Fort Lauderdale

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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. The city is most famous for its beaches and boats, and while the city of Fort Lauderdale is relatively small in area, the term 'Fort Lauderdale' is often used to refer to the larger metropolis that has grown up around it. It is the county seat for Broward county, and is part of the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metropolitan area.

The first inhabitants of the land were Seminole Indians who arrived in the 18th century. During the Second Seminole War, Major William Lauderdale led his Tennessee Volunteers into the area and raised New River Fort on the site of the modern city in 1838. In 1893, a young Ohioan named Frank Stranahan arrived and built a house that served as the first trading post, post office, bank and town hall of the area. The house was built near the site of the New River Fort and still stands today as a museum, Stranahan House.

Fort Lauderdale was incorporated as a town in 1911, and became the seat of newly formed Broward County. It began as a predominantly agricultural community of dairy farms and citrus groves.

More growth came with establishment of the Naval Air Station, which is now Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport.

The city and its surrounding suburbs experienced tremendous growth following the end of World War II, and the arrival of home air-conditioning. In the 1960s, Fort Lauderdale became the center of Spring Break after the debut of the movie Where the Boys Are. It is now an anchor of the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach Metropolitan area, the nation's 6th largest metro area.

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Sights and Activities

Fort Lauderdale Beach (The Strip)

The most popular section of beach is where A1A runs alongside the beach, between Las Olas Blvd north to Sunrise Blvd. The "Elbo Room" bar, at Las Olas Blvd and A1A, was featured in the 1960s film Where the Boys Are. The movie led to the city's former reputation as a spring break mecca. The bar anchors the Southern end of the 'Strip', a strip of eating and drinking establishments that run along the land side of the beach road. Spring Break peaked in the mid 1980s and the city now attracts a more upscale crowd. Fort Lauderdale is in the midst of a luxury condo building boom, this is displacing the hotels that once lined the beach. The city is more cosmopolitan than most, having lots of Europeans and gay residents. The beach culture reflects the laid back nature of the community. You will find European food in the restaurants and bathers in thong swimsuits.

Downtown/Las Olas Blvd

The downtown area, especially around Las Olas Boulevard, has seen dramatic growth in the past decade, and now hosts many new hotels and high-rise condominium developments. Other improvements include a wide array of new boutiques, art galleries and restaurants. The entertainment district runs east-west along Las Olas Boulevard. East Las Olas Blvd has a mile of upscale shops and restaurants. Across the railway lines, West Las Olas caters to a younger crowd. There are funky nightclubs and restaurants between the railway lines and the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. In between East and West, there is a new set of shops called Riverside that sits on the RiverWalk. The RiverWalk runs along the north side of the new river, from the shops at Las Olas to the performing arts complex.

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Events and Festivals

Holidays

  • New Year’s Eve - The US celebrates the outgoing of the old year and incoming of the New Year quite dramatically. Every state boasts its own parties to ring in the New Year, but none is more extravagant than New York’s Time Square, which sees people overflowing into the neighboring restaurants, bars, parks, beaches, and neighborhoods.
  • St Patrick’s Day - March 17 celebrates the US’s large Irish population. Many cities around the country boast boisterous parades and Irish-themed parties, especially New York and Chicago, where the river is dyed green. Be wary of the drunkenness that dominates as this is definitely a party-day.
  • Memorial Day - Memorial Day is an important holiday throughout the United States, but not for crazy festivities. Parades commemorating wartime heroes are often held and the day is also the ‘unofficial’ start of summer. Most visitors follow the crowds to parks and beaches, which are capped off with informal BBQs.
  • Independence Day - Also known as the Fourth of July, Independence Day celebrates the US’s break from the British during the 18th century. Barbecues, street parties, beach trips, and weekend getaways are commonplace to appreciate freedom.
  • Halloween - Halloween is a fun holiday on October 31 for all generations to dress up in costumes and relive their youth. Children walk around the neighborhood trick-or-treating for candy, while adults attend parties. Other seasonal events include haunted houses, pumpkin farms and carving, and corn mazes.
  • Thanksgiving - On the fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving is held in almost every home in the US. Tourists will have a hard time finding anything to do as the country essentially shuts down in observation. A typical Thanksgiving meal consists of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie commemorating the original Pilgrim’s feast at Plymouth Rock.
  • Christmas - On December 25, Christians celebrate Christmas as the pinnacle of their calendar by attending church and opening gifts from Santa Claus. Almost everything shuts down to promote family togetherness. The northern regions hope to experience a “white Christmas,” with trees and festive lights blanketed by snow.

