Once a sassy Spring Break destination, Fort Lauderdale has matured into a cultural hub.

In the 1960s, Fort Lauderdale specialized in fun-in-the-sun. Now its Broward Center for the Performing Arts offers culture, not cocktails. And its NSU Art Museum offers Picassos, not parties. Just 25 miles north of Miami, the city has the same blend of beaches, arts, and spectacular weather. Its Las Olas Boulevard is an alfresco fiesta of international food. Its seaside strip can be toured by Segway, bike, speedboat, and SUP.

Things to know before you go

  • The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show was established in 1959. With nearly 1,000 superyacht, sail, and speedboat exhibitors, it's now arguably the largest yacht event in the world.
  • Pack a bottle of sunscreen for the beach. From May to October, average highs are in the 80s. And the last reported snow flurry was in 1977.
  • The Fort Lauderdale Strikers were one of the top teams in the original North American Soccer League. They were beaten to the Championship by New York Cosmos, who had Brazilian stars Pelé and Carlos Alberto in their team.

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About the author

Tristan Rutherford

Nice, Italy

Tristan Rutherford writes for National Geographic and The Times of London. He lectures in travel journalism at Central Saint Martins in the UK.