How to enjoy the best Fort Lauderdale hotspots

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Fort Lauderdale is famous for its beaches, arts, culture and events. From shopping on Las Olas Boulevard, to gondola rides on the canals, to a historic riverfront ~ Florida Tourism


When I think of Fort Lauderdale, I think the paradigm of a bustling beach vacation destination. With its 23 miles of Atlantic Ocean this city constantly buzzes with activity, sea, sand, sunshine, sunscreen and humidity!

In addition to Blue Wave beaches and waterways, Broward County has 288 ATTRACTIONS! Notably these include parks, 69 miles of live coral reef in a three‐tier natural reef system, and the Everglades. Its 100+ artificial reefs and 18 major shipwrecks provide divers with a unique mix of tropical underwater experiences.


Explore the best of Fort Lauderdale:

Deerfield Beach Fishing Pier

Enjoy a cove-like beach with ongoing activity including: beach volleyball, kite surfing, skim boarding or just a relaxing day. This is one of the few areas in the world where both freshwater and salt water fishing are within 20 minutes of the angler.

In addition to renting fishing rods, the pier concession stocks live, fresh and frozen bait, tackle, fishing accessories, ice and t-shirts.

This is one of the few areas in the world where both freshwater and salt water fishing are within 20 minutes of the angler. In addition to more than 200 freshwater species that can be caught in the county’s lakes, there are deep water fishing fleets located in each of the seven cities that line the Atlantic coast, plus four municipal piers.

Deerfield Island Park

This nature-oriented park offers exciting outdoor recreational opportunities and environmental education to visitors, including:

  • Marina
  • Intracoastal dock, open Saturdays & Sundays
  • Nature trails
  • Programss & hikes
  • Kayak / paddleboard tours
  • Butterfly garden
  • Picnics
  • Geocaching – a worldwide treasure hunt using Global Positioning System (GPS) devices.

Deerfield Island Park is accessible only by boat, and is bordered by the Intracoastal Waterway and the Hillsboro and Royal Palm canals.A free boat shuttle for the island departs from Sullivan Park (1700 Riverview Rd., Deerfield Beach). 

Cap’s Place Island Restaurant 

Here you can savour the taste of fresh native food with an inviting view. The restaurant offers an extensive selection of fish and shellfish dishes in a casual waterfront setting. It is acknowledged as a national landmark and is Broward County, Florida’s earliest restaurant.  With roots as a 1920’s casino and rum-running speakeasy, it is located on an island off Lighthouse Point and can only be reached by Cap’s motor launch.

Pompana Beach

Hillsboro Inlet Park is located in Pompana Beach, and is centrally situated between Palm Beach and Miami, Pompano Beach is often called “the Heart of the Gold Coast.

Renowned for its excellent watersports, boating and fishing, the beauty of the area is highlighted by an offshore living coral reef accessible to scuba divers and snorkelers. However anglers and families also flock to the 1,000-foot-long municipal fishing pier, beachside playgrounds, grills and picnic tables. “Pompano Beach features some of the warmest and clearest water in South Florida due to a bend in the Gulf Stream”, says Fort Lauderdale Tourism.

Indian Mound Park

Also located in Pompano Beach The mound sits at the southeast edge of Pompano Beach on the western shore of a long narrow Atlantic coast barrier island. At the base of the mound is a six-inch layer of “black dirt and shell with refuse”, a likely indication that it was built atop a seasonal camp or village that had been inhabited before the mound was built.[2]

Lauderdale by the Sea

With many public squares the town of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea is a friendly spot with scores of side-walk cafes, live musice, plus free dance classes are held monthly & games played daily. However one of the biggest draw cards are the beaches! 

In Lauderdale-By-The-Sea SS Copenhagen is a top dive spot of Florida. Florida Tourism explains, “A real shipwreck, the SS Copenhagen, lies in just 16- to 31-feet of water three-quarters of a mile offshore from Lauderdale-by-the-Sea. A 19th-century steel-hulled steamship, it ran aground carrying coal from Philadelphia to Havana in 1900. Nowadays, the 325-foot by 47-foot ship serves as an artificial reef in an underwater preserve, as part of Florida’s “Museums in the Sea.”

Also located here is Anglins Fishing Pier which offers visitors 2 types of fishing: sand and reef “rock” fishing.

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park

Directly adjacent to one of the most popular beaches in Fort Lauderdale lies Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. During summer time guests can enjoy witnessing one of the largest loggerhead sea turtle nesting grounds in the world, which it is home to.

Activities include nature trail, shaded picnic areas, beach access, in-line skating, volleyball, canoes, and fishing. 

Dania Beach and Pier

If uncrowded is your thing, then Dania Beach and Pier is your place. Renowned for some of the prettiest and least crowded stretches of ocean with an impressive fishing pier. Here you can dine and enjoy panoramic views and scrumptious seafood. 

“With its award-winning “Blue Wave Beaches,” nature activities and proximity to Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood, Dania Beach is an appealing vacation spot. It’s also the home of the world-famous Dania Jai Alai in the center of the city’s dining and entertainment district,” says Florida Tourism.

Another favourite is the quaint downtown “Historic Art & Antique District” setting, which is dotted with charming antique shops and art galleries.

End off your day with a visit to Casablanca Cafe! “Our trendy and popular eatery blends old and new to enhance the beauty of Fort Lauderdale’s beach,” says the Cafe. With live entertainment every night, this restored historic home affords you the opportunity to dine with a scenic ocean view.

