Check out a few of our favorite hot spots in Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood.
Featuring more than 300 miles of inland waterways, Fort Lauderdale is often referred to as the Venice of America. Once famous as being a boozy spring break locale, the city is now a bona fide arts and cultural hub with a burgeoning food scene and major metropolitan attributes. It’s a dream destination for yachting enthusiasts. Home to some of the best waterfront bars and restaurants in all of Florida, set sail on the Water Taxi for a scenic happy hour bar hop. The Water Taxi is also a great way to access bustling Las Olas Boulevard, the heart of all the action in Fort Lauderdale, where you’ll find a variety of boutiques, galleries and sidewalk cafés. Go during one of the special events like the Las Olas Wine and Food Festival and nosh on local delicacies. If you’re into local brews, there’s a vibrant craft beer scene throughout the city. Visit one of the local tap rooms and sip on a variety of microbrews at Funky Buddha Brewery, LauderAle Brewery, Tarpon River Brewing and more.
Make sure you also explore the nearby Riverwalk Arts & Entertainment District. It features six of the most prominent art and culture institutions in the area including the Broward Center for Performing Arts, NSU Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, Florida Grand Opera, Fort Lauderdale History Center, Bonnet House Museum and Gardens and the Historic Stranahan House Museum.
Fort Lauderdale Beach & the Barrier Islands
Nature lovers and beach aficionados flock to Fort Lauderdale’s exquisite beaches and parks. An excellent place for hiking and canoeing, check out the oceanfront Hugh Taylor Birch State Park where you can get out on the open water, or opt for a serene paddle around the freshwater lagoon. In Dania Beach, Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park is another great spot to kayak and picnic on the Atlantic Ocean.
Marking the northern edge of the underwater Florida Reef, the Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse dates back to 1907 and is one of the oldest structures in Broward County. Only accessible via boat, the lighthouse is open for tours a few times a year, so it’s a real treat if you’re able to climb to the top to gaze out at those jaw-dropping ocean views. Head north and you’ll find Quiet Waters Park in laid-back Deerfield Beach. It’s home to a butterfly sanctuary, mountain bike trails, children’s water park, the longest “cable ski” course in the nation, and the popular annual Renaissance Festival.
Situated on the coast between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood is centrally located to everything there is to do in South Florida—especially shopping. Stuff your suitcase with hot new finds from Aventura Mall, one of the largest shopping centers in the country. Once you’ve filled those shopping bags to the brim, check out the jaw-dropping ocean views along the Hollywood Broadwalk. It’s a great place to ride bicycles and check out the mom and pop-style restaurants that line the beach. Then visit ArtsPark at Young Circle in downtown Hollywood for food trucks, art classes and live music. Nearby you’ll find a collection of curated outdoor murals by internationally recognized artists. Spend some time exploring the 1,500-acre coastal mangrove wetlands inside the Anne Kolb Nature Center, where you can kayak or hike along the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail.