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Plan Your Trip to Fort Lauderdale: Best of Fort Lauderdale Tourism

About Fort Lauderdale
Despite its mostly after-hours draw for Spring Breakers and party-goers, Fort Lauderdale has a lot to offer before happy hour: miles of golden beaches, rare coral reefs, and a culture all its own. Thanks to the canals that connect the city, its other rep as the “Venice of America'' means you can kayak, paddleboard, and even ride a gondola to get around. There’s lots of great stuff by land, too: picnic in Hugh Taylor Birch State Park (Fort Lauderdale’s own Central Park), grab some sand at LGBTQ+-friendly Sebastian Street Beach, or check out the 1920’s artists’ home-turned-museum Bonnet House & Gardens. By sundown, head toward the hum of Las Olas Boulevard for dinner, drinks, and dancing—we’ve got travelers’ favorite spots and even more recs below.

Travel Advice

Essential Fort Lauderdale

How to do Fort Lauderdale in 3 days

Margaritas, museums, and major beach time
Read on

Where the cocktails are: A nightlife guide to Fort Lauderdale

Going out in Fort Lauderdale has been a national rite of passage ever since the city earned its beer-soaked title as the Spring Break Capital of the World in the 1980s. But I can assure you it’s not all wet T-shirt contests and drunken frat parties anymore. Fort Lauderdale has morphed into a world-class nightlife destination with everything from speakeasy cocktail bars to underwater burlesque. So grab a drink and get ready for a great night out.
  • Elbo Room
    367
    There isn’t a plaque announcing this is the town's oldest bar. It opened sometime in the late 1930s, and the sticky, beer-soaked floors are rumored to have never been mopped since (which only adds to the charm). It’s one of the last holdouts on Fort Lauderdale Beach to preserve that rowdy spring break vibe of yesteryear.keeping the music turned all the way up, the beers cold, and the sandy, sunburned crowds hitting the dance floor.
  • The Wreck Bar
    113
    Whoever told you mermaids don’t exist clearly has never visited B Ocean Resort’s Wreck Bar, a dark kitschy lounge that takes its design cues from shipwrecked Spanish Galleons of the 16th century. There are giant aquariums and tiki-inspired cocktails, but the main draw are the large porthole windows behind the bar that peer into the hotel’s pool where a pod of coquettish mermaids and hunky “aquamen” perform underwater burlesque shows multiple nights a week.
  • Riverside Market
    210
    Refrigerators boasting the largest selection of beer in town line the perimeter of this cozy little neighborhood joint in Sailboat Bend. Pluck a cold one, pop the bottle cap with one of the many openers dangling from the wooden posts, and head to your table where you’ll easily lose hours of time. The chill, laid back atmosphere has launched many meandering conversations with friends. The pizza, burgers, and bar snacks can easily extend a quiet night out into a last-call affair.
  • Georgie's Alibi Monkey Bar
    395
    When it opened in 1997, Georgie’s Alibi Monkey Bar was the first gay bar in Wilton Manors, which is now considered the “second gayest” city in the country after Provincetown. More than 25 years later, the landmark bar remains an integral piece of the gayborhood’s LGBT identity. The dance floor's the place to be when the music’s turned all the way up and the lights are dialed way down low. Don’t miss the flirty cast of emerging and veteran drag queens who perform every Friday night.
  • Rhythm & Vine
    37
    Choose-your-own-adventure at Rhythm & Vine: Early evenings are for oversized Jenga and Connect Four on the outdoor patio; arrive later, and the space transforms into an intimate club with a live DJ playing high-tempo tunes. The interior design is an IG-worthy fever dream of mismatched furniture, rainbow-colored string lights, and kaleidoscopic wallpaper. The vintage Airstream outside serves craft cocktails, draft beers, and Chido tequila seltzers in something called a “bird bong,” a pink flamingo lawn ornament that’s been curiously rigged to double as a funnel.
  • Blue Jean Blues
    187
    Step inside this dark, twinkly lit lounge for live blues and jazz every night of the week. Bands playing soulful genres from Caribbean jazz to bluesy rock to R&B take command from the raised stage in the back. Tables for foot-tapping, finger-snapping patrons line the walls. Reservations are suggested for those coveted seats, but it’s usually not hard to scout a stool at the bar. After a few tracks and refilled drink orders, the area in front of the stage magically transforms into a shimmying dance floor.
  • Pizza Craft
    84
    The scent of fresh dough tempts patrons inside Pizza Craft Pizzeria, while an intriguing neon “cocktails” sign on a side door lures some even further into a sophisticated, speakeasy-style lounge with dark red walls and plush leather banquettes. Knowledgeable bartenders craft cocktails from an extensive liquor list, which features hundreds of whiskey, bourbon, and rye varieties. Old-fashioned aficionados can opt to build their own tableside with their choice spirits, garnishes, and smoke infusions.

