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Fort Lauderdale

Travel Guide North America USA Southern United States Florida South Florida Fort Lauderdale

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Introduction

Fort Lauderdale is a city along the Atlantic coastline of Florida, not far north from Miami. Although the city itself has just around 200,000 inhabitants, the metropolitan area contains well over 5 million people. Fort Lauderdale is one of the biggest cruiseship ports in the country, with most Caribbean cruises leaving from here.

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Weather

Comparable weather to Miami, so with a hot and humid season from May to November, with a chance of hurricanes, and a dry, sunny and pleasantly warm season from late November to April.

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Getting There

By Plane

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) has a number of international connections as well as a fair number of domestic flights. It is located about 5 kilometres from the CBD of Fort Lauderdale and about 33 kilometres from Miami.

To/from the airport

  • Bus: The airport is served by Broward County Transit bus Route 1. It has connecting service through the Central Terminal, and also buses to Aventura, in Miami-Dade County.
  • Rail: Rail service is provided by Tri-Rail, at the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport Tri-Rail station, where there is a shuttle that goes to the airport.
  • Car: The airport offers airport parking and has rental car facilities. Taxis are available as well.

By Train

The Silver Service/Palmetto, operated by Amtrak, travels between New York and Fort Lauderdale.

By Car

Fort Lauderdale is easily accessible by I-95, I-75, or the Florida Turnpike.

By Bus

Greyhound maintains a bus depot at the intersection of A1A and NW 3rd Street.

By Boat

Discovery Cruise Line operates a daily (except Wednesdays) cruise ferry between Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale in Florida and Freeport on Grand Bahama. It leaves at 9:30am from Fort Lauderdale, arriving in Freeport around 1:30pm, and returns from Freeport at 5:15pm, arriving in Fort Lauderdale around 10:30pm. So a one-way trip takes around 4 hours to the Bahamas, and about 5 hours back, which barely leaves you 4 hours at Grand Bahama Island. There are options to spend the night though and take a ferry the next day back to Florida. Services on board include three buffet meals and a Las Vegas style casino! A return ticket costs around US$140.

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Getting Around

By Car

Many international rental companies have a wide selection of rental cars and these include Hertz, Sixt, Avis, Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Budget and Alamo/National. Most companies will require you are at least 25 years of age, although younger people might be able to rent cars at slightly higher rates and with some insurance differences as well. A national driver's license is usually enough, but an additional international one is recommended. Also note that it usually costs more to include lots of other extra things. For example extra drivers, GPS, the first full tank, SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance), PAI (Personal Accident Insurance, usually covered already at home), road assistance/service plan, and drop-off costs for one-way rentals.
If you want to book a car, it is recommended that you book your car before arriving in the USA. This is almost always (much) cheaper compared to just showing up. Also, try and book with a so-called 'broker', which usually works together with a few or many car rental companies and can offer the best deal. Some examples include Holidayautos, Holidaycars and Sunny Cars. Some of the cheapest deals to book from Europe, includes Drive-USA, which also has a German version.

For more information and tips about renting cars and campers, additional costs, insurance, traffic rules, scenic routes and getting maps and fuel it is advised to check the USA Getting Around section.

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Sleep

Budget

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
The Chocolate Five star Hostel and Crew House506 SE 16th StrHostel73
Hotel DEAUVILLE (Inn, hostel & crewhouse)2916 N. Ocean BlvdHOSTEL79
Tropic Cay529 N. Ft. Lauderdale Beach Blvd.Hotel-
Hollywood Beach Hostel320 Arizona StreetHostel77
Bridge at Cordova1441 Cordova RoadHostel76
Little Inn Too4560 El Mar DriveGuesthouse-
Hollywood Gateway Inn2900 Polk Street FloridaHotel-
Avalon Waterfront Inn521 N Fort Lauderdale Beach BlvdHotel-
Ramada Beach Resort101 North Ocean Drive %­DRESS2%%HOTEL-
Red Roof Inn Ft. Lauderdale4800 Powerline roadHotel66
Magic on The Beach338 Walnut Street.Apartment-
Ramada Plaza Fort Lauderdale5100 North State Road 7Hotel-
Seabonay Beach Resort1159 Hillsboro Mile (Ocean Drive)Hotel69

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Keep Connected

Internet

There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.

Post

The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.

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Quick Facts

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Inhabitants
184,892
Coordinates
  • Latitude: 26.137196
  • Longitude: -80.128678

Contributors

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This is version 20. Last edited at 10:24 on Jul 11, 13 by Utrecht. 66 articles link to this page.

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