Exploring the Top 30 Things to Do in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Planning a trip to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, but overwhelmed by all the options? You’re not alone. Many people find it hard to choose from the countless activities available in this sunny paradise.

From relaxing on beautiful beaches to exploring rich cultural sites, figuring out what to do can be a challenge. But fear not! Fort Lauderdale is a city brimming with adventure and leisure for everyone.

One interesting fact about Fort Lauderdale is that it houses over 31 vibrant communities and miles of inviting golden beaches. This diversity means there’s something fascinating for every traveler or local looking to explore.

Our article will guide you through the top 30 things to do in this lively city, covering everything from outdoor adventures and family fun spots to unique dining experiences and historical excursions.

Ready for an unforgettable vacation? Let’s discover what makes Fort Lauderdale a must-visit destination!

Key Takeaways

  • Fort Lauderdale is home to over 31 communities and miles of golden beaches, offering a wide range of activities for every traveler.
  • The city boasts attractions like the bustling Las Olas Boulevard, historic Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, and Hugh Taylor Birch State Park for nature lovers.
  • Adventure seekers can enjoy Everglades airboat tours, snorkeling in turquoise waters, and sunset cruises along the coastline.
  • Families will find plenty to do with mini powerboat rentals, water taxi tours, day cruises, beach activities, and parks designed for outdoor fun.
  • Culture enthusiasts can explore LGBT+ events, the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art and History, Stranahan House for historical insights, or dine at diverse restaurants catering to all tastes.

Top Attractions in Fort Lauderdale

Explore top attractions in Fort Lauderdale like the bustling Las Olas Boulevard and the beautiful Fort Lauderdale Beach. With so much to see and do, you won’t be disappointed!

Fort Lauderdale Beach

Fort Lauderdale Beach shines with white sand and warm turquoise waters. Families, couples, and solo travelers find their spot under the palm trees or enjoy water sports on this vibrant stretch of coast.

The beach is a favorite for paddleboarding, boating, and simply soaking up the Florida sun.

Fort Lauderdale Beach is not just a destination; it’s an experience.

Las Olas Boulevard awaits as your next adventure, blending shopping, dining, and entertainment in one iconic location.

Las Olas Boulevard

Las Olas Boulevard is a vibrant and upscale thoroughfare with boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, and nightlife options. Visitors can explore the eclectic blend of dining establishments catering to every taste and budget.

The boulevard’s stylish ambiance, palm tree-lined sidewalks, and European-inspired architecture make it the perfect spot for leisurely strolls or al fresco dining experiences. Las Olas Boulevard offers unique shopping opportunities at local boutiques where fashionistas can find everything from high-end attire to beachwear essentials.

The variety of cultural attractions along Las Olas includes art galleries featuring contemporary and traditional works by renowned artists. In addition to its artistic offerings, the area also hosts weekend events like farmer’s markets that appeal to both locals and tourists.

As part of Greater Fort Lauderdale’s diverse range of experiences, Las Olas Boulevard truly stands out as a must-visit destination in this thriving city.

Bonnet House Museum & Gardens

Bonnet House Museum & Gardens is a historic estate that provides an immersive experience in art and nature. Set on 35 acres, the property features a blend of art, architecture, history, and ecology.

Visitors can explore the house filled with artwork and orchid displays while strolling through lush gardens surrounded by tropical wildlife. The site offers an insight into Florida’s artistic heritage and environmental conservation efforts.

Venturing further – Hugh Taylor Birch State Park

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park offers a tranquil escape with its scenic walking trails, lush landscapes, and picturesque freshwater lagoon. Visitors can explore the park’s diverse ecosystem with activities such as cycling, canoeing, picnicking, and wildlife viewing.

The park is an ideal spot for birdwatching enthusiasts with over 250 species of birds recorded in the area. Whether it’s strolling through the butterfly garden or enjoying a relaxing boat tour on the lagoon, Hugh Taylor Birch State Park provides a perfect blend of nature and recreation.

NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale

NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale

NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale showcases contemporary and modern art. The museum houses over 6,000 works from international artists, offering diverse exhibitions and programs. One of the prominent features is the William Glackens collection, featuring American realist paintings from the early 20th century.

The museum’s educational initiatives offer insight into a broad spectrum of artistic visions and cultural experiences. Visitors will find engaging activities such as workshops for all ages along with lectures by renowned artists.

The NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale delivers a range of cultural experiences while celebrating artistic diversity in an accessible manner. With its extensive collection and immersive programs, it enriches visitors’ understanding of modern and contemporary artistry, making it an essential stop for individuals seeking meaningful cultural encounters during their visit to Fort Lauderdale.