Sport

  • Super Bowl Sunday - the world’s most watched sporting event and one of the highest grossing TV days of the year, Superbowl Sunday is a spectacular extravaganza. Held the first Sunday in February, the Superbowl is the final playoff game between the NFL’s top two teams. The venue rotates every year around America, yet the local parties seem to remain. Pubs, bars and restaurants are great places to enjoy the Superbowl or locals throw their own parties with different variations of betting.

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Weather

Fort Lauderdale has a tropical rainforest climate. Summers are very humid with temperatures in the upper 80s °F and low 90s lasting into early fall. The city sees most of its rainfall in the summer (the wet season). Winter is warm and mild and mainly dry (the dry season) with mild temperatures that are occasionally broken up by some rain when cold fronts come through.

May to September is the summer wet season. During the summer, it is warm and humid, with the prevailing wind bringing tropical breezes blowing up from the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and equatorial Atlantic. It is often clear and sunny in the mornings but as the land heats up the air rises and the sea breeze kicks in. This brings in more damp moist air from the sea and so by noon it often starts to cloud over, and then there are commonly short showers in the afternoon, which helps to cool the air off for a cooler and generally dryer evening. The Atlantic hurricane season largely occurs from late July through early November, with peak activity generally occurring from mid-August through early October.

Fort Lauderdale, positioned just above the Tropic of Cancer, owes a lot of its winter warmth to the Gulf Stream that runs just a couple of miles off shore. The Gulf Stream brings warm water up from the tropics year-round.

On a typical summer day the temperature does not get below 24 °C. Summer temperatures are commonly 30-35 °C, which is often relieved by the sea breeze, which in turn brings some afternoon thunderstorms.

During winter, humidity is significantly lower. The average daily high in the winter is usually between 18-24 °C and the low normally around 15 °C, rarely dipping below 4 °C when a front comes through.

Fort Lauderdale receives abundant rainfall, most of it falling in the summer. The annual total of 1,488 mm is one of the highest for a U.S. city. This sounds like a lot, but it does not rain that often; when it does rain, it is a real tropical downpour.

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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.
  • Miami International Airport (MIA IATA), is 25 miles (40 km) south of Fort Lauderdale. It is the major international airport in South Florida, and known as 'The Gateway to the Americas'. Home of American Airlines' Latin American hub. There are frequent flights to Europe and many direct flights to the US West Coast; it is a 40-minute drive from Fort Lauderdale using I-95, but can be much, much slower during rush hour. You can catch the Tri-Rail from Miami airport to Fort Lauderdale station for about $4 a head. Then catch the linking bus, or get a cab from the station to the hotel. (More on Tri-Rail below). You can take a shuttle van from Miami Airport to Fort Lauderdale, price varies by destination but will be around $50 to $70 a head.
  • Palm Beach International Airport (PBI IATA), 1000 Turnage Boulevard, West Palm Beach, +1 561-471-7420. This airport is another option. PBI, however, primarily serves the Palm Beach area and is the least convienent of the three airports for visiting Fort Lauderdale. Nevertheless, you can use Tri-Rail to get from Palm Beach Airport to Fort Lauderdale.

