With a population just shy of 200,000, Fort Lauderdale is one of the most popular tourist cities in Florida. With over 10 million visitors to Fort Lauderdale in 2006, the city has been nicknamed the ‘Venice of America’, mostly due to the vast numbers of canals and intricate water systems. The city is also a major hotspot for yachting in America, and there are over 100 marinas and boat yards that hold approximately 40,000 boats.
Situated only 23 miles from Miami, Fort Lauderdale is a sunshine haven, and it’s also home to hundreds of bars, nightclubs and restaurants. The city is based on a series of forts that were built during the Second Seminole War, and named after the commander of the soldiers that built the first fort, Major William Lauderdale. However after the abandoning of the forts at the end of the conflict, the development of the city didn’t begin for another 50 years.
As Fort Lauderdale is situated just outside the tropics, the city benefits from a warm, rainforest-type climate. Because of the vast amount of bars based along the shore as well as the bustling nightlife, the city is often referred to as ‘Fort Liquordale’, and remains a popular spring break destination for college students all around the United States. Let’s take a look at some of the best things to do in Fort Lauderdale, and see if you can be persuaded to take a trip to this fantastic city.
The Everglades National Park in Fort Lauderdale is one of the most alternative and unusual public parks in the USA. With over one and a half million acres of saw-grass prairies, sub-tropical jungles and swamp fields, the park is home to some of the rarest endangered species, most notably the American Crocodile, the West Indian Manatee and the Florida Panther. Much of the park has only been accessed by researchers and explorers, however tourists and visitors can take tours around the vast river landscapes, either on foot, in a car or in a canoe!
The Museum of Discovery and Science
From tropical sharks to beautiful coral reefs, the Museum of Discovery and Science is a great place to take your children when visiting Fort Lauderdale. Not only is it a day of exploration, but it’s also a place of education and adventure too! Turtles, pet alligators and snakes all await you in this amazing museum, and IMAX film adventure will even take you to the stars in its simulated trip to Mars. Don’t forget to check out the adventure store on your way out, where there are hundreds of science books, toys and games to entertain your children!
If the excitement of the Museum of Discovery and Science is too much for you, then why not take a break at Butterfly World, where you can relax and discover over 150 different types of butterfly. Unlike any zoo, visitors are allow to directly experience the butterfly’s habitat, so don’t be surprised if they start flying around you – we’re sure that you’ll be mesmerised!
Lloyd is a freelance travel blogger and writer. He is currently working on behalf cruise.co.uk, a top online destination for booking cheap cruises online.