Sawgrass Mills Mall

Sawgrass Mills Mall, located in Sunrise, near Fort Lauderdale, is the largest outlet and value retail shopping destination in the United States. With over 350 stores and outlets featuring top brands like Gucci, Prada, Nike, and more, it offers a vast selection of clothing, electronics, home goods at discounted prices.

This sprawling complex also houses numerous dining options ranging from fast food to fine dining experiences. The mall’s location makes it easily accessible from both Miami and Palm Beach.

Guests at Sawgrass Mills can enjoy not only the extensive shopping options but also entertainment features such as movies at Regal Cinemas or indoor playgrounds for children. Opened in 1990 with expansions over time that include outdoor shopping areas like The Colonnade Outlets with high-end luxury brands adding to its appeal.

Outdoor Adventures in Fort Lauderdale

Explore the diverse outdoor adventures, from exhilarating Everglades airboat tours to tranquil kayaking and island explorations. Experience thrilling snorkeling, venture on a Jungle Queen riverboat cruise, or unwind on sunset cruises for an unforgettable Fort Lauderdale adventure.

Everglades Airboat Tours

Experience the thrill of Everglades Airboat Tours as you glide through the unique ecosystem of Fort Lauderdale’s famous wetlands. Encounter diverse wildlife including alligators, exotic birds, and tropical flora as you explore this natural wonder.

The airboats offer a thrilling adventure away from the city, providing an up-close experience in one of Florida’s most iconic landscapes. Don’t miss this exhilarating opportunity to witness the beauty and diversity of the Everglades while enjoying a fun and educational adventure.

Everglades Airboat Tours provide an exciting way to immerse yourself in nature while discovering Fort Lauderdale’s renowned wetlands. You’ll have the chance to observe fascinating animal species like alligators, herons, and turtles in their natural habitat during these high-speed adventures across shallow waters teeming with life.

Kayaking and Island Adventures

Discover the thrill of kayaking through Fort Lauderdale’s intricate waterways, mangroves, and tropical islands. Paddle your way through winding channels and explore secluded islands in the area’s unique ecosystem.

Encounter diverse wildlife such as manatees, dolphins, and exotic bird species while immersing yourself in the stunning natural beauty of this coastal paradise.

Embark on an unforgettable journey to picturesque islands nestled within Fort Lauderdale’s waters. From tranquil hideaways to vibrant islets, these island adventures offer a perfect blend of relaxation and exploration for nature enthusiasts.

Snorkeling and Underwater Tours

Explore the vibrant underwater world of Fort Lauderdale with snorkeling and underwater tours. Dive into the warm turquoise waters and discover colorful marine life and coral reefs.

Whether it’s a guided tour or a solo adventure, snorkeling enthusiasts will find plenty of opportunities to witness the beauty beneath the waves. The abundance of snorkeling spots, including natural reefs and artificial wrecks, makes Fort Lauderdale an ideal destination for underwater exploration.

From beginners to experienced snorkelers, there are options tailored for all skill levels. Don’t miss this chance to immerse yourself in the captivating marine realm while visiting Fort Lauderdale.

Jungle Queen Riverboat Cruise

Experience the Jungle Queen Riverboat Cruise, a classic Fort Lauderdale adventure. Hop aboard this historic riverboat for a scenic tour along the New River and Intracoastal Waterway.

With entertaining narration, enjoy views of waterfront mansions, tropical foliage, and yachts. The cruise also includes a visit to their very own private island with lush gardens and an alligator exhibition.

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Embark on the Jungle Queen Riverboat Cruise for a delightful journey through the waterways of Fort Lauderdale. Discover an entertaining and informative excursion while taking in picturesque sights from the comfort of this iconic riverboat.

Sunset Cruises

After exploring the Jungle Queen Riverboat Cruise, don’t miss out on the breathtaking experience of Sunset Cruises in Fort Lauderdale. Enjoy a serene and picturesque view as you sail along the stunning coastline and witness the sky transforming into a palette of vivid colors.

Relax with your loved ones or friends while basking in the warm golden glow of the setting sun against the tranquil waters. These cruises offer an unforgettable way to end your day, creating lasting memories filled with beauty and tranquility.

For added excitement, consider Sunset Cruises that include live entertainment, dining options, or themed experiences for an even more memorable journey along Fort Lauderdale’s enchanting waterways.

Family Fun in Fort Lauderdale

Looking to make the most of your family trip to Fort Lauderdale? From mini powerboat rentals to water taxi tours, there are plenty of exciting activities for the whole family to indulge in during your visit.

Mini Powerboat Rentals

Explore Fort Lauderdale’s waterways by renting a mini powerboat. Glide through the turquoise waters and discover picturesque waterfronts, islands, and wildlife sanctuaries at your own pace.

With options for both guided and self-navigated tours, these rentals offer an adventurous way to take in the scenic beauty of Fort Lauderdale’s coastlines and create unforgettable memories on the water.

