to stunning views, Fort Lauderdale Beach Park provides breathtaking vistas of the Atlantic Ocean and is especially known for its spectacular sunsets.

Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale

Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale is a must-visit attraction that offers stunning views of yachts and drawbridges. Located in downtown Fort Lauderdale, this scenic walkway is perfect for leisurely strolls or bike rides.

What's even better is that Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale provides free shuttles, making transportation convenient for tourists. With its beautiful surroundings, it's no wonder why Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale is considered one of the top things to do in Fort Lauderdale.

Lloyd Beach State Park

Lloyd Beach State Park is a beautiful destination located in Broward County, Florida. Here, visitors can immerse themselves in a variety of outdoor activities that showcase the natural beauty of South Florida.

Whether you're looking to swim, picnic, fish, or hike, this park has something for everyone. The sandy shores provide the perfect spot to relax and soak up the sun while taking in the stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Birdwatching enthusiasts will also be delighted with the opportunities for spotting unique species of birds and other wildlife. Additionally, fishing, snorkeling, and diving are popular activities that can be enjoyed at Lloyd Beach State Park.

Flamingo Gardens

Flamingo Gardens is a popular attraction in Fort Lauderdale, offering tourists an enjoyable experience. The gardens provide visitors with the opportunity to explore walking trails while encountering various wildlife species and engaging in bird-watching activities.

In addition to observing flamboyant flamingos, guests can also interact with peacocks and alligators, adding excitement to their visit. Moreover, the gardens boast an extensive botanical collection of over 3,000 plant species, making it a paradise for nature enthusiasts.

Las Olas Beach

Las Olas Beach is a must-visit attraction in Fort Lauderdale. Located in Broward County, Florida, this beautiful coastline offers clean sand and crystal-clear waters. It's no wonder why Las Olas Beach is considered one of the top things to do in Fort Lauderdale.

Whether you're visiting during Spring Break or any other time of the year, you'll find a vibrant atmosphere with nearby restaurants and shops to explore. This beach also provides various amenities like free parking, bike rentals, walk-in showers, and allergy-free rooms.

Soak up the sun, take a dip in the Atlantic Ocean, or indulge in water activities like snorkeling - Las Olas Beach has it all for an unforgettable experience during your visit to South Florida.

Florida Everglades

The Florida Everglades in Greater Fort Lauderdale is a must-visit attraction for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. This grand wilderness offers a multitude of activities to explore its natural beauty.

You can embark on boat tours, fishing trips, or paddleboarding adventures to experience the stunning waterways. For those who prefer land exploration, hiking trails and nature walks are available to discover the diverse wildlife and lush vegetation.

Airboat tours are also quite popular, allowing you to get up close with alligators, birds, and other fascinating native species that call the Everglades home. So come and immerse yourself in the untouched beauty of the Florida Everglades for an unforgettable adventure!

BlueFoot Pirate Adventures

BlueFoot Pirate Adventures is a must-visit attraction for families and children in Fort Lauderdale. This interactive experience allows participants to embrace their inner pirate by dressing up and joining in on thrilling adventures.

From boat tours to cruises, BlueFoot Pirate Adventures offers an exciting way to explore the city's waterways while enjoying a fun-filled day with family and friends. As one of the top 25 things to do in Fort Lauderdale, this activity perfectly aligns with the city's focus on sustainability and marine life, making it both entertaining and educational for visitors of all ages.

Food and Drink Experiences

Indulge in the culinary delights of Fort Lauderdale with tasty food tours, unique coffee shops, craft breweries, and even gondola dining. Discover the vibrant food and drink scene that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving for more.

Las Olas Food Tours

Las Olas Food Tours is a must-try experience for anyone visiting Fort Lauderdale. This unique tour allows you to explore the city's culinary scene in a guided and delicious way. Throughout the tour, you'll visit different restaurants and eateries to sample a variety of dishes and drinks from local establishments.

