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


Over the course of a year, the temperature typically varies from 58°F to 91°F and is rarely below 47°F or above 93°F.The warm season lasts from June 1 to September 29 with an average daily high temperature above 87°F. The hottest day of the year is August 7, with an average high of 91°F and low of 78°F.  The cold season lasts from December 7 to February 23 with an average daily high temperature below 77°F. The coldest day of the year is January 15, with an average low of 58°F and high of 74°F.


Naturally Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is going to be the best airport if traveling into Fort Lauderdale.  You can also fly into Miami International Airport which is 21 miles away.  To create a fair watch, go to AirFareWatchDog which will alert you when the flights are going down in price.  Also check my airfare tips on how to make sure you are getting the lowest fare.  For finding the lowest fare, go to CheapFlights.  I find them to be the best for flight comparison, and getting the best deal if you are ready to purchase.  Once you have your airfare, make sure you reserve your airport parking ahead of time.  You can  Save On Airport Parking and not have the last minute hassle (been there) of trying to get parking reserved.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport

Miami International Airport

Car Rental

For sunshine, beautiful beaches, and a touch of glamour, head on down to sunny Fort Lauderdale, FL. Its numerous inland waterways have led to its being referred to as “The Venice of America,” though fortunately you won’t hear any rumors of Fort Lauderdale sinking into the nearby Atlantic Ocean. When you’re ready to visit some of the best golf courses and museums in the country, as well as thousands of restaurants, you can zig-zag across the Venice of America with a cheap car rental in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Don’t blow your vacation budget on an expensive vehicle. Instead, book your Fort Lauderdale car rental through today. They offer cheap deals on rental cars in Fort Lauderdale, meaning you spend your hard-earned cash on admission to the Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale instead of on your rental transportation.

Bars & Nightlife

Bar Red Beard, Fort Lauderdale Florida, Fort Lauderdale Beach Vacation Guide, Fort Lauderdale beaches, Florida beachesBar 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.  Contact for more information at 754-223-4665 or visit them at Bar Red Beard

Treasure Trove, Fort Lauderdale Florida, Fort Lauderdale Beach Vacation Guide, Fort Lauderdale beaches, Florida beachesTreasure 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!  Contact for more information at 954-522-8385 or visit them at Treasure Trove


The Parrot, Fort Lauderdale Florida, Fort Lauderdale Beach Vacation Guide, Fort Lauderdale beaches, Florida beachesThe 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.  Contact for more information at 954-563-1493 or visit them at The Parrot.

Glitch Bar, Fort Lauderdale Florida, Fort Lauderdale Beach Vacation Guide, Fort Lauderdale beaches, Florida beachesGlitch 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.  Contact for more information at 954-616-5762 or visit the Glitch Bar.

The Boarding, Fort Lauderdale Florida, Fort Lauderdale Beach Vacation Guide, Fort Lauderdale beaches, Florida beachesThe 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.  Contact for more information at 954-204-0919 or visit The Boarding.


$-Inexpensive     $$-Moderate     $$$-Pricey     $$$$-Ultra High End

$$$  Market 17

Their Executive Chef Lauren DeShields prepares all their dishes from scratch using only the freshest and highest quality ingredients. She spends many hours scouring local farms and looking for the best products. Her creative approach to food is amazing and something everyone should experience.  In addition to their delicious food and friendly service, Market 17 has a big love and dedication to their extensive beverage program.  Both owners Aaron and Kirsta are Sommeliers, and are very excited to share their passion for wine, craft beer and spirits with the guests of Market 17.  Contact them at 954-835-5507 or visit Market 17.

$$  Coconuts

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.  Contact them at 954-525-2421 or visit Coconuts.

$$  Hot & Soul

Their menu is comprised of the food and flavors that we have grown up with, discovered and fell in love with.  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.  Contact them at 754-206-2155 or visit them at Hot & Soul.

$$  Gilbert’s 17th Street Grill

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. The Gilbert family has served south Florida for the last 10 years and has over 40 years experience in the food service industry. A family member is always on site and happy to open up their kitchen to you, treating your family like family.  Contact them at 954-768-8990 or visit them at Gilbert’s 17th Street Grill.

$$  La Dolce Vita

Located in the center of Fort Lauderdale’s historic shopping and arts district, 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.  Their delicious menu and attention to detail creates a truly enjoyable dining experience. For more information call 954-565-5707 or visit La Dolce Vita.

