Happy, Sunny Fort Lauderdale

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.

Don't miss:

  • 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

Sunset on Fort LauderdaleCruising the Intracoastal on catamaran tour New friends at Butterfly WorldBeautiful Las Olas Blvd Welcome to Las Olas Inside Lobster Bar Sea GrilleBeach strollin' Cinema ParadisoView from my room at Il LuganoAll about the details at Bonnet House