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Fort Lauderdale
—  City  —
Downtown Fort Lauderdale skyline

Seal
Nickname(s): Venice of America
U.S. Census Map
Coordinates: 26°08′9″N 80°08′31″W / 26.13583°N 80.14194°W / 26.13583; -80.14194Coordinates: 26°08′9″N 80°08′31″W / 26.13583°N 80.14194°W / 26.13583; -80.14194
Country  United States
County Broward
Established March 27, 1911
Government
 - Type Commission-Manager
 - Mayor Jack Seiler
Area [1]
 - City 36.0 sq mi (93.3 km2)
 - Land 31.7 sq mi (82.2 km2)
 - Water 4.3 sq mi (11.1 km2)  11.91%
Elevation [2] 9 ft (2.75 m)
Population (July 1, 2007)[3]
 - City 183,606
 Metro 5,413,212
  Census Bureau estimate
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 33301-33340, 33345-33349
Area code(s) 754, 954
FIPS code 12-24000[4]
GNIS feature ID 0282693[5]
Website http://www.fortlauderdale.gov/

Fort Lauderdale (pronounced /ˌfɔrt ˈlɔːdərdeɪl/) is a city in the U.S. state of Florida, on the Atlantic coast. It is the county seat of Broward County. According to 2007 U.S. Census Bureau estimates, the city had a population of 183,606.[3] It is a principal city of the South Florida metropolitan area, which is home to over 5,413,212 people.[6]

The city is a popular tourist destination, with 10.35 million visitors in 2006.[7] Fort Lauderdale is sometimes known as the "Venice of America"[8] because of its expansive and intricate canal system. The city is a major yachting center, with 42,000 resident yachts and 100 marinas and boatyards.[7] The city sits 23 miles north of Miami, Florida. Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding area host over 4100 restaurants and 120 nightclubs.[7]

Fort Lauderdale is named after a series of forts built by the United States during the Second Seminole War. The forts took their name from Major William Lauderdale, who was the commander of the detachment of soldiers who built the first fort.[9] However, development of the city did not begin until 50 years after the forts were abandoned at the end of the conflict. Three forts named "Fort Lauderdale" were constructed; the first was at the fork of the New River, the second at Tarpon Bend, in what is now known as the Sailboat Bend neighborhood, and the third near the site of the Bahia Mar Marina.[9]

Contents

History

The area in which the city of Fort Lauderdale would later be founded was inhabited for more than a thousand years by the Tequesta Indians.[10] Contact with Spanish explorers in the 16th century proved disastrous for the Tequesta, as the Europeans unwittingly brought with them diseases to which the native populations possessed no resistance, such as smallpox. For the Tequesta, disease, coupled with continuing conflict with their Calusa neighbors, contributed greatly to their decline over the next two centuries.[11] By 1763, there were only a few Tequesta left in Florida, and most of them were evacuated to Cuba when the Spanish ceded Florida to the British in 1763, under the terms of the Treaty of Paris (1763), which ended the Seven Years' War.[10] Although control of the area changed between Spain, United Kingdom, the United States, and the Confederate States of America, it remained largely undeveloped until the 20th century.

The Fort Lauderdale area was known as the "New River Settlement" before the 20th century. In the 1830s there were approximately 70 settlers living along the New River. William Cooley, the local Justice of the Peace, was a farmer and wrecker, who traded with the Seminole Indians. On January 6, 1836, while Cooley was leading an attempt to salvage a wrecked ship, a band of Seminoles attacked his farm, killing his wife and children, and the children's tutor. The other farms in the settlement were not attacked, but all the white residents in the area abandoned the settlement, fleeing first to the Cape Florida Lighthouse on Key Biscayne, and then to Key West.[12] The first United States stockade named Fort Lauderdale was built in 1838,[13] and subsequently was a site of fighting during the Second Seminole War. The fort was abandoned in 1842, after the end of the war, and the area remained virtually unpopulated until the 1890s. It was not until Frank Stranahan arrived in the area in 1893 to operate a ferry across the New River, and the Florida East Coast Railroad's completion of a route through the area in 1896, that any organized development began. The city was incorporated in 1911, and in 1915 was designated the county seat of newly formed Broward County.[14]

