Aerial view of Fort Lauderdale beach (©tpsdave/Pixabay, Creative Commons)
Fort Lauderdale offers plenty of fun for travelers of all ages. From water sports and beaches to fabulous dining and craft beer, here’s a perfect itinerary for solo travelers, families and couples looking for a quick getaway.
Watch the sunrise over the beach—or just wake up and head east. Start the day off with a cucumber skin repair juice ($10) and a smothered duck egg burrito ($18) at Burlock Coast Seafare & Spirits. Set at The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale, the beachfront patio is the ideal place to enjoy the ocean breeze before a dip in the Atlantic. On weekends, it offers a selection of unlimited brunch cocktails for just $25.
After a quick swim or rest on the sand, hustle up to Sunrise Paddleboards for one of its Venice of America tours. Every Saturday at 10 am, instructors take groups of paddlers past the multimillion-dollar mansions and mega-yachts owned by the rich and famous that line the city’s famous canals and waterways. Make friends with fellow paddlers while attempting to sneak a peek into David Cassidy's waterfront home. Lucky guests may even get up close and personal with manatees in search of warm waters.
Next, head south to the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the idyllic property features the 1920s home and studios of two American artists (including their impressive art collections), one of the greatest orchid collections in the United States and 35 acres of pristine barrier island. The lush landscape offers plenty of shade, a much-needed respite from the South Florida sunshine.
Ditch the car and hail a ride in true Fort Lauderdale fashion—aboard the brightly colored Water Taxi. Head toward Las Olas Boulevard via The Shops at Las Olas or the Riverside Hotel. Grab a table on the convivial sidewalk patio at Louie Bossi, snack on a wood-fired Margherita pie and watch the passers-by. Then, peruse the shops and walk over to Gran Forno for an espresso and a chocolate tart.
If time permits, dine across the strip with like minded gourmands during a Taste of Las Olas Food Tour. Every Saturday at 12:30 pm, the two-hour walking expedition takes guests to several area restaurants for bites and adult beverages.
Take the rest of the afternoon to unwind at The Spa at Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa. The beachside resort is considered one of the top spas in town due to its visually stunning location, well-appointed facilities (including private pool, steam room, sauna and whirlpool) and high-end services. The Harbor Beach Signature Tropical Tiki Bliss massage has been known to soothe even the most hardcore Type-A personalities.
Retox after detoxing at Funky Buddha Brewery. Sip culinary-inspired beers like More Moro Blood Orange IPA and Vanilla OP Porter while hanging with locals and craft beer aficionados hailing from far and wide. Folks travel from across the country to sample these acclaimed brews. Strike up a conversation over a game of corn hole or giant Jenga.
Soak up the suds with globally-influenced comfort fare at local favorite Hot and Soul. The mom-and-pop shop is about as friendly and casual as one can find. Saddle up to the bar to chat with other locals, the extremely affable staff and owners Mike Hampton and Christy Samoy, while filling up on decadent mushroom manchego toast and Cajun gumbo.
If, after all that, you’ve still got energy to spare, dance the night away at Stache Drinking Den + Coffee Bar. The downtown speakeasy crafts some of the best whiskey cocktails and brings in some of the area’s top DJs.