Weekend Getaway to Fort Lauderdale

Thinking about a weekend getaway to Fort Lauderdale? Fort Lauderdale is known for its spring break guests but the city actually has a lot more to offer visitors, especially if your weekend getaway to Fort Lauderdale isn’t during spring break. In fact, the heyday for Fort Lauderdale was from the 1940’s to the 1980’s with the college crowd, today the city is a bit more sophisticated and although it still gets its share of college kids spring break not the primary focus of the tourism business anymore.

Water Sports

Fort Lauderdale is sometimes called the Venice of America because of the intricate canal system but it’s also got the beaches so it is a prime location for all sorts of water sports. If you’re visiting Fort Lauderdale for the first time a boat tour like the Jungle Queen where you’ll get to explore the series of channels and learn about the incredible homes and history of Fort Lauderdale. These cruises also include all you can eat dinners and a variety show. If you’d like a more unusual boat tour try Sea Experience with its glass bottom.  Guests on the Sea Experience get to go out to some of the best dive sites and can snorkel or scuba dive. In addition to these fun water activities in Fort Lauderdale you can also canoe, kayak, fish, kite surf, sail, surf, water ski, wakeboard, wind surf, parasail, jet ski, or swim.

Cruise

If you’d like a more impressive boat tour that leaves the Ford Lauderdale area then a cruise is probably the perfect solution. So many cruise lines depart from Fort Lauderdale that you can basically pick and choose your cruise. There are daily trips to one of the nearby islands or you can go for an extended vacation with all the frills and thrills that cruise ships now offer. And now is a great time to go as most cruise lines are offering deep discounts to combat the economy.

Shopping

For the shopping fanatic or just the tourist looking for a souvenir there are a number of great places to go shopping in Fort Lauderdale. For bargain hunters there are a few choices, Sawgrass Mills is the world’s largest discount entertainment mall and full of enough stores and activities to keep you busy all day. The Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop is the largest flea market in the south and not only full of incredible finds and treasures but home to the largest outdoor theater in the area. Love the flea markets? Well then Festival Flea Market is another must stop with a quarter mile of bargains and deals. If you’re looking for a more upscale venue for your shopping then Las Olas Boulevard will be your destination of choice. It’s a bit of a shopper’s paradise with its incredible variety of stores and boutiques. It’s also a great place to grab a bite to eat or a refreshment and sit at an outside café and people watch. Another great thing about Las Olas is it’s the starting point for Italian gondola tours and on the water taxi route so you can get there by boat if you’d like.

Arts & Culture

For art and culture lovers there are a number of outlets to explore. This list of museums is almost unbelievable it’s so immense and all encompassing, with everything from fine art to cultural museums to a museum dedicated to Olympic swimming legends. Pick the museums that most appeal to you from a list that includes: African American Research Library and Cultural Center, Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum, Art and Culture Center of Hollywood, Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, Broward Art Guild, Inc., Buehler Planetarium, Coral Spring Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum, Fort Lauderdale History Center, Girls’ Club, IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame & Museum, International Swimming Hall of Fame, Museum of Art, Museum of Discovery & Science & Autonation Imax, My Jewish Discovery Place Children’s Museum, Old Davie School Historical Museum, Old Dillard Museum, Plantation Historical Museum, Riverwalk A&E, SABA  Gallery, Seminole Tribe of Florida, Stonewall Library & GLBT Archives, Stranahan House, Third Avenue Art District and Young at Art Children’s Museum. If your particular brand of art and culture is more theatrical then you’ve also got a load of options including: Art and Culture Center of Hollywood, Bankatlantic Center, Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Cinema Paradiso, Coral Springs Center for the Arts, Downtown Hollywood CRA, Florida Grand Opera, Florida’s Singing Sons Boychoir, Fort Lauderdale Children’s Theatre, Girl Choir of South Florida, Gold Coast Jazz Society, Hard Rock Live, Hollywood Central Performing Arts Center, Improv Comedy Club & Dinner Theatre, Laffing Matterz at the Broward Center, Miami City Ballet, Miramar Cultural Center, Mosaic Theatre, Parker Playhouse, Pompano Beach Amphitheater, Rising Action Theatre, Riverwalk A&E, Stage Door Theatre, Tatiana Cabaret Show Restaurant, The Women’s Theatre Project, and the War Memorial Auditorium. If you can’t get your fill of art and culture in Fort Lauderdale then you’re simply not looking.

Nature

One of the most beautiful and wonderful things about Fort Lauderdale is the large number of incredible parks that are open to the public to explore but one of the shining gems is the Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. Centrally located in town it’s a remarkable oasis of tropical hammocks and exotic natural flora and fauna. Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intercoastal Waterway visitors can canoe along the freshwater lagoon, fish from the seawall, hike the two short trails, or bike and skate along a paved path. Picnics are a wonderful way to explore the park and relax and enjoy the natural beauty of Fort Lauderdale.

Beaches

But probably the most popular feature of all of Fort Lauderdale is its beaches. With 23 miles of sun drenched beaches and pristine waters gently lapping at the shore, it’s hard to go wrong on any of Fort Lauderdale’s beautiful beaches. Each beach in Fort Lauderdale is a little bit different, some are more family oriented while others are more relaxed and laid back and then there are the ones that are simply packed with youngsters looking for a wild time and to reclaim some of that spring break glory.  Look for a beach that best suits your needs at the time and settle in for a wonderful day of fun and frolic in the powdery sands of Fort Lauderdale’s Beaches.

If you’re heading to Fort Lauderdale for a weekend getaway you can immerse yourself in your favorite activities or you can treat the city like a buffet, with a little of this and a little of that so you get an overall idea of what Fort Lauderdale has to offer.

Creative Commons Licensephoto credit: Flickr/ Christopher Gosselin

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