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World Travel Guide > Guides > North America > United States of America > Florida > Fort Lauderdale

About Fort Lauderdale

Lauderdale (locals drop the ‘Fort’) is a smart Atlantic coast resort that’s been a hit with vacationers for more than 50 years.

Visitors from landlocked areas are drawn to its miles of fabulous white sand beaches — and to ride water taxis and water buses along its 300 miles (482 kms) of canals. The city also boasts upscale shopping, top museums and trendy nightlife. Lauderdale seems the ‘common man’s’ approachable answer to glitzy, bubbling-over Miami, less than 30 crowded miles to the south.

Port Everglades is the clever title for the commercial harbour serving attractive Fort Lauderdale even though the port is actually more than 20 miles (32 kms) from Florida’s celebrated Everglades.

Sightseeing:

Lauderdale’s county has more boats registered than any of Florida’s 66 other counties – largely because the 300 miles (482 kms) of canals make it convenient for residents to commute to jobs, head for waterside entertainment districts, or venture into the Atlantic to fish or float. Visitors can enjoy the canals by stepping aboard the frequent water taxis or booking aboard a tour boat.

Alternatively, visitors can take a land taxi to the edge of the Everglades and then roar over its waters on an airboat. This vast subtropical wilderness, a national wildlife preserve, is home to rare plants, birds and animals, including the endangered Florida panther, ospreys, manatees, black bear and saltwater crocodiles. There are several visitor centres that organise ranger-led walks and talks, tram tours and canoe trails.

Highlights:
• Everglades National Park
• Las Olas and Riverwalk shopping/entertainment promenades
• Canal network
• Museum of Art
• Museum of Discovery and Science
• Championship golf

Tourist information:

Convention and Visitors Bureau
100 East Broward Blvd, Port Everglades, U.S.
Tel: (+1) 954 765 4466.
www.broward.org

Shopping introduction:

Sawgrass Mills Mall (the world’s largest designer outlet mall) has more than 275 specialty shops and is located just outside of the city. Within the city centre, the Galleria shopping has America’s high-end brand names, plus another 150 stores. The Swap Shop flea market (think an indoor boot sale without the cars) is said to be the largest in the United States.

Restaurants:

The city has courted fine dining, so much so that some insiders call this ‘Fork Lauderdale’. As throughout Florida, seafood is fresh and a menu staple; specialties include smoked mullet and meat from the huge claws of the stone crab. Other popular dishes originate from Cuba, Jamaica and South America.

When to go:

Fort Lauderdale is hot year-round and is tempered by cooling trade winds. Highs approach 32̊C (90̊F), lows seldom drop below 15̊C (60̊F).

Nearest destination:

Fort Lauderdale.

Transfer distance:

3.2km (2 miles).

Transfer time:

5 minutes.