By Train

  • Tri-Rail, +1-800-TRI-RAIL. Tri-Rail is a commuter rail line linking Miami Airport, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach in Florida. It is run by the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority. The 72-mile system has 18 stations along the South Florida coast. The train connects to the Metrorail in Miami at the Tri-Rail/Metrorail Transfer Station. For more detailed information refer to the entry. From Miami International Airport you can catch the Tri-Rail to Fort Lauderdale, and then a bus connects you the last mile downtown. Tri-Rail runs less frequently on weekends, so check the schedule.
  • Amtrak, 200 SW 21 Terrace, +1-800-872-7245. Provides service to cities up the Atlantic Coast of the United States via its Silver Meteor and Silver Star trains. Amtrak has two stops in the Fort Lauderdale Area, one in Fort Lauderdale located on Broward Boulevard and I-95, and another one in the suburb of Hollywood on Hollywood Boulevard and I-95. The train goes south to Miami and north to Boca Raton.
  • Brightline, 101 NW 2nd Avenue. This is the first private passenger rail service to start anew in a long time serving a route from Fort Lauderdale to West Palm Beach since January 2018 with plans to connect to further cities in the time to come. Note that the station is not the same as the one served by Amtrak and TriRail.

By Car

Interstate 95 (I-95) is the major north-south artery along the east side of the city. It connects Fort Lauderdale with the downtowns in Miami and West Palm Beach and goes north to Jacksonville and beyond.
Florida's Turnpike runs north-south, west of the city. To the south it connects to Homestead and the Florida Keys. To the north it connects to Orlando and North Florida.
I-595/I-75 connects Fort Lauderdale to Florida's West Coast (including Naples, Fort Myers, Sarasota and the Tampa Bay area).

By Bus

  • Greyhound Bus Lines, 510 NE 3rd St (NE 3rd St & Federal Hwy in downtown), ☎ +1 954-764-6551, toll-free: +1-800-231-2222. Service from Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville and Miami/Miami Airport. They also have another stop at the Sheridan St Tri-Station at 2900 Sheridan St in Hollywood.
  • Keys Shuttle, ☎ +1 305-289-9997, toll-free: +1-888-765-9997. The company provides door-to-door service between to the Keys from the Miami and Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airports (and vice versa).
  • Megabus, 2900 Sheridan St (Sheridan St Tri-Rail Station). Service from Orlando and Tampa.
  • Omnibus la Cubana, (Ticket Agency) Capricho Travel at 7645 Pines Blvd; Bus stop at Sheridan St exit from I-95 (Exit #21), ☎ +1 954-967-0080. Connects Miami to New York City through Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Washington, DC; Elkton, MD; Philadelphia and New Jersey on a single route. In Florida they serve Miami, Ft Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Deltona and Jacksonville.
  • Redcoach, (bus stop) 320 Terminal Dr (Ft Lauderdale Airport), ☎ +1 407-851-2843, toll-free: +1-877-733-0724. Service from Tallahassee via Gainesville, Ocala, Orlando, Tampa. Some of their buses travel from Ocala through Orlando while others go through Tampa on a different route to get to South Florida.

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

The east side of Fort Lauderdale, between down town and the beach, is criss crossed with canals. It doesn't matter if you are in a car, on bicycles, or on foot, you have to cross the canals where the bridges are. This is one town where a good map can save you a lot of backtracking. Surprisingly the best road map of the East side of town is the 'Dolphus Waterway Map".

The US 1 does not intersect with Las Olas Boulevard. Your map is wrong if it says otherwise. The US 1 passes under the river in a tunnel and goes under Las Olas too, re-emerging only at Broward Blvd. to the north. This confuses many people who are trying to navigate around Fort Lauderdale.

By Car

The easiest way to get around Fort Lauderdale and South Florida is by car. The city is set up on grid system and is fairly easy to navigate. Downtown is roughly two miles west of the beach. You need to consult a map when on the East side of town because the canals divide up the city and you need to find the bridges. Broward County is served by three major Interstates (I-75, I-95, I-595) and some U.S. Highways including U.S. Highway 1, US 27 and US 441. It is also served by Florida's Turnpike and State Highway 869, also known as the Sawgrass Expressway.

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.

By Public Transport

  • Broward County Transit (BCT), ☎ +1 954-357-8400. The county bus system. BCT provides connections with the bus systems in other parts of the metropolitan area: Metrobus in Miami-Dade County and Palm Tran in Palm Beach County. Buses are available, but often slow and inconvenient. There is a push to increase bus service.
  • Sun Trolley, ☎ +1 954-761-3543. An inexpensive trolley serving the downtown, beach, and convention center areas. It also provides a link from downtown to the Broward Blvd Tri-Rail station. If you're looking for a cheap scenic tour through Fort Lauderdale, ride the Sun-Trolley or take the 11 bus along Las Olas Blvd and A1A.
  • Tri-Rail, toll-free: +1-800-872-7245. Commuter train which runs north and south parallel to I-95, connecting Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Tri-Rail provides access to South Florida's three major airports, as well as links to Miami's Metrorail. However, since Tri-Rail trains can sometimes be thirty minutes to an hour late and has trains coming every two hours apart on the weekends so you will probably have better luck taking the city bus system. Tri-Rail also does not offer a very scenic tour as it is just a commuter line through the back sides of town.

By Bike

When you visit the beach you will see that many locals bike to the beach. Things in Fort Lauderdale are close, but often further apart than a quick walk. A bike makes everything much closer, and you don't have to find parking. By bike, it is only 10 minutes from the beach to downtown, the supermarkets, or the malls. A bike creates its own breeze so biking is not only quicker and less effort than walking, it's often cooler too.

You can rent a bike, or, if you know you are going to be staying more than a couple of days, it may be more cost effective to buy a $100 bike from a big discount store and sell it or pass it on when you go home. (If you stay a week, you can just about pay for a bike in the money you save on parking.)

There are bike lanes on the road by the beach on A1A and on Las Olas Blvd. going between the beach and downtown and the Riverwalk. Ride in the same direction as the traffic. It is common to take to the sidewalks on the bridges or on major roads when the bike lane disappears.

Because most things are quite close and Florida is very flat, bicycles are a very green, very sane, and relatively quick way to get around. You also get to see more, hear more, and be able to stop easily along the way to take pictures, something that is difficult to do when in a taxi or a car.

By Boat

Fort Lauderdale is America's yachting capital, and as such has numerous boat charter and rental companies. There are many restaurants and bars along the intracoastal that cater to the passing yachtsmen and their guests. Water Bus has 11 pick up/drop off locations in east Fort Lauderdale along the Intracoastal Waterway and New River. Float to and from the hotels, shopping, restaurants, beaches and nightlife. Slow and costly, but worth it for the view and romance.

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Eat

Fort Lauderdale has countless dining options. Among the most popular areas are Las Olas Blvd, Olde Town Fort Lauderdale, and the Beach.

Downtown/Old Town/Las Olas Blvd

  • Big City Tavern, 623 E.Las Olas Blvd. Great atmosphere, outside seating available. Sandwiches to steaks served.
  • Capital Grille, Galleria Mall. Upscale restaurant featuring excellent service and great steaks. Incredible wine selection.
  • Cheesecake Factory, 620 E.Las Olas Blvd, ☎ +1 954-463-1999. At base of Riverside Hotel where Las Olas meets the Tunnel. Popular chain featuring a large menu and countless desserts.
  • Chima, E.Las Olas Blvd. Excellent Brazilian rodizio. Great salad bar too.
  • Jalisco, 700 N.Federal Hwy, ☎ +1 954 462-9695. Small, family-owned Mexican restaurant. Looks can be deceiving as excellent, yet affordable cuisine is served with a smile.
  • Laffing Matterz, 219 S. Andrews Ave, ☎ +1 954 763-5236. After you dine on chef-prepared fare, their cutting-edge musical satire will leave you wiping tears of laughter from your eyes!
  • Mango's, 900 E.Las Olas Blvd. Popular and reasonably priced. Outside seating is available and there is often live music.
  • PF Chang's, Galleria Mall. Popular national chain, serving non-traditional Chinese food.

On the Beach/The Strip

  • Dos Caminos, 1140 Seabreeze Boulevard (in the B Ocean Hotel), ☎ +1 954-727-7090. Su noon-3PM 5:30PM-11PM, M-Sa 7AM-2:30PM 5:30PM-11PM. Modern Mexican cuisine, made-to-order guacamole & tequila cocktails. $12-26.
  • Monster Subs, 1978 E Sunrise Blvd, ☎ +1 954 463-7997. Sub shop known for handing you some of the meat to sample while you are waiting for them to make your sub.
  • Trina, Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd (A1A). At the Atlantic Hotel. Award winning restaurant featuring a Florida-Caribbean cuisine.
  • St Barts Coffee Shop, On the beach (A1A), 2 blocks south of Las Olas Blvd. Outside tables under umbrellas. It's where the locals go for coffee and breakfast.

