Fort Lauderdale and the World Famous Jungle Queen Riverboat
Fort Lauderdale Travel Blog› entry 6 of 6 › view all entries
Fort Lauderdale, known as the "Venice of America" due to its expansive and intricate canal system, is a city in Broward County, Florida, United States. According to 2007 U.S. Census Bureau estimates, the city had a population of 183,606. It is the county seat of Broward County, and a principal city of the South Florida metropolitan area, which is home to over 5,413,212 people.
The city is a popular tourist destination, with 10.35 million visitors in 2006. The city is a major yachting center, with 42,000 resident yachts and 100 marinas and boatyards. Fort Lauderdale and its suburbs host over 4100 restaurants and 120 nightclubs.
Fort Lauderdale is named after a series of forts built by the United States during the Second Seminole War.
According to the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, Fort Lauderdale is "America's top gay resort area." In 2006, members of gay-interest site, PlanetOut, named the city as the "best gay resort town"; the city actively pursues gay and lesbian tourists.
As is true of many parts of Florida, the city's population has a strong seasonal variation, as snowbirds from the north spend the winter and early spring in Florida. The city is also sometimes referred to as "Fort Liquordale" because of its beaches, bars, nightclubs, and history as a spring break mecca for hundreds of thousands of college students. However, the city has actively discouraged college students from visiting the area since the mid-1980s, passing strict laws aimed at preventing the mayhem that regularly occurred each year.
Fort Lauderdale's arts and entertainment district runs east-west along Las Olas Boulevard, from the beach to the heart of downtown. The district is anchored in the West by the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, and runs through the city to the intersection of Las Olas and A1A. This intersection is the "ground zero" of Fort Lauderdale Beach, and is the site of the "Elbo Room" bar featured in the 1960 film Where the Boys Are, which led in large measure to the city's former reputation as a spring break mecca. The city and its suburbs host over 4,100 restaurants and over 120 nightclubs, many of them in the arts and entertainment district. The city is also the setting for the 1986 movie Flight of the Navigator, and host of Langerad, an annual music festival