In Fort Lauderdale, fun is around every corner. Just basking in the sunshine with the beautiful palm trees swaying in the ocean breeze is enough to bring a smile to just about everyone. But when you want to get out and have some fun, there are plenty of things to do in Fort Lauderdale.
Fun Things to Do in Fort Lauderdale
Get ready to enjoy your day as you head out for a fun-filled day (and night) in sunny Fort Lauderdale.
Go to the Beach
One of the most popular things to do in Fort Lauderdale is to hit the beach. Grab a towel and some sunblock (with a high SPF), and enjoy some 23 miles of public beaches. You can walk to your heart’s content or swim in the beautiful blue waters.
Dine and Shop on Las Olas Boulevard
Need a break from the sun? Las Olas Boulevard is a beautiful palm tree-lined street with numerous fashionable boutiques, including Lilly Pulitzer and Tommy Bahama, plus art galleries and alfresco dining options. It’s the perfect spot for an afternoon stroll or a fun evening out.
One of the best things to do in Fort Lauderdale is to spend a day on the ocean. The spacious 50-foot Spirit of Fort Lauderdale catamaran offers four sailing adventures, including snorkeling trips and sunset cruises.
Greater Fort Lauderdale is home to numerous natural coral reefs right off the coastline. Strap on some fins and a snorkel or dive mask, and you could spot tropical fish, sea turtles, spiny lobster, and even a dolphin or two. Sea Experience offers daily snorkeling and dive tours from Fort Lauderdale Beach.
Cruise the Canals
Hop aboard the venerable Water Taxi to explore the waterways that have earned Fort Lauderdale the nickname “Venice of America.” With 12 stops in Fort Lauderdale and five in Hollywood, the Water Taxi will get you where you want to go while taking you past ritzy mansions and yachts. You can purchase a day pass and hop on and off as you please.
Test Your Fortunes
Greater Fort Lauderdale offers a number of casinos for those who want to try their hand with Lady Luck. The granddaddy of them all is the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, which also offers enough shopping, dining, nightlife, and live entertainment options to make a whole day and night of it.
Surf, Paddleboard, and Kayak
Travelers looking for adventures in the water should head to Hollywood’s Margaritaville Beach Resort, just a stone’s throw south of Fort Lauderdale proper. You can learn to surf in a fun, controlled environment with the resort’s FlowRider surfing simulater. If you’d rather try paddleboarding or kayaking in Fort Lauderdale’s scenic Intracoastal waters, the resort also offers these activities at its 5 o’Clock Somewhere venue. You can also take a stroll on the iconic Hollywood Beach Boardwalk that borders the hotel.
Take a Pirate Cruise
Ready for a day of swashbuckling fun? The Fort Lauderdale Pirate Cruise will take you and the entire family on an adventure in search of treasure. Costumed trip leaders keep kids and adults entertained with facepainting, water cannon battles, and plenty of pirate talk. It’s one of the best things to do in Fort Lauderdale with kids. Ahoy, matey!
Visit a Nature Park
Walk the boardwalks, take a pontoon boat tour, or paddle amidst mangroves at the Anne Kolb Nature Center in Hollywood. This peaceful green space is home to turtles, crabs, herons, ospreys, and other wildlife; you might even spot a manatee. The exhibit hall offers information about the park as well as a 3,500-gallon aquarium.
Catch a Show
Broadway has a home in Fort Lauderdale at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. Here you can catch a touring production of top shows such as Dear Evan Hansen and Hamilton (be sure to book your tickets well in advance). Looking for something a bit more offbeat? The center’s smaller venues, the Amaturo Theater and Abdo New River Room, frequently host local productions or lesser-known works that can be equally as entertaining.
—Original reporting by AnneMarie Mathews