Fort Lauderdale Beach Vacation Guide

The moment you take your socks off, you’re free. Warm your toes in  Fort Lauderdale’s 23 miles of sun-kissed beaches, an easy walk to the array of hotels, restaurants and activities. Experience a sunny state of mind.  Fort Lauderdale is proud to have been continuously certified as Blue Wave Beach by the Clean Beaches Council of Washington DC since 1999.  Enjoy our Fort Lauderdale Beach Vacation Guide to find everything you’ll need for your vacation in sunny paradise.  Fort Lauderdale is a great beach destination with luxury properties along the beachfront and a casual yet chic shopping and dining scene.  Enjoy the people watching at Fort Lauderdale Beach and stroll, jog, or blade along the palm tree-fringed, brick-lined beachfront promenade.  Visit the beautiful beaches of Florida’s East Coast

Weather – When to Visit Fort Lauderdale

The best time to visit Fort Lauderdale is between December and April. The warm climate (between the high 50s and mid-80s) makes it an ideal getaway for anyone looking to escape bitter winter temperatures. For this reason, many from the north flock to the south, making December through April Fort Lauderdale’s high season, so expect some crowds. Summer and fall are susceptible to rain and hurricanes, with the official hurricane season running from June 1 to Nov. 30.

Fort Lauderdale Attractions

Deerfield Beach
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Enjoy the sunrise on beautiful Deerfield Beach, Greater Fort Lauderdale’s northern most award-winning, cove-like beaches and the destination’s family playground. For the more adventurous family, a day can be spent at Ski Rixen, one of America’s first cable water ski parks. This innovative water skiing system pulls you silently over glassy smooth water without a boat! Or, take a trip to the beach for sandcastle building, volleyball, dining at open-air eateries or fishing off the Deerfield Pier.

Fort Lauderdale Beach
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With its makeover from a college student Mecca to a tonier clientele complete, Fort Lauderdale has been transformed into a beach chic destination. From Lauderdale luxe properties dotting the beachfront skyline to Las Olas Boulevard for casually chic shopping and dining scene, Fort Lauderdale Beach has some of the best people-watching in South Florida.  And don’t forget to stroll, jog, or blade along the palm tree-fringed, brick-lined beachfront promenade.

Las Olas Beach
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Head north from Fort Lauderdale Beach Park or east on Las Olas Boulevard and you’ll find Las Olas Beach, a small stretch of sand that attracts beachgoers of all ages. Beach amenities are not as plentiful as those offered at Fort Lauderdale Beach Park; however, visitors have access to beach chair and water sports equipment rentals, restrooms and metered parking. Restaurants, bars and shops are also available across the street.

The Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale
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One of the most memorable walks you can take in Fort Lauderdale is on the Fort Lauderdale Riverwalk. This recently completed linear promenade along the New River in downtown is considered by many “Florida’s Most Beautiful Mile,” linking boutiques, restaurants, shops and museums with lush, tropical scenery.

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Las Olas Boulevard
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Twinkling lights set the stage each evening for South Florida’s most architecturally unique, authentic, and eclectic shopping and dining district. Stroll the boulevard, duck in and out of our cool breezeways, and be delighted by what you’ll discover – nowhere else in Florida will you find. . . .Over 30 al fresco dining options, 10 major international art galleries, 2 world class museums, 65 unique shops filled with fashion, accessories, gifts, and more.

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Things to do in Fort Lauderdale

BlueFoot Pirate Adventures

Bluefoot Pirate Family Adventures is a fun interactive pirate cruise for adults and children. Join them as they set sail daily on a pirates treasure hunt along the Ft. Lauderdale waterway. Help the pirates find the hidden treasure, learn pirate talk, dress like a pirate and ward off the attacks of rival pirates with water cannons. A fun waterway cruise for the whole family.  Telephone: 954-530-8302  Web: BlueFoot Pirate Adventures.

Tropical Sailing

Tropical Sailing provides Florida Yacht Charters aboard South Florida’s newest, most spacious and comfortable fleet of catamarans.  Guests can snorkel warm clear Floridian waters, and enjoy beautiful white sand beaches on deserted cays off the South Florida’s east coast. Lunch Buffet and beach barbecues served. Full and half day sailing trips available.  Telephone: 954-618-8915  Web: Tropical Sailing.

Aloha Watersports

When you or your family, friends and out of town guests are looking for unique and exciting ocean adventures, it’s time to visit the professionals at Aloha Watersports. Whether it’s a breathtaking parasail flight, an action packed wave runner ride or a leisurely sailing trip on a Hobie Cat,  the experts from Team Aloha have the knowledge and experience to insure that every visit with them will be enjoyable, memorable and, above all, safe.  Telephone: 954-462-7245  Web: Aloha Watersports.