Mini powerboat rentals are perfect for families, couples, or groups looking to enjoy a unique boating experience while visiting this vibrant city. Additionally, these rentals provide an opportunity to indulge in beach activities like snorkeling or swimming at secluded spots along the coastline.

Discover hidden gems along Fort Lauderdale’s shoreline with mini powerboat rentals – a thrilling experience that combines adventure with leisure. Whether it’s cruising along Las Olas Boulevard or exploring tranquil coves off the beaten path, these rentals offer boundless opportunities for fun-filled escapades on the water.

Water Taxi Tours

Explore the picturesque waterways of Fort Lauderdale with relaxing and scenic Water Taxi Tours. Hop on and off at various stops along the Intracoastal Waterway, traveling to attractions, shopping areas, dining spots, and more.

Enjoy stunning views as you leisurely explore the city from a unique perspective while accessing different points of interest.

Experience Fort Lauderdale’s charm while gliding along its iconic canals, exploring diverse neighborhoods, lively entertainment districts, and waterfront eateries through convenient Water Taxi Tours.

Day Cruises

Cruise the stunning waterways of Fort Lauderdale with a variety of day cruise options. Hop aboard for a relaxing riverboat journey along the picturesque Intracoastal Waterway and New River, while soaking in the breathtaking views of luxurious mansions and lush landscapes.

Alternatively, set sail on a Bahia Mar yacht for an unforgettable day trip offering onboard amenities and entertainment while you navigate the beautiful coastal waters. The Day Cruises offer travelers exciting opportunities to explore Fort Lauderdale’s aquatic treasures in style, providing an exceptional way to experience this vibrant city from a different perspective.

Immerse yourself in the beauty of Fort Lauderdale’s waterways as you embark on one of these diverse day cruises that cater not only to sightseeing enthusiasts but also those seeking unique leisure experiences amidst scenic surroundings.

Beach Activities

Transitioning from day cruises to beach activities, Fort Lauderdale offers an array of enjoyable options for visitors. From water sports like paddleboarding and snorkeling to relaxing on the sandy shores, there are numerous ways to make the most of the city’s beautiful beaches.

The warm turquoise waters and white-sand beaches provide a perfect setting for swimming, sunbathing, beach volleyball, and enjoying water sports such as jet skiing and parasailing.

At Fort Lauderdale Beaches, visitors can enjoy various activities including swimming in the warm turquoise waters Keywords: Fort Lauderdale beach activities

Beachfront Parks and Playgrounds

After enjoying various beach activities, families can continue the fun at Fort Lauderdale’s beachfront parks and playgrounds. The city boasts numerous well-maintained and picturesque parks where kids can run around and play in the sun.

Beachfront parks like South Beach Park, Hallandale Beach Community Center & Cultural Center Park, and Lauderdale-By-The-Sea offer playgrounds, picnic areas, and restrooms for a convenient day out by the water.

Whether visitors are locals or tourists looking for family-friendly activities in Fort Lauderdale, these beachfront parks provide an ideal setting for relaxation and recreation with loved ones.

Cultural and Historical Experiences

Explore LGBT+ culture and events, the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art and History, Stranahan House, and the historic Riverfront. Appreciate diverse cultural experiences that have shaped Fort Lauderdale’s history.

LGBT+ Culture and Events

Fort Lauderdale is home to a thriving LGBT+ community, offering a vibrant array of cultural and entertainment events. The city hosts the famous Pride Fort Lauderdale festival, a colorful celebration of diversity that attracts thousands of participants each year.

In addition to this, visitors can explore the diverse range of LGBTQ+-friendly bars, clubs, and restaurants throughout Greater Fort Lauderdale. The area also boasts several unique LGBT+ historical sites and landmarks, such as the Stonewall Library & Archives – one of the largest circulating libraries dedicated to LGBT+ history and culture in the country.

With numerous events and venues tailored towards inclusion and diversity, Fort Lauderdale provides an inviting atmosphere for all.

Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art and History

The Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art and History showcases diverse exhibitions, including contemporary art and regional history, offering a unique cultural experience. Visitors can immerse themselves in the rich local heritage as well as explore thought-provoking art installations.

The museum also hosts educational programs and events for families, making it an engaging destination for tourists seeking cultural experiences in Fort Lauderdale.

This significant historical site unearths the roots of Fort Lauderdale’s vibrant past while serving as a platform to celebrate diverse artistic expressions. With an array of ever-evolving exhibits and engaging activities tailored towards both locals and tourists, the museum stands amongst the top attractions in Fort Lauderdale.

Stranahan House

Connecting the historical and cultural experience of the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art and History, a visit to Stranahan House offers a fascinating insight into the city’s past. Built in 1901 by pioneer Frank Stranahan, it is the oldest surviving structure in Broward County and showcases the early days of Fort Lauderdale.

