Fort Lauderdale: Off the Beaten Path
Whether you’re a college student looking to shake off the stresses of the semester, a retiree looking for some peace and quiet or a family looking to enjoy a day or two around town before a cruise, Fort Lauderdale has plenty for everyone. With fantastic dining, incredible beaches, tropical weather all year round and one of the world’s busiest cruise ports, exploring Fort Lauderdale is a lot like a choose your own adventure novel. Here are some of the best ways to have fun in Fort Lauderdale!
FATVillage Art District
What many don’t realize about this sunny city by the sea is that it actually hosts a robust art and music community. FATVillage, or Flager Arts Technology Village, is a section of the city where local art is the top priority. The last Saturday of every month is the Artwalk, a street event featuring art, music, dancing and more from some of the area’s top creative minds. Enjoy local food trucks serving up some fantastic Cuban delicacies while you peruse the different booths. The district is just a short walk for those staying at the Hampton Inn Ft. Lauderdale/Downtown Las Olas.
Game on at Glitch Bar
You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy classic arcade games and pinball machines! At Glitch Bar, the theme is classic 80’s and 90’s coupled with modern mixology for as unique a nightlife experience you’ll find anywhere. Step back in time and see if you still have those unbeatable Pac-Man or Star Wars pinball skills, or hop on one the newer video game consoles available for a 21st century challenge. The craft beer list is immense, and the custom drink menu has a great mix of old favorites and new concoctions to suit all palates.
Glitch Bar is a great before or after spot for those taking in a show at the Parker Playhouse, a storied Fort Lauderdale venue known for it music, ballet and theater performances spanning all genres. The Playhouse features shows every week and early 2019 shows include The Marshall Tucker Band, a National Russian Ballet performance of Swan Lake, and famed children’s singer/songwriter Raffi.
Take a Dive
For those staying at a beachside hotel like the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, spending a day catching a tan and watching the waves sounds divine. However, some are more interested in getting in the water than just looking at it. Snorkeling is a popular pastime in South Florida, and Fort Lauderdale has some pristine snorkeling and diving locations only the locals know about. In fact, the section of town by the beach called Lauderdale-by-the-Sea is known as “The Shore Diving Capital of South Florida” thanks to a natural reef only about 100 yards off the shoreline. The Shipwreck Snorkel Trail is a replica pirate ship artificial reef positioned in the same area where free divers and snorkelers can come face to face with incredible tropical marine life like Sea Turtles, Lionfish, Spiny Lobsters and colorful Coral.
The Venice of America
What’s the one thing a new visitor to Fort Lauderdale is bound to notice? The bridges. Aptly called the “Venice of America”, Fort Lauderdale features a system of canals known as the Intracoastal Waterway which snakes its way through the neighborhoods and downtown district making boat travel a popular option. Forget calling an Uber, the Water Taxi is the most fun way to get around the city. With more than a dozen stops across the city, including multiple along famed Las Olas Boulevard, it makes getting around fun and easy, especially during peak traffic in the high season. Those staying at local hotels like the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina, GALLERYone Doubletree and the Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach are in luck, these hotel docks are stops along the route!
If grabbing a bite by the water is on the agenda, across the canal from the the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina sits one of the city’s best kept secrets; Pelican Landing. The restaurant, located at the Pier Sixty-Six Marina, serves up some of the freshest seafood with a tropical twist and a fantastic view of the boats in the marina. Every other Wednesday, stop by at 6pm for Sip & Paint, a wine and painting experience led by a local artist. No art experience necessary and don’t worry about bringing your paints, they provide everything!
Fort Lauderdale is a whole lot more than just a sunny day at the beach. It’s a thriving metropolis with plenty for those looking to do more than catch some rays. From touring the intracoastal to enjoying a bite of something fresh from the ocean, this city has all you want and more, so don’t wait to plan your trip!