Fort Lauderdale Airboat Rides

There’s no better way to see the Florida Everglades than by taking an airboat ride with Ft Lauderdale Airboat Rides. Safe, exhilarating and fun for the whole family, an airboat tour brings you up close and personel with some of the most beautiful wetland scenery to be found in the Everglades, as well as colorful wildlife. Airboat tours are a great way to give you the opportunity to come face to face with Florida’s Everglades wildlife such as alligators, white-tailed deer, and bird life for which the state is justly famous.  Telephone:  954-338-4890  Web: Fort Lauderdale Airboat Rides.

 Sunrise Paddleboards

Looking for some new fun on the surf? Then you’re ready for standup paddle boarding!  You can paddle on your knees or stand up.  They’ve taught people from 6 years old to people in their 80′s who are all very excited that they can learn this in no more than an hour. It’s so easy that they guarantee they’ll get you up or you can have your money back.  Telephone:  954-440-4562  Web: Sunrise Paddleboards.

Best Fort Lauderdale Restaurants

Market 17 $31 – 60

Their Executive Chef Lauren DeShields prepares all their dishes from scratch using only the freshest and highest quality ingredients. In addition to their delicious food and friendly service, Market 17 has a big love and dedication to their extensive beverage program.  They are very excited to share their passion for wine, craft beer and spirits with the guests of Market 17.  Telephone:  954-835-5507  Web: Market 17.

Coconuts $11 – 30

Coconuts Waterfront restaurant, South Florida at its best. You can raft your boat at their dock, valet park your car, bring your dog on a leash, even your mother-in-law will enjoy; where the atmosphere is fun, relaxed, and the food is great.  At Coconuts they pride themselves for their great service, quality food and their happy “be nice” perfect place on the water.  Telephone:  954-525-2421  Web: Coconuts.

Hot & Soul $11 – 30

They have Filipino chicken adobo, Louisiana gumbo, oxtail gnocchi as well a few vegetarian items such as soba noodle salad and vegan coconut polenta with mushroom gravy.  Their beer list changes and includes brews from various craft breweries including Stone, Cigar City, Ballast Point, Founders, Peak Organic & Funky Buddha.  Their wine list will also change, but will always feature interesting wines from lessor known small winemakers.  Telephone:  754-206-2155  Web: Hot & Soul.

Gilbert’s 17th Street Grill $11 – 30

Gilbert’s 17th’s Street Grill serves up great burgers, ribs, home made soups, and salads. Daily blackboard specials include Pan Seared Tuna, Roast Pork on Garlic Toast and Grilled Portobello Mushroom Burger. You can’t beat Mrs. Gilbert’s homemade Key Lime Pie and Cheesecakes.  Telephone:  954-768-8990  Web:  Gilbert’s 17th Street Grill.

La Dolce Vita $11 – 30

La Dolce Vita serves up Fort Lauderdale’s finest Italian fare with exciting dishes and unique ambiance.  At La Dolce Vita, every dish is created using only the freshest, finest ingredients.  They never use frozen ingredients, and their home made pasta make them unique in every dish they prepare at La Dolce Vita.  They serve only the finest meats and seafood, freshest vegetables, and breads that are baked fresh daily. Telephone:  954-565-5707 Web:  La Dolce Vita.

Fort Lauderdale Nightlife

Bar Red Beard

Bar Red Beard, located in Ft Lauderdale Fl, is an American craft beer bar located in Fort Lauderdale. On top of their rotating craft beer menu with over 50+ hand picked beer tasting experiences, Red Beard Bar offers a variety of sandwiches, pizza by the slice, and other gourmet bites. Like the Mariano’s Meatballs, Quinoa & Kabobs, as well as the popular North Beach Pulled Pork Sandwich. Located just north of Oakland Park Blvd., in Fort Lauderdale, FL.  Telephone:  754-223-4665  Web:  Bar Red Beard

Treasure Trove

An open air local bar with great food, drinks, amazing staff, music, etc. this place has it all. It’s a dive bar but with an attitude. Right from the start you can tell this place is timeworn, where coolers replace refrigerators.  Make sure to get the fish tacos!  Telephone:  954-522-8385 Web:  Treasure Trove

The Parrot

The World Famous Parrot has been serving Fort Lauderdale locals and visitors since 1970.  If you’re looking for a neighborhood atmosphere with friendly service, you have found it.  The Parrot features the largest selection of domestic, import, and craft beers on Fort Lauderdale beach.  The cool cocktails will keep you visiting again and again.  There is always something going on at the Parrot. Watch your favorite games and join them for their famous parties year round.  Telephone:  954-563-1493 Web:  The Parrot.