Wilton Manors/Close In

  • Alibi, 2266 Wilton Dr, ☎ +1 954 565-2526. Wilton Manors. Gay bar & casual restaurant (hamburgers & sandwiches). Friendly, diverse "straight-friendly" crowd; lunch & dinner served both indoors & outside under covered patio area. Very reasonably priced.
  • Galanga, 2389 Wilton Dr (on the main drag in Wilton Manors), ☎ +1 954-202-0000. M-Th 11:30AM-10:30PM, F 11:30AM-11PM; Sa 1:30PM-11PM, Su 5PM-10:30PM. Thai and Asian-fusion food. Great food, great atmosphere, enjoy the patio year 'round
  • Mai Kai, 3599 N. Federal Highway, ☎ +1 954 563-3272. Along Polynesian food, you can view a show with fire.
  • Rosie's, Wilton Drive. Great hamburgers and lite fare, with large outdoor seating area. Fun gay-themed restaurant, with live music on weekends.
  • Tasty Thai, 2254 Wilton Dr, ☎ +1 954-396-3177. Wilton Manors. True authentic Thai Cuisine, get there early for dinner and get a complete meal at a reasonable price.

Lauderdale by the Sea area

  • Pomperdale, 3055 East Commercial Blvd, ☎ +1 954-771-9830. An excellent New York Jewish style deli.
  • The Village Grille, 4404 El Mar Dr, ☎ +1 954-776-5092. Lauderdale-By-The-Sea. Great place for breakfast, lunch and dinner or just drinks. Next to the beach. $8-12. Try the banana nut pancakes, they are to die for.
  • 101 Ocean, 101 E Commercial Blvd (Head East on Commercial blvd to Ocean it's on the corner of El-Mar & Commercial), ☎ +1 954 776-8101. 11AM-2AM. Really cool restaurant with a great outdoor bar. Perfect for people watching and 50 yards from the ocean. They have arguably the best happy hour in town: 50% off all drinks from 5-7PM, 7 days a week. Food and drink are both great - try the flatbreads or the cowboy steak.

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Drink

Fort Lauderdale's former reputation was built by Spring Break, and the city still does not disappoint. There are countless places to have a drink from little 'hole in the walls' to the ultra chic.

  • Aruba beach cafe, one east commercial blvd (take commercial avenue east to end), ☎ +1 954-766-0001. open for lunch and dinner. A fun place for all ages with free live music from techno, pop to the beatles every day at 10PM average $15 to $30.
  • ZEN BAR (Marando Farms), 1401 SW 1st AVE (South of Davie & West of Andrews, behind Tap 42), ☎ +1 954 937-8546, e-mail: zenbarjuices@gmail.com. M-F 10AM-6PM, Sa Su 9AM-5PM. Cold-pressed raw, organic juices and smoothies. Zen Bar offers a wide selection of superfoods & also features a beautiful collection of crystals.

Downtown/Old Town/Las Olas

  • Riverfront is a collection of stores and bars on the west side of the downtown district.
  • Tarpon Bend, 200 SW 2 St (Old Town). Great beer specials and popular on weekends.
  • Voodoo Lounge, 100 SW 2 Ave. Old Town. Popular dance club.

Beach/The Strip

  • Beach Place is on A1A across from the beach. It has many bars and restaurants, and is very popular on the weekends.
  • Elbo Room famous spring break landmark at Las Olas Blvd and A1A.
  • Fat Tuesday's, Beach Place. Great ocean views and strong frozen drinks. Perfect combo for fun.
  • Shooters is on the Intracoastal Waterway, south of Oakland Park Blvd. Very popular with the yacht crowd, as there are boat slips available.

Hole In The Wall

  • Grady's Bar, 905 S. Andrews Ave. At is a hangout for locals, open since 1940. Cheap drinks and food, cash only.
  • Flossie's Bar and Grill 3985 Angler's Avenue on the opposite side of I-95 from the airport. Outdoor tiki bar with live music some nights. Popular biker hangout.

Wilton Manors/Gay & Lesbian

  • Georgie's Alibi. At the Shoppes of Wilton Manors. Wilton Dr. and NE 6 Ave.
  • Boom. A nightclub at Shoppes of Wilton Manors. Wilton Dr and NE 6 Ave.

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Sleep

  • Lauderdale by the Sea Vacation Rental Villa by the Ocean (Rentals Vacation Management), ☎ +1 954-771-7705. Steps to the beach in one of the safest cities in South Florida,public tennis and basketball courts,and access to sport fishing. Close proximity to over 50 public championship golf courses. Minutes to downtown Ft. Lauderdale, Las Olas Blvd., and the Performing Arts Center and numerous fine dining establishments. 20 minutes to Ft. Lauderdale Airport.
  • Bahia Mar, 801 Seabreeze Blvd, toll-free: +1-888-802-2442. A beachside resort that offers an array of leisure pursuits, including a premier yachting center, a charter fishing fleet, and a championship golf at Grande Oaks Golf Club.
  • The Bonaventure Resort & Spa Fort Lauderdale Hotel, 250 Racquet Club Rd, ☎ +1 954-389-3300. Full-service spa, two 18-hole PGA championship courses and five inviting pools.
  • El Palacio Ft. Lauderdale Resort, 4900 Powerline Rd, ☎ +1 954-776-4880.
  • Days Inn Ft Lauderdale/Oakland Park, 1595 West Oakland Park Blvd, ☎ +1 954-484-9290.
  • Elysium Resort, 552 N Birch Rd, ☎ +1 954-564-9601. Large resort catering to gay men. Jacuzzi and two pools.
  • Embassy Suites, 1100 SE 17th St, ☎ +1 954-527-2700. An all-suite hotel situated in the heart of Fort Lauderdale.
  • Fort Lauderdale Grande Hotel & Yacht Club, 1881 SE 17th St, ☎ +1 954-463-4000. Located at the edge of the splendid Intracoastal Waterway. Across from the Broward County Convention Center.
  • FTL Vacation Rentals, toll-free: +1-800-954-5309. Offering 1, 2 and 3 bedroom vacation homes. NE 17th Ave @ NE 12th St.
  • Harbor Beach Resort and Spa, 3030 Holiday Dr. Features a private beach and an 8,000 square foot tropical lagoon pool. Recognized as a Top Ten World's Best Wreck Diving, Marine Life and Value Dive Destination off the 1/4 mile shores of Harbor Beach are two reefs and four dive sites.
  • Hawthorn Suites, 2201 N. Commerce Pkwy, ☎ +1 954-659-1555, fax: +1 954 659-1191.
  • Hyatt Place, 91 Southwest 18th Ave, ☎ +1 954-922-0436. Rooms with free Wi-Fi, work space, refrigerator,flat screen TV, and alarm clock with MP3 connections. Guests have access to free airport shuttle, free parking, free breakfast,pool and fitness center. $113.
  • Hyatt Summerfield Suites, 90 Southwest 18th Ave, ☎ +1 954-922-0271. Suites with full kitchens, free Wi-Fi, work space, flat screen TV, and alarm clock with MP3 connections. Guests have access to free parking, free breakfast, pool and fitness center. $120.
  • Liberty Apartment & Garden Suites, 1500 S.W. Second Ave, ☎ +1 954-927-0090. (Dania Beach). Greater Fort Lauderdale's first and only exclusive extended stay resort hotel welcoming the gay and lesbian community and their pets.
  • The Royal Palms, 2901 Terramar St, ☎ +1 954-564-6444, toll-free: +1-800-237-7256. Rated the # 1 gay resort in North America by Planet Out, the gay travel experts. The decor is delicious, the service exceptional and amenities without parallel in the gay guesthouse world. A gem in the heart of gay Ft. Lauderdale.
  • Sheraton Suites - Cypress Creek, 555 NW 62nd St, ☎ +1 954-772-5400. In the middle of the north business district.
  • TownePlace Suites Fort Lauderdale West, 3100 Prospect Rd, ☎ +1 954-484-2214, fax: +1 954 484-4533.
  • Worthington Guest House, 543 N.Birch Rd, toll-free: +1-800-445-7036. A gay men's resort in "The Island" area of Ft Lauderdale. Boasts a 12 man jacuzzi and a large pool, both of which are open 24 hours a day. The Worthington is convenient to the town's gay nightlife, dining and shopping and only a 5-minute walk to the popular Sebastion Street Beach.
  • Wyndham - Airport, 1870 Griffin Rd, ☎ +1 954-920-3300. Adjacent to the FLL Airport and features 388 sound-proof rooms.
  • Cambria Suites Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (Cambria Suites Florida hotel), 141 SW 19th Ct, ☎ +1 954-889-2600. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. 100 percent non-smoking, all-suite hotel located four miles from the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. $89 to $149.
  • The Westin Beach Resort, Fort Lauderdale, 321 North Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd, ☎ +1 954-467-1111. Opened March 15, 2009, after completing the first phase in a multi-million dollar rebirth.
  • Courtyard Fort Lauderdale Airport & Cruise Port, 400 Gulf Stream Way (Dania Beach), ☎ +1 954-342-8333. Renovated hotel off I-95. Minutes from Port Everglades and Fort Lauderdale Airport - offers free shuttle service to both.
  • Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa (Fort Lauderdale Marriott), 3030 Holiday Drive, ☎ +1 954-525-4000. Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 11AM. Oceanfront hotel with 16 acres of private beaches, spa, and 100,000 Sq Ft for indoor and outdoor events.
  • Fort Lauderdale Stays, 1706 NE 19th Street, ☎ +1 754-701-5660, e-mail: info@fortlauderdalestays.com. Fort Lauderdale Stays offers vacation rental homes in popular areas throughout Fort Lauderdale, Florida such as Wilton Manors, Fort Lauderdale Beach, Las Olas, Imperial Point, and Poinsettia Heights.
  • Ocean Sky Hotel and Resort, 4060 Galt Ocean Drive, ☎ +1 954 565-6611, e-mail: concierge@oceanskyresort.com.