Browse collections

Bring the kids

Fun for the whole family—little ones included

Sip and sightsee

Bars where the views are as good as the drinks

Beyond the beach

Historic houses, museums, shopping, and more

Fort Lauderdale on a dime

Budget-friendly bites, and plenty of free fun

On the water

Kayaking, paddleboarding, and sunset sails

Nighttime adventures

Sea turtle-spotting, kayaking, and more

A moment in nature

Bike or stroll through the city’s green spaces

If you're feeling fancy-ish

Luxury experiences that are totally worth it

Fort Lauderdale Travel Guide

Travelers' pro tips or experiencing Fort Lauderdale

lulutastic

Water taxi in Fort Lauderdale is always a hit with friends and family I've hosted. It's a lovely overview of a portion of the Intracoastal, providing a glimpse at beautiful and over-the-top waterfront properties and mega yachts.

Swordfish911

Boating is a staple of Fort Lauderdale and Fort Lauderdale is the boating capital of the world. Many large yachts are always in the marinas and great to see. Many tours are available as well.

A Tripadvisor Member

Get out of the sun for some shopping! The Galleria on Sunrise Blvd or Sawgrass Outlets 20 mins west of Fort Lauderdale.

Venis3

There are tons of places to go, things to do and people to see.

joe s

This is a wonderful living city not a waiting room for the hereafter!

coach3313

A place for young and old — beach, fancy hotels and great eateries!

What is the best way to get there?

flying

Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport is the main commercial airport serving Fort Lauderdale. Shuttle buses run from the airport to nearby hotels. Taxis and car services are available too.

bus

Greyhound offers bus services to Fort Lauderdale with a terminal at 515 NE 3rd St.

driving

Travelers driving to Fort Lauderdale usually approach the city via the I-95 Fwy and the I-75 Fwy.

Do I need a visa?

If you’re visiting Fort Lauderdale from overseas, use the US State Department’s Visa Wizard to see if you need a visa.

When is the best time to visit?

Winter (December to April): The snowbirds really know what’s up. Fort Lauderdale is a dream destination in the winter months thanks to its warm sunshine and its ideal temperatures that hover between 10 to 26°C (50 to 80°F).

Get around

sun trolley

Fort Lauderdale’s Sun Trolley operates seven routes which cover the entire town, as well as one route to and from the airport. For more information on routes, schedules and fares, see here.

water taxi

Fort Lauderdale’s water taxi has 10 stops in Fort Lauderdale and 1 stop in Hollywood.

taxis and rideshare

Taxis, Uber, and Lyft services are readily available throughout the city.

driving

Parking lots and metered parking are available, however, streets tend to get congested, so alternative methods of transportation are recommended.

On the ground

What is the timezone?

Eastern Time Zone.

What are the voltage/plug types?

The standard voltage in the United States is 120 V and the standard frequency is 60 Hz. The plug has two flat parallel pins.

What is the currency?

The U.S. Dollar.

Are ATMs readily accessible?

Yes.

Are credit cards widely accepted?

Yes.

Is it easy to find a bank?

Yes

How much do I tip?

Bartender

$1 a drink or $2 for a more labor-intensive cocktail

Restaurant

15-20%

Bellhop

$1 to 3 per bag

Housekeeper

$2-$3 per night

Taxis/rideshare

15-20%

Spa/Salon

20%

Tour guide

10-20%

Are there local customs I should know?

Drinking

The federal legal age for buying and drinking alcohol is 21 years old.

Walking

Walk to the right of the sidewalk and step off to the side of the sidewalk if you want to stop to check your phone, look up directions, or want to take in a view.

Public transport

Allow others to disembark before boarding, don’t take up more than one seat, and stand to offer seating to pregnant women or someone with a disability.

Spitting

Spitting is considered rude in any public setting.

Frequently Asked Questions about Fort Lauderdale





If you're a more budget-conscious traveler, then you may want to consider traveling to Fort Lauderdale between June and August, when hotel prices are generally the lowest. Peak hotel prices generally start between December and February.