Glitch Bar

Glitch Bar redefines nightlife and offers and alternative by infusing original classic arcade machines from the 80’s and 90’s with modern mixology and an incredible selection of craft beer in a modern bar setting.  To satisfy your thirst Glitch Bar has a full bar, a twelve tap draft system, a vast array of bottled and canned craft beer, bottled and caned ciders as well as a fine assortment of Craft Sodas.  Telephone:  954-616-5762  Web:  Glitch Bar.

The Boarding

The Boarding is a chic authentic French restaurant and wine bar with a focus on charcuterie, French tapas, and artisan cheeses. Atmosphere and style just like a cozy soot in France. The people working here and eating here make this place special. They have a menu that you can’t find elsewhere. This is a must for any time you are in the area.  Telephone:  954-204-0919  Web:  The Boarding.

Best Boca Raton Hotels

Villa Venezia

Villa Venezia is a small hotel located off Las Olas at a Canal – close enough to the bustling town and the beach, but yet tranquil, secluded and romantic. With all rooms individually designed and each one of them beautifully decorated, the accommodations range from studios to a 2 bedroom 2 bathrooms luxury suite. Awarded with ‘White Glove Award’ & ‘Above and Beyond Award’, Villa Venezia will make your stay enjoyable and unforgettable.

Premier Hotel

Enjoy your next Florida family vacation at Fort Lauderdale’s Premiere Hotel. Located just steps from Ft. Lauderdale’s beautiful Atlantic beach. Relax by our large swimming pool or take a walk along the beach, you are on vacation.

Ritz Carlton Ft. Lauderdale

This property is 3 minutes walk from the beach. This oceanfront Fort Lauderdale hotel offers an outdoor pool, on-site restaurant, and a spa. Guests will also be 6 miles from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.  Guests at The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale have access to an elevated 29,000 square foot tropical sundeck with infinity pool and private cabanas. It also features a spa and fitness center with water views.  Italian cuisine with waterfront views are offered at Via Luna for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Wine Room features selections from a 5,000-bottle wine cellar. Via Luna Bar and Poolside Café are available as well.

Sea Spray Inn

They are a small, private family owned, hotel with 16 lovely apartments. Their Studios, One-Bedroom or Two-Bedroom apartments as well as the very spacious Penthouse are all fully furnished, ideal for families, groups and long term stays. The Hotel features 2 buildings, each with its own charm; the lovely Pool-Side and the more private Garden-Side. The Sea Spray Inn is conveniently located, only steps to the beach and numerous delicious restaurants, entertainment choices and multiple shops.

Nobleton Hotel

Nobleton Hotel is located one block from the beach behind the W hotel. This location offers a pool, barbeque area and relaxing garden area to escape reality. At Nobleton, we believe traveling in style should be affordable without any hidden costs. We offer a clean, comfortable and modern room, plus add free parking, wifi, beach towels and beach chairs.



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30 Comments

  1. YWalden

    Hello Leahrae,
    Great website. It’s very informative. You can find all the information you need on this one website. That’s awesome. I live in Fort Lauderdale and was not aware of all that our beautiful beach has to offer. Thanks for the great information. I’m going to have to start exploring my beach more often.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes you are! I live in Florida too, and besides going to beaches outside of Florida, I make it a point to visit ours 🙂 Thanks for visiting Fort Lauderdale Beach Vacation.

      Reply
  2. Kam

    Fort Lauderdale does have a couple nice beaches! I like Florida and have been to the city about 4 times. Usually,  Fort Lauderdale is a good town that is close to a lot of the most popular beaches in the world. Definite place to visit in the future!  Thanks for all the great information on Florida beaches!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Glad you enjoyed reading Kam.  Fort Lauderdale is most definitely a great place to visit, and as you say, so close to a lot of other really great beaches.

      Reply
  3. Ronnie Jordan

    This location you showed me keyed in on Aloha Watersports. I’m starting to realize just how much adventure I have missed out on. This is another beautiful location that would be a nice place to unwind. Thanks for making me aware of this vacation spot.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are welcome Ronnie. I think you would enjoy Vero beach and of course a trip with Aloha Watersports. Let me know if you need any more information.

      Reply
  4. expedientdreams

    Very imformative planning a trip to the carribean and we will be staying a few days in Fort Lauderdale I bookmarked your site it will come in handy when we arrive. What is the best beach in your opinion to go to which serves drinks or is there a beach like that after all it is a holiday? Anyways thanks for putting together such a great site. It is very easy to navigate love the design.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are very welcome. Just head to Fort Lauderdale beach, you will find everything there! Thanks for reading the Fort Lauderdale Beach Vacation guide.

      Reply
  5. Asen

    Hi,

    I love beach destinations. I’ve been to the most beutiful beach places in Europe but to be honest, I’ve never been to the USA.
    Your review of the Fort Lauderdale is very well structured and includes very useful information.
    I always want to check out the restaurants nearby, so now when I have the possibility to visit this beach, I know where to have a decent meal.
    Thank you very much for the detailed description.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are very welcome ! Thank you for visiting Beach Travel Destinations!