City of Hollywood

“Downtown Hollywood is a budding arts district that is home to numerous galleries, Cinema Paradiso art-house theater, the Art & Culture Center of Hollywood, the ArtsPark at Young Circle, the Downtown Hollywood Mural Project, and dozens of restaurants and cafes from around the world”, says City of Hollywood Tourism.

A vibrant destination, there is always something happening from fun-cycles, shopping, watersports, and the infamous paddleball courts. These courts were officially declared an Historic Site in 1997.

Las Olas Boulevard in close proximity to City of Hollywood is a sophisticated mile of fashion, art and sidewalk cafes. You have options here example: a leisurely brunch at a sidewalk café, browse and shop at fabulous boutiques, galleries, specialty stores and fabulous fashion houses or why not spend a romantic evening dining at one of Las Olas’ many wonderful restaurants?

Plan your itinerary from these many Fort Lauderdale hotspots and highlights:

Day 1

Deerfield Beach Fishing Pier – Enjoy fishing and site seeing at one of Deerfield Beaches most popular spots

Deerfield Island Park – Why go here: Nature trails, playground, and picnic tables. It is accessible by boat Saturday & Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free

Barefoot Mailman Statue – Learn the history and tales of the brave men who carried mail along south Florida beaches in the 1800’s 

Cap’s Place Island Restaurant – A historical place with amazing local food and a view. Open 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Tuesday through 

Day 2

Hillsboro Inlet Park – Grill out, enjoy the beach, and watch boaters and fishermen 

Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse – Historic lighthouse that marks the northern limit of the Florida Reef 

North Ocean Park – Relaxing beach full of kite surfing and families boogie boarding in the ocean 

Pompano Beach Fishing Pier and main public beach

Indian Mound Park – Archaeological site of pre-historic Indian burial ground 

Day 3

S.S. Copenhagen Wreck – World famous location to snorkel and dive.

Historic Anglin Square – Commercial boulevard and restaurants. 

Anglin’s Fishing Pier – Fishing and sightseeing

Day 4

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park – Rent a canoe, hike along nature trails, campgrounds, pavilions 

Flamingo Gardens – Bird of Prey Center & free-flight walk-through aviary, alligators, flamingos, bobcats, black bears & Florida panthers. Exotic & native plants

Day 5

Dania Beach and Pier

Casablanca Café

Fort Lauderdale Beach – The City of Fort Lauderdale has more than seven miles of beaches that offer premier opportunities for recreation, relaxation, and enjoyment

Day 6

Nyberg-Swanson House – Historical and architectural significant house 

Anne Kolb Nature Center – Five-story nature observation tower and exploring at West Lake Park 

Day 7

Historic Garfield Paddleball Courts – Historic site where you can play paddleball with friends and family 

Hollywood Beach Broadwalk – One of America’s best boardwalks with an oceanfront view 

Historic Homes – See the beauty of different style homes that influenced the area 

Los Altos Boulevard – Stroll, people watch, sip a latte at an outdoor cafe or shop the chic boutiques along Las Olas Boulevard, a sophisticated mile of fashion, art and sidewalk cafes.

Riverwalk arts & entertainment district – Offering an array of exciting entertainment options with world-class concerts, events, unique galleries and dining

TripAdvisor Names World’s Best Beaches In 2018 Travelers’ Choice Awards at #6:

 Fort Lauderdale Beach – Fort Lauderdale, Florida
With miles of sun kissed beachfront and an easy walk from many hotels, restaurants and activities, Fort Lauderdale Beach is a favorite among travelers. Families often rave about the beach’s cleanliness, warm water, on duty lifeguards, and beautiful palm trees. “Nice place to enjoy the Atlantic breezes and take in the sun rays. It is beautifully maintained and very clean. Also there are many establishments across the boulevard where you can have food and drinks,” wrote a TripAdvisor reviewer.




A Trip Advisor Traveler’s Choice Winner, Hollywood Beach features a one-of-a-kind oceanfront promenade called the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk that stretches nearly two and a half miles along the sandy beach. Named one of America’s Best Beach Boardwalks by Travel + Leisure magazine, this brick-pavered walkway is a haven for joggers, bicyclists, rollerbladers and all who would prefer to take in the action from the comfort of one of the countless eateries and cafés along the way.

Tracy Burrows114 Posts

    Tracy Burrows is the founder of the Out There Global platform featuring both cost effective and luxury best cultural vacation ideas & experiences from around the world. From Jan 2014 – Dec 2016 she managed the blog (a United Nations World Summit Award Winner: Culture & Tourism 2016 & National Geographic partner). She was also consulting editor at MOZambique Magazine, and a contributing writer at Sawubona Magazine (South African Airways inflight magazine), and Africa Geographic. Prior to her career she obtained a tourism research, and marketing degree, and also graduated from a 2 year ‘Management in Development Program’ in San Diego California. She also acquired a qualification in journalism and media and since it’s been all about culture, adventure and multi media! Her nourishment comes from all those who have impacted her, including: family; friends; and strangers alike. Thank you for joining our journey, and we hope you enjoy finding an immersive experience and the culture & adventure in the destination! Aside from Out There Global Magazine, Tracy has also run a Public Relations, and SEO business since 2010 for small business.


    • Andrew Reply

      September 12, 2018 at 12:21 pm

      Yes this helps

    • Lori Reply

      September 12, 2018 at 12:25 pm

      Busy planning our holiday can’t wait

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