Things to Do

bluefoot-logo2BlueFoot 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.  Contact them at 954-530-8302 or visit them at BlueFoot Pirate Adventures.

Tropical Sailing, Fort Lauderdale Florida, Fort Lauderdale Beach Vacation Guide, Fort Lauderdale beaches, Florida beachesTropical 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.  Contact them at 954-618-8915 or visit them at Tropical Sailing.

Aloha Watersports, Fort Lauderdale Florida, Fort Lauderdale Beach Vacation Guide, Fort Lauderdale beaches, Florida beachesAloha 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.  Contact them at 954-462-7245 or visit them at Aloha Watersports.

Intercoastal Waterway, Fort Lauderdale Florida, Fort Lauderdale Beach Vacation Guide, Fort Lauderdale beaches, Florida beachesIntercoastal Waterway

Touring the Intracoastal Waterway, you’ll understand why Fort Lauderdale is nicknamed the “Venice of America.” Made up of beautiful canals lined with palm trees, restaurants, hotels and attractions, the Intracoastal Waterway is both a means for transportation and an experience in itself.  Sightseeing from the Intracoastal Waterway is a special experience, as it allows you to take in Fort Lauderdale’s resort-like skyline, high-end real estate, yachts and attractions like Hollywood and the Las Olas Riverfront complex in a relaxing manner. For those who enjoy wildlife viewing, it’s not uncommon to also see manatees.  For more information on Intercoastal Waterway tours visit here.

Fort Lauderdale Airboat Rides, Fort Lauderdale Florida, Fort Lauderdale Beach Vacation Guide, Fort Lauderdale beaches, Florida beachesFort 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.  For more information call 954-338-4890 or visit Fort Lauderdale Airboat Rides.

Top Fort Lauderdale Hotels

The Pillars Hotel

This property is 3 minutes walk from the beach. Featuring an exceptional location on Fort Lauderdale’s Intracoastal Waterway, moments from the area’s main sites, this elegant hotel provides luxurious rooms, modern amenities and a full-service spa.  While staying at The Pillars Hotel, guests can enjoy waterside dining at the on-site Secret Garden Restaurant, featuring fresh seafood and seasonal ingredients. Guests can also enjoy relaxing in the hotel’s library or lounging by the outdoor swimming pool.  For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit The Pillars Hotel.

Atlantic Hotel & Spa

This property is 3 minutes walk from the beach. The luxurious Atlantic Hotel & Spa is on Fort Lauderdale Boulevard adjacent to white, sandy beaches. Bonnet House Museum and Gardens is .8 miles from the beachfront resort.  Guests can relax in the on-site beauty salon or unwind with a massage in the spa boutique. A sauna, hot tub, and outdoor pool are available as well as a fitness center, gift shop, restaurant, and bar.  For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Atlantic Hotel & Spa.

Pelican Grand Beach Resort, a Noble House Resort

This property is 1 minute walk from the beach. Adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean, Pelican Grand Beach Resort features an oceanfront pool, private beach, and lazy river tubing ride.  Beach-inspired guestrooms feature a small refrigerator and 42-inch flat-screen TV. In-room movies, games, and music are provided, as is a coffee maker.  Boasting unobstructed views of the Atlantic Ocean, the on-site fitness center and Pure Spa offers Swedish massages, cleansing facials, and other spa services.  Oceanfront dining and a poolside cocktail are available at Ocean 2000. The Emporium gift shop is an old-fashioned ice parlor that also serves bakery and coffee treats.  For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Pelican Grand Beach Resort, a Noble House Resort.

The Ritz-Carlton, Fort 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.  For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit The Ritz-Carlton Fort Lauderdale.


  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.

    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.

  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!

    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.

  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.

    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.

  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.

    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.

  5. Asen


    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.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

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

  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!


    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.

  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.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

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

  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!

    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.

  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.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

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

  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! 🙂

    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.

  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?

    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!

  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.

    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.

  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.

    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!

  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?

    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!

  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!

    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!


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