      Reply
  6. Paul

    Your post provided me with an immense amount of information to help me plan my trip to Fort Lauderdale Beach. Superb!

    Right now we are in a winter freeze and those beaches are looking some inviting.

    We were planning to travel in March. I may have missed it but do you have a chart of the busiest times to visit? A chat similar to you weather chart would be phenomenal!

    Cheers
    Paul

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Well Paul I can see what I can find, but I do know from experience, the end of May thru the beginning is going to be busy. Any other time is going to be much less crowded. A friend just sent me a picture of the beach yesterday, above 80 degrees and not many beach goers…just kite surfers.

      Reply
  7. andrejs

    What to say, given information covering everything you need to know for great beach vacation time. Lots of info about bars and other catering places. It will be great to have some guidance about car parking places and prices, as well as and renting offers of beach accessories. Thanks a lot.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are very welcome. I will have to start looking into adding that information! Thank you Andre.

      Reply
  8. Michael

    Wow this is brilliant information to have, I never realised that Fort Lauderdale has so many things to offer and they all look so great, I also love the restaurants you have pointed out – do you know if any serve up a really good prime steaks? thanks also for the temperature warning – I will have to stay clear on 7th August as i’m unable to cope with that level of heat!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      For the best Prime Rib head to the Kaluz Restaurant. You won’t regret it. For me, I love the heat 🙂 Best time to go! Thanks for reading Michael.

      Reply
  9. Nathan

    I’ve always loved visiting Florida because of the Disney World attraction. Of course, I didn’t know there was other stuff you could do down there, I’ve always wanted to para sail one of these days. Next time I visit Florida, I’m going to check that out. Thank you for all your information.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are very welcome Nathan. And yes all of the Disney stuff is super close. We were just there 🙂

      Reply
  10. Peter

    Great breakdown of all the things that make Fort Lauterdale the great destination that it is! One of my favorite aspects regarding that area is definitely the intercoastal waterways.

    I was recently down in Hollywood, FL, where we took a tour of all the amazing yachts and homes down there. It was unbelievable. Great choice of restaurants and hotels as well. I’ll definitely be coming back the next time I go down to FL, which better be soon! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, you will love it. And I have to agree. The Intercoastal Waterway is a must. Thanks for visiting Beach Travel Destinations.

      Reply
  11. Christian

    Hello, I have been to Ft. Lauderdale in passing through to Miami, but I have yet to be able to take in the beaches or nightlife. I can only imagine that it would be more inviting than the more popular beaches of the Miami area, and more calm, and that appeals to me. Do you have a specific hotel that you prefer and recommend, close to shopping maybe?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I’d have to say the Lago Mar Beach Resort and Club. This would be my pick, not to mention it is on the beach 🙂 Thank you for reading Christian!

      Reply
  12. Gary

    I love the beach and can’t wait to get back. I went to Ft. Lauderdale years ago when I was a kid and we toured the Intercoastal Waterway. I highly recommend it. Great information on finding cheaper airfare. I will bookmark your Airfare Tips article so I can refer to it the next time I fly. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are very welcome Gary! Glad you enjoyed the information and love the beach too! Thanks for visiting the Fort Lauderdale Beach Vacation Guide.

      Reply
  13. Mikael

    Hi Leahrea,

    Some nice tips for Fort Lauderdale. Have spend a lot of time in California but never been on the other coast, but sounds it would be worth going. The pirate cruise that you are mentioning sounds like a lot of fun. Will definitely consider that if I end up going to that area.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great, I kind of like it more than California. To me, it’s a much more relaxed atmosphere. Thanks for reading!

      Reply
  14. Daniel

    Hi Leahrae,

    I also love holidays at the beach. I will travel to Miami at the end of March 2017 and I am planning the whole trip at the moment. I guess after looking at your site Fort Lauderdale will be definitely a place where I will stay for one or two nights. When have you been to Fort Lauderdale?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I just returned about a month ago and I was still on the beach and in the water. Granted the water was a bit colder than other times of the year, like when you will be going. I would most definitely spend a couple days in Fort Lauderdale!

      Reply
  15. Simon

    Dear Leahrae,
    thank you very much for this useful information.
    I am from Europe, I love travelling, and I am planning to visit the U.S. next year. I was searching for some good information about places I can stay, beaches I can visit, and activities which I can do. Many times when you arrive at a new place you are searching for places which are not too turistic. Now I know about the spots where the locals go thank to you.
    I will definitively com back to your website to recollect more information and book some activities beforehand.
    Thank you so much and have a great day!
    Simon

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you so much Simon for your comments and for visiting my site. Please let me know if you need any additional information. I would love to help you plan your beach vacation!

      Reply

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