It's a great opportunity to discover new flavors, learn about the city's food culture, and meet fellow food enthusiasts. Las Olas Food Tours are incredibly popular among both tourists and locals, making it an activity you don't want to miss during your time in Fort Lauderdale.

Circle House Coffee

Circle House Coffee is a must-visit spot when exploring the top 25 things to do in Fort Lauderdale. Located in downtown Fort Lauderdale, this charming coffee shop offers tourists a cozy and welcoming atmosphere to relax and enjoy a delicious cup of coffee.

With its artisanal blends and high-quality beans, Circle House Coffee is known for serving some of the best coffee in town. Whether you're looking for your morning pick-me-up or a place to unwind after a day of sightseeing, Circle House Coffee is the perfect spot to sit back, sip on your favorite brew, and soak up the vibrant energy of Fort Lauderdale.

Invasive Species Brewing

Invasive Species Brewing is a must-visit spot for food and drink experiences in Fort Lauderdale. This popular brewery offers a unique and diverse selection of craft beers that are sure to satisfy any beer lover's taste buds.

From hoppy IPAs to smooth stouts, Invasive Species Brewing has something for everyone. Sit back and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere as you sample their delicious brews, which are often inspired by local flavors and ingredients.

Whether you're a seasoned beer enthusiast or just looking to try something new, Invasive Species Brewing is definitely worth adding to your list of things to do in Fort Lauderdale.

With its wide array of activities and attractions, Fort Lauderdale has so much to offer visitors from around the world. After exploring beautiful beaches, museums, parks, and waterways in the city, taking a break at Invasive Species Brewing will provide a refreshing experience unlike any other.

Las Olas Gondola

Las Olas Gondola offers tourists in Fort Lauderdale a unique and romantic dining experience. This gondola can accommodate private parties, making it perfect for special occasions or celebrations.

Guests have the option to choose catered meals or bring their own food and drinks aboard. As you enjoy your meal or drinks, take in the scenic views of Fort Lauderdale during the tour.

The gondola ride typically lasts a couple of hours, giving you ample time to savor both the delicious food and the beautiful surroundings.

Sparrow

Sparrow is a must-visit destination for food and drink experiences in Fort Lauderdale. Located in the heart of the city, Sparrow offers a diverse menu with a focus on fresh and locally sourced ingredients.

Whether you're in the mood for seafood, vegetarian dishes, or indulgent desserts, Sparrow has something to satisfy every palate. The restaurant also hosts food and wine events throughout the year, giving visitors an opportunity to sample the best flavors that Fort Lauderdale has to offer.

With its inviting atmosphere and delicious cuisine, Sparrow is sure to leave tourists with a memorable dining experience during their stay in this vibrant city.

27 Bar & Lounge

The 27 Bar & Lounge is a must-visit spot in Fort Lauderdale and is associated with the top 25 things to do in the city. This popular establishment attracts both locals and tourists who are looking for a vibrant atmosphere and diverse food and drink options.

Located in a prime area of Fort Lauderdale, it offers an exciting nightlife experience with live entertainment that keeps visitors entertained throughout the night. Whether you're in the mood for cocktails, craft beers, or delicious pub-style fare, 27 Bar & Lounge has something to satisfy everyone's taste buds.

Additional Recommendations

Explore the iconic Jungle Queen Riverboat, shop 'til you drop at The Galleria at Fort Lauderdale, indulge in luxury at The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel, learn about aviation history at the Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum, discover local art and culture in the vibrant MASS District, or admire classic cars at the Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum.

Jungle Queen Riverboat

The Jungle Queen Riverboat is a must-see attraction in Fort Lauderdale. Hop onboard this iconic riverboat for a unique experience on the waterways of South Florida. The Jungle Queen offers various tours, including sightseeing cruises and dinner shows.

As you cruise along the Intracoastal Waterway and the New River, you'll enjoy stunning views of the city's skyline and beautiful mansions. Onboard entertainment, including live music and comedy shows, will keep you entertained throughout your journey.

