On a recent trip, on assignment for National Geographic, I only planned a short stop in Fort Lauderdale. BAD MOVE.
If you go, plan on at least 2 nights! The main street, Las Olas Blvd, is especially charming and really unlike so many main streets in towns I've visited around the world - there was only one chain (Cheesecake Factory, which let's be honest...their giant hunks of cheesecake ARE delicious) and the rest was unique, local restaurants and shops.
- A sunset catamaran tour with Tropical Sailing
- Bonnet House Museum & Gardens - whimsical and fun (you have to go on the walking tour to see the inside of the house but it's great!)
- Drive 10 miles north to Butterfly World, especially if you have kids.
- Strolling Las Olas Blvd - I loved Lobster Bar Sea Grille for lunch, but also check out La Bonne Crepe or Las Olas Wine Cafe tucked away from the street for a pre-dinner drink
- Walking the Riverwalk
- At least driving by the exterior of Cinema Paradiso - they show great films and play host to the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival
- A walk on the beach, which used to be home to the craziest spring break in America
- Check out all-suite hotel Il Lugano if you want to feel at home (washer/dryer & kitchen in every suite!)
I've shared more of own photos below. And if you're interested, here's my final piece for NatGeo on what I discovered: Why I Love Fort Lauderdale