Fort Lauderdale's first major development began in the 1920s, during the Florida land boom of the 1920s.[15] The 1926 Miami Hurricane[16] and the Great Depression of the 1930s caused a great deal of economic dislocation. When World War II began, Fort Lauderdale became a major US base, with a Naval Air Station to train pilots, radar operators, and fire control operators, and a Coast Guard base at Port Everglades was also established.[17]

After the war ended, service members returned to the area, spurring an enormous population explosion which dwarfed the 1920s boom.[11] The 1960 Census counted 83,648 people in the city, about 230% of the 1950 figure.[18] A 1967 report estimated that the city was approximately 85% developed,[19] and the 1970 population figure was 139,590.[20] After 1970, as Fort Lauderdale became essentially built out, growth in the area shifted to suburbs to the west. As cities such as Coral Springs, Miramar, and Pembroke Pines experienced explosive growth, Fort Lauderdale's population stagnated, and the city actually shrank by almost 4,000 people between 1980, when the city had 153,279 people,[21] and 1990, when the population was 149,377.[22] A slight rebound brought the population back up to 152,397 at the 2000 census.[23] Since 2000, Fort Lauderdale has gained slightly over 18,000 residents through annexation of seven neighborhoods in unincorporated Broward County.[24] Today, Fort Lauderdale is a major yachting center,[7] one of the nation's largest tourist destinations,[7] and the center of a metropolitan division with 1.8 million people.[6]

Geography and climate

Location

A1A, north of Sunrise Blvd

Fort Lauderdale is located at 26°08′09″N 80°08′31″W / 26.13583°N 80.14194°W / 26.13583; -80.14194 (26.135763, -80.141810).[25]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 36.0 square miles (93.2 km2), 31.7 square miles (82.1 km2) of which is land and 4.3 square miles (11.1 km2) of which is water (11.91%). Fort Lauderdale is known for its extensive network of canals; there are 165 miles (266 km) of waterways within the city limits.[26]

The city of Fort Lauderdale is adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean, includes 7 miles (11 km) of beaches,[27] and borders the following municipalities:

On its east: On its south: On its southwest:
On its west: On its northwest: On its north:
Fort Lauderdale Beach

The northwestern section of Fort Lauderdale is separate from the remainder of the city, connected only by the Cypress Creek Canal as it flows under I-95. This section of Fort Lauderdale borders the cities of Tamarac and Oakland Park on its south side. Oakland Park also borders Fort Lauderdale on the west side of its northeastern portion. The greater portion of Fort Lauderdale in the south is bordered, along its north side by Wilton Manors.

Off the coast of Fort Lauderdale is the Osborne Reef, an artificial reef made of discarded tires that has proven to be an ecological disaster.[28] The dumping began in the 1960s, with the intent to provide habitat for fish while disposing of trash from the land. However, in the rugged and corrosive environment of the ocean, nylon straps used to secure the tires wore out, cables rusted, and tires broke free. The tires posed a particular threat after breaking free from their restraints. The tires then migrated shoreward and ran into a living reef tract, washed up on its slope and killed many things in their path. In recent years, thousands of tires have also washed up on nearby beaches, especially during hurricanes. Local authorities are now working to remove the 700,000 tires, in cooperation with the U.S. Army, Navy and Coast Guard.[29]

Neighborhoods

Fort Lauderdale, unlike many cities, has an official program for designating and recognizing neighborhoods. Under the Neighborhood Organization Recognition Program,[30] more than 60 distinct neighborhoods have received official recognition from the city. An additional 25–30 neighborhoods exist without official recognition, although the city's neighborhood map displays them as well.[31]

Climate

Sunrise at Fort Lauderdale Beach

Fort Lauderdale features a tropical climate, specifically the Tropical rainforest climate (Köppen climate classification Af) [32] with little seasonal variation in temperature. While significant rain does fall in winter, the majority of precipitation is received during the summer months (see climate chart below). Average monthly temperatures are always above 64.4°F (18°C) and average monthly precipitation above 60 mm.[33][34]