View our map of accommodation in Fort Lauderdale or use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

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Work

Once heavily reliant on tourism and the very large marine industry, Fort Lauderdale's economy is now diverse and based on many small and medium business.

Several large companies are based in the Fort Lauderdale area including: AutoNation USA, CBS Interactive, Citrix Systems, DHL Express, Spirit Airlines, Merchant Financing Leads, and National Beverage Corp. Due to its proximity to Miami, Fort Lauderdale is emerging as a location for Latin American headquarters for companies such as Microsoft.

Fort Lauderdale is a major manufacturing and maintenance center for large and expensive private yachts. The boating industry is responsible for over 100,000 jobs in the area. With its many canals, and proximity to the Bahamas and Caribbean, it is also a popular place to keep a yacht, and a major stop for nautical staging and refitting.

The boating industry is being squeezed out because waterfront property continues to increase in value and this is forcing some marinas and shipyards to sell out or relocate out of the area. The total number of available boat slips is also declining as marinas are more actively seeking a few large mega-yachts instead of several smaller boats.

Even so, the marine industry continues to grow, catering more and more to the mega yachts. There is now a section of the old State Road 84 that has been renamed Marina Mile where the mega yacht industry is booming.

During the 1970s, the city's tourism was largely driven by younger people, because Fort Lauderdale was infamous for being THE spring break destination for college students. This changed in the late 1980s when there was a crack down on underage drinking. Fort Lauderdale is now less of a college spring break destination and does more year round business with European families and upscale US tourists. The city also has a booming cruise ships industry: every day there are shiploads of tourists leaving and arriving at the sea port.

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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

Accommodation in Fort Lauderdale

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Contributors

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This is version 29. Last edited at 16:27 on Apr 9, 19 by Utrecht. 68 articles link to this page.

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