Don't miss out on this opportunity to explore Fort Lauderdale from a different perspective aboard the Jungle Queen Riverboat!

The Galleria at Fort Lauderdale

The Galleria at Fort Lauderdale is a popular shopping mall in the heart of Fort Lauderdale. With its wide variety of shops and stores, visitors can explore and indulge in their passion for shopping.

The mall is known for its selection of popular national brands, making it a favorite destination among fashion enthusiasts. Conveniently located and easily accessible, the Galleria also offers ample parking for a stress-free shopping experience.

Whether you're looking for trendy clothing, accessories, or unique gifts, the Galleria at Fort Lauderdale has something to offer everyone.

The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel

The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel is a must-visit destination in Fort Lauderdale. This hotel offers an array of activities and attractions for guests to enjoy during their stay. From luxurious amenities like poolside cabanas and spa services to its convenient location near popular tourist destinations, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel has it all.

It is famous for its world-class casino and gaming options, providing endless opportunities for excitement and fun. Additionally, guests can look forward to live music concerts and entertainment events throughout the year.

Whether you're looking to relax or have some thrills, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel is the perfect place to stay in Fort Lauderdale.

Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum

The Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum offers tourists a unique opportunity to delve into the history and heritage of the naval air station. With its impressive exhibits, including aircraft, artifacts, and memorabilia from World War II, visitors can truly immerse themselves in this important era.

Discovering the role of the air station during the war and its significance in naval aviation history is both fascinating and educational. Guided tours, interactive displays, and informative presentations enhance the visitor's experience by providing valuable insights into Fort Lauderdale's rich naval history.

Whether you're a history buff or simply curious about this intriguing aspect of the city's past, a visit to the Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum is a must-do when exploring all that Fort Lauderdale has to offer.

MASS District

The MASS District in Fort Lauderdale offers a wide range of activities and experiences for visitors. Located in the Greater Fort Lauderdale area, this district is known for its diverse entertainment options.

Tourists can explore art galleries, browse through antique shops, and enjoy performances at comedy clubs. The MASS District is a must-visit destination for those looking to immerse themselves in the vibrant culture of Fort Lauderdale.

Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum

The Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum is a must-visit attraction in Fort Lauderdale. With over 25 vintage cars on display, this museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the early 20th century automotive industry.

You'll find rare and unique automobiles here, including classic Packards and Cadillacs that will take your breath away. But it's not just the cars that make this museum special - there's also an impressive collection of memorabilia and artifacts from the automotive world.

Take a guided tour to learn about the history and significance of these timeless vehicles.

Conclusion

Discover the vibrant and diverse attractions of Fort Lauderdale, located in sunny South Florida. From relaxing on the pristine beaches to exploring the rich history and culture, there is something for everyone in this coastal city.

With a variety of outdoor activities, food and drink experiences, and top-notch entertainment venues, Fort Lauderdale offers endless opportunities for adventure and relaxation. Embark on a journey through this iconic destination and create unforgettable memories along the way.

FAQs

1. What is Las Olas Blvd in Fort Lauderdale?

Las Olas Blvd is a popular street in Fort Lauderdale, with numerous attractions for tourists and locals alike.

2. Are there things to do on Las Olas Blvd?

Yes, there are many things to do on Las Olas Blvd including shopping, dining at well-known restaurants, and exploring local art galleries.

3. Can I visit Central Park while visiting Fort Lauderdale?

Although New York City has a famous Central Park, you'd need to verify if there's one by the same name in Fort Lauderdale as it wasn't mentioned under the top 25 things list.

4. Is exploring around Las Olas Boulevard considered among top 25 things to do in Fort Lauderdale?

Absolutely! From its vibrant nightlife to its unique shops and eateries, strolling around Las Olas Boulevard is indeed considered among the top must-do activities in Fort Lauderdale.