Fort Lauderdale Family Beach
Venice of America
The palm-fringed promenade, made famous by photographers, is perfect for people watching, shopping and dining at the numerous shops and restaurants lining the beach. Families will love a quiet gondola ride past swimming manatees through the twisted canals, lakes and waterways that earned Fort Lauderdale the nickname "Venice of America." If you're after nightlife, there's plenty of nightclubs, cafes and family dining once the sun goes down.
Outdoors is definitely the place to be in Fort Lauderdale. The beaches are so clean and eco-friendly that The Clean Beaches Council awarded them the national Blue Wave certification. Walk, jog or rollerblade along the 23 miles of sun-drenched beaches Greater Fort Lauderdale offers. And don't forget the ultimate outdoor highlight:
- Scuba Diving: The area's three-tiered natural reef system makes Fort Lauderdale a diver's delight. This reef is so accessible, many locations offer walk-in shore diving for novices.
If you want to escape the sun, Las Olas Boulevard boasts a world-famous shopping district in the heart of Fort Lauderdale. Here, unique and trendsetting shops counterbalance cultural landmarks. Other area highlights include:
- Museum of Discovery and Science: This interactive museum offers an IMAX movie theater and interactive exhibits ranging from rockets to everglades - with a few space-age gizmos thrown in.
- Broward Center for the Performing Arts: The new $55 million center offers everything from Broadway musicals to big-name live concerts.
- Flamingo Gardens: Flamingoes, panthers, alligators and more await. With five eco-systems, a free-flight aviary and tram tours, this botanical garden / wildlife sanctuary is a unique combination.
- Butterfly World: The world's largest butterfly park has at least 5,000 butterflies flitting about any time of year. While you can observe these amazing creatures at various stages, from larva to caterpillar to butterfly, if you're lucky one will land on you.
- Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (October): For more than 20 years this 37-day festival has been reeling in movie buffs. Screening roughly 200 films, this festival features foreign, independent, shorts, children's, documentary and gay / lesbian films.
- Winterfest Boat Parade (December): This celebration features a boat parade, shoreline decorating, a black tie ball, golf and tennis tournaments, celebrity receptions and more.
The modern downtown area leads to the oh-so-chic Las Olas Boulevard, where you'll find nightclubs, comedy clubs and outdoor cafes, as well as family and fine dining establishments. At Billie Swamp Safari, children (accompanied by an adult) can spend the night in a genuine Indian chickee hut.
Modest beach hotels and motels vie with elegant seaside resorts and condos. Check with the Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce for great Florida vacation accommodation ideas.
Need to Know
- On Florida's Southeast coast, just north of Miami.
- Average winter temperatures range from 75 to 77 F.
- Average spring and summer temperatures range between 79 and 89 F.
- Picnic areas
- Restroom facilities
With clean beaches, waterfront attractions and plenty of nightlife, Fort Lauderdale is a Florida Beach must-see. If a Fort Lauderdale vacation is right for you, check out our deals.
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