The house has witnessed significant events such as Seminole War skirmishes and devastating hurricanes. Visitors can immerse themselves in this well-preserved piece of history while exploring its original furnishings, photographs, and artifacts.

Laden with rich historical significance dating back to 1901, Stranahan House stands as a pivotal pillar offering an immersive glimpse into Fort Lauderdale’s origins. It is a must-visit for those seeking an authentic slice of local history amidst one of Florida’s most vibrant cities.

Historic Riverfront

The Historic Riverfront in Fort Lauderdale offers a glimpse into the city’s rich past. Visitors can explore the iconic New River, lined with historical buildings and lush greenery.

The area is punctuated by charming shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues, providing a unique blend of history and modern attractions to enjoy. The Riverwalk Arts and Entertainment District hosts cultural events while preserving the city’s heritage.

With its mix of old-world charm and contemporary vibrancy, the Historic Riverfront is an essential stop for those seeking authentic experiences in Fort Lauderdale.

Venturing along the Historic Riverfront gives visitors insight into Fort Lauderdale’s captivating history. The historic district boasts scenic views of yachts cruising on the waterway framed by well-preserved landmarks such as Stranahan House.

Diverse Dining and Shopping Options

Indulge in a variety of dining experiences and explore unique shopping options along the bustling streets. Discover numerous culinary delights and one-of-a-kind retail finds to enhance your visit to Fort Lauderdale.

Restaurants for Every Taste and Budget

Fort Lauderdale caters to all palates and pockets with its diverse dining scene. From laid-back beachfront eateries serving fresh seafood to upscale restaurants offering fine dining experiences, there’s something for every taste and budget.

Whether you’re craving international cuisine or classic American dishes, Fort Lauderdale’s restaurants deliver a range of culinary delights. Visitors can savor delectable meals at affordable local diners, trendy cafes, and renowned restaurants showcasing the city’s vibrant food culture.

With an array of dining options scattered across the city, it is easy to find great food that suits any budget.

Visitors can explore local favorites such as waterfront bistros with stunning views, hidden gems featuring eclectic menus, and popular chains serving familiar comfort foods. Fort Lauderdale’s culinary landscape showcases an extensive selection of flavors from around the world, including Latin American specialties like Cuban sandwiches or Brazilian churrasco alongside traditional Southern fare such as barbecued ribs and shrimp ‘n’ grits in lively settings.

Local Boutiques and High-End Shopping

Explore Fort Lauderdale’s diverse shopping scene offering everything from local boutiques to high-end shopping options. You can stroll through Las Olas Boulevard, a shopper’s paradise with its collection of chic and trendy boutiques, art galleries, and designer stores.

In addition, indulge in luxurious shopping experiences at The Galleria at Fort Lauderdale or Sawgrass Mills Mall – home to over 350 retailers including high-end brands and discounted designer outlets.

As we move on from the vibrant shopping scene of Fort Lauderdale, let’s delve into the culinary delights that await your exploration.

Las Olas Boulevard Dining and Shopping

Las Olas Boulevard is a bustling hub offering diverse dining experiences from trendy cafes, sushi bars, and bistros to waterfront restaurants. Visitors can savor local favorites or international cuisine while enjoying the vibrant ambiance of the boulevard.

Additionally, the area features upscale boutiques, designer stores, and art galleries that cater to varied tastes and preferences.

Completing the Las Olas experience are high-end shopping options ranging from luxury brands to eclectic finds; an ideal place for those seeking leisurely strolls amidst a blend of cultural and contemporary offerings.


Tallying up the top 30 things to do in Fort Lauderdale, Florida covers diverse fun activities around the city. Discover must-visit attractions, outdoor adventures, family-friendly spots, cultural experiences, and dining delights.

Plan your visit for an action-packed and entertaining trip!


1. What are some family-friendly activities in Fort Lauderdale, Florida?

In Fort Lauderdale, families can enjoy outdoor adventures, visit landmarks, and explore cultural experiences together.

2. Can you find entertainment options for all ages in Fort Lauderdale?

Yes! Fort Lauderdale offers a variety of entertainment options suitable for everyone, from sightseeing tours to leisure activities by the beach.

3. Are there places to visit that offer both fun and learning in Fort Lauderdale?

Absolutely! You can have fun and learn at the same time by visiting museums or engaging in cultural experiences around Fort Lauderdale.

4. What makes Fort Lauderdale a good place for a vacation?

Fort Lauderdale is great for vacations because it has beautiful beaches, exciting tourism spots, and lots of family-friendly activities.

5. How can I make the most out of my sightseeing trip to Fort Lauderdale?

To fully enjoy your sightseeing trip, make sure to check out the top landmarks and engage in outdoor adventures that let you see the beauty of Fort Lauderdale.