Top 5 Must-See Attractions in Fort Lauderdale, FL
Fort Lauderdale is known for its spectacular beaches, canals, and waterways. Along with arts and culture, great shopping spots, and historic points of interest, it’s a top vacation destination. The following five attractions offer something for every type of traveler.
Fort Lauderdale Beach – For the Beach Bums
Beaches are aplenty in Fort Lauderdale and, even if you’re not a beach bum, spending time along the surf is something not be missed. Fort Lauderdale Beach is the one most lauded (pardon the pun!). In the past, it was a hot spot for spring break, but today it’s more of a relaxed stretch of beach than a party zone. It’s in the heart of the tourist area so if you’re not keen to sunbathe you can stroll the promenade, shops, and restaurants. Other cool beaches to check out are Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, and Hillsboro Beach, a popular turtle nesting ground.
Las Olas Boulevard – A Tourist Must-See
Las Olas Boulevard is right near Fort Lauderdale Beach. This is a popular tourist spot ideal for catching a bite to eat, doing some shopping, browsing art galleries, or taking in a museum or two. Las Olas is geared towards tourists, so if it’s your first time in Fort Lauderdale it is a must-do. If, however, you hate touristy areas, then avoid this one. Several events take place along the boulevard. Depending on the time of year you visit you could enjoy art fairs, food and wine festivals, or the annual Christmas on Las Olas.
Ride an Airboat Down the Everglades
Fort Lauderdale is the gateway to the Everglades and something you definitely want to tick off your list. Choose to do an airboat ride from either Sawgrass Recreational Park or Everglades Holiday Park. They each take you along a different route and both provide an informative an educational narrative on the trip. Everglades Holiday Park is home to The Gator Boys, the popular TV show on Animal Planet, while Sawgrass Recreational Park also offers night trips. Both showcase the fauna, flora, and wildlife and you’ll get up close and personal to the alligators!
Delve into Some History
For the history buffs, don’t miss tours of Stranahan House and Bonnet House Museum & Gardens. Built in the 1920s, the Bonnet House reflects plantation-style architecture. A visit to Bonnet House will satisfy art lovers (with the many paintings and treasures on display), horticulture enthusiasts (the grounds and gardens are breathtaking), and animal lovers who will encounter birdlife, squirrel monkeys, and tortoises. Stranahan House was built in 1901 and is Broward County’s oldest building. This is classic Florida Frontier architecture and resplendent in period Victorian decor and furniture.
For Nature Lovers
Hugh Taylor Birch State Park is the ideal way for nature lovers to spend a relaxing day. The park offers walking and hiking trails, and accommodates cycling and skating. Visitors can rent a canoe and paddle out on the freshwater lagoon, and fishing, camping, and picnicking are also allowed. Those keen on spotting some wildlife will be treated to a variety of birdlife, as well as Gopher Tortoises and raccoons. Inquire about the live animal exhibits which can include the Eastern Indigo, corn snakes, rat snakes, and Diamondback Turtles.