things to do in Fort Lauderdale

7 things to do in Fort Lauderdale (that aren’t tanning)

Gone are the days where Fort Lauderdale was almost exclusively filled with retirees and snowbirds. The seaside city has now blossomed into a thriving destination for young families, couples and friend. Everyone is guaranteed a good time!

Of course, tanning is one of the most popular things to do in Fort Lauderdale. With over 3000 hours of bright sunshine per year, Florida is the Sunshine State after all! But aside form that, there are dozens of activities and sightseeing spots just waiting to be discovered.

Bonnet House

As one of the few  U.S. National Register of Historic Places in the area, Bonnet House holds a special place in the locals’ hearts. It was first acquired in 1895 by a successful Chicago lawyer. Then, the historic house was offered to artist Frederic Clay Bartlett in 1919 and decorated by his artistically-inclined wife Evelyn Lilly, who embellished it with decorative elements from her travels around the world. Blues, yellows, animal prints and lavish gardens abound, making Bonnet House a historic mansion museum like no other.

International Swimming Hall of Fame Museum

Swimming aficionados, rejoice! Fort Lauderdale is where the swimming party is at thanks to the hall of fame museum, entirely dedicated to this sport.

The multi-faceted exhibition notably acknowledges the achievements of the world’s 600 greatest aquatic athletes. It features rare photos, Olympic medals, trophies, memorabilia and objects d’art, including artifacts dating from the days of ancient Assyria.

Las Olas Boulevard

Fort Lauderdale’s rejuvenation had a huge effect on the local cuisine. Las Olas Boulevard, for example, is now the playground of many famous and imaginative chefs. To summarize, some of the most popular eateries include:

  • Rocco’s Tacos & Tequila Bar (complete with made-to-table guacamole)
  • Asia Bay (canal-side Japanese restaurant with a fabulous wine list)
  • Café de Paris
  • Likewise, there are also fun food tours in Fort Lauderdale that will certainly please all gourmet travellers

Snorkelling & diving

Fort Lauderdale beaches

Ocean temperature in Florida ranges from 72 degrees in the winter to 80 in the summer… thank you, Gulf Stream!

Indeed, Fort Lauderdale’s waters are warm and welcoming year-round. It’s the perfect excuse to go and discover the largest collection of warm-water wrecks in the Western world (including a 1900’s 325-foot steamship and a 175-foot U.S. Coast Guard tender ship) and 75 artificial reefs.

But what makes Fort Lauderdale’s diving scene even more spectacular is the beach diving opportunities. In fact, this is the only place in the continental United States to snorkel and dive on a living coral reef-straight off the beach! Snorkelling in Fort Lauderdale is easy, safe, and utterly fascinating.

Sunrise spotting

beaches in Fort Lauderdale Florida

Because of its unbeatable location on the east coast of Florida, Fort Lauderdale boasts some of the most dramatic sunrises in the world.

Understandably, the early wake-up call can be somewhat of a rebuttal. On the other hand, sunrises in Florida are definitely worth getting up for especially if enjoyed with coffee in hand on a quiet beach like the one at the boat-shaped B-Ocean Resort. Every morning holds a different surprise!

Flamingo Gardens


Welcome to 60 acres of tropical paradise! This wildlife sanctuary is now the habitat of over 3000 species of rare and exotic, tropical, subtropical, and native plants including the largest trees in the state. In addition, it’s home to Florida native wildlife like panthers, flamingos, bobcats, eagles and many others – 83 species in total!

The Everglades Wildlife Sanctuary is a non-profit providing a safe and nurtured shelter to permanently injured local birds and animals. Consequently, it’s often cited as one of the top attractions in Florida, and certainly one of the most enlightening.

Water Taxi

Did you know Fort Lauderdale is home to over 165 miles of waterways? Often nicknamed the “Venice of North America”, Fort Lauderdale’s canals are home to some of the most expensive real estate and yatches in the United States. In fact, they can both be admired from the city’s water taxi extensive network which covers all main attractions with live commentary from knowledgeable and witty personnel. It isn’t the fastest way to get around, but it sure is the most entertaining.

Day trips from Fort Lauderdale

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