Once renowned as the definitive party capital for students on spring break (at least for those not off to Mexico), Fort Lauderdale has shaken off its beer-swilling image and graduated into a sophisticated, stylized city that’s more ‘rich businessman with yacht’ than ‘bong and boobs on the beach’.
It’s impossible to ignore the beauty of this city, with clear water to be found at every turning and a summer vibe the envy of even other parts of Florida. Getting hold of some kind of boat and floating through it all, or strolling along the beachside promenade, stopping for the occasional dip or taking photos against the golden sands and palms make for an idealized holiday experience.
In terms of sights, Fort Lauderdale struggles a little beyond its more natural allure, but you will find a selection of museums. Try the Old Fort Lauderdale Museum and its guided tours of the historic downtown, or the sizable Museum of Discovery and Science, that covers everything from space to everglade rebuilding efforts. For flora lovers, there’s the Bonnet House, an old historic building now home to abundant tropical plants, including an extravagant selection of striking, multicolored orchids.
As much as most visitors revel in the luxury of Fort Lauderdale itself, many of the more exciting destinations are to be found at the end of a quick out of town journey. The Everglades wildlife tours, for example, are a real must see for anyone unfamiliar with the assortments of reptiles (and even endangered panthers) than can be found in amongst the channels. You can watch the sun go down from an incredible cruise ship whilst eating a luxurious dinner, or even take a swamp buggy tour to the home of the Seminole Indians. The island fun of the city’s offshore Polynesian Dinner Show is a sight to behold, too.
Fort Lauderdale’s certainly a different brand of fun to what it used to be – more Gucci than bargain basement – but it’s the stunning tropical sights of the city that have pushed it that way, and they’re as big a draw as ever. Bring plenty of sun screen and bug spray and a sea-ready stomach and dive into the adventure!
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