Summers (wet season) from May through October are hot, humid, and wet with average high temperatures of 86 - 90°F (30 - 32°C) and lows of 71 - 76°F (22 - 24°C). During this period, more than half of summer days may bring afternoon thunderstorms.[35]

Winter (dry season) from November through April are comfortably warm and mostly dry with average high temperatures of 75 - 82°F (24 - 28°C) and lows of 59 - 66°F (15 - 19°C). However, the city experiences occasional cold fronts during this period, bringing high temperatures in the 50s and 60s (10 - 16°C) and lows in the 40s and 50s (4 - 10°C) lasting only for a few days.[35]

Annual average precipitation is 64.2 in (1630 mm), with most of it occurring during the wet season from May through October. However, rainfall occurs in all months, mainly as short-lived heavy afternoon thunderstorms. Fort Lauderdale has an average of 94 wet days and 250 sunshine days annually. The hurricane season is between June 1 and November 30,[36] with major hurricanes most likely to affect Florida in September and October.[37] The most recent storms to directly affect the city were Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Wilma, both of which struck the city in 2005. Other direct hits were Hurricane Cleo in 1964, Hurricane King in 1950, and the 1947 Fort Lauderdale Hurricane.


Climate data for Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Record high °F (°C) 88
(31)
94
(34)
92
(33)
94
(34)
97
(36)
97
(36)
99
(37)
98
(37)
98
(37)
95
(35)
91
(33)
88
(31)
Average high °F (°C) 76
(24)
77
(25)
79
(26)
82
(28)
86
(30)
88
(31)
90
(32)
90
(32)
89
(32)
86
(30)
81
(27)
77
(25)
Average low °F (°C) 59
(15)
60
(16)
63
(17)
66
(19)
71
(22)
74
(23)
75
(24)
76
(24)
75
(24)
72
(22)
67
(19)
62
(17)
Record low °F (°C) 28
(-2)
31
(-1)
32
(0)
40
(4)
54
(12)
60
(16)
64
(18)
66
(19)
61
(16)
47
(8)
35
(2)
30
(-1)
Precipitation inches (cm) 2.94
(7.47)
2.70
(6.86)
2.80
(7.11)
3.91
(9.93)
6.33
(16.08)
10.0
(25.40)
6.70
(17.02)
6.88
(17.48)
8.26
(20.98)
6.44
(16.36)
4.57
(11.61)
2.65
(6.73)
Source: The Weather Channel[38] 2009-01-25

Demographics

Fort Lauderdale Compared
2000 Census Fort Lauderdale FL U.S.
Total population 152,397 15,982,378 281,421,906
Population, percent change, 1990 to 2000 +2.0% +23.5% +13.1%
Population density 4,803.1/sq mi 309/sq mi 80/sq mi
Median household income (1999) $37,887 $38,819 $41,994
Bachelor's degree or higher 27.9% 22.3% 24.4%
Foreign born 21.7% 16.7% 11.1%
White (non-Hispanic) 57.5% 65.4% 75.1%
Black 28.9% 14.6% 12.3%
Hispanic (any race) 9.5% 16.8% 12.5%
Asian 1.0% 2.1% 4.2%

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 152,397 people, 68,468 households, and 33,001 families residing in the city. There were 68,468 households out of which 19.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.2% were married couples living together, 11.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 51.8% were non-families. 40.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older.

The median income for a household in the city was $37,887, and the median income for a family was $46,175. Males had a median income of $34,478 versus $27,230 for females. The per capita income for the city was $27,798. About 13.8% of families and 17.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.0% of those under age 18 and 11.1% of those aged 65 or over.

Fort Lauderdale has a significantly higher percentage of foreign-born residents than the United States as a whole; the 2000 census data indicated that 21.7% of the city's population was foreign-born.[39] Of foreign-born residents, 69.2% were born in Latin America and 17.3% were born in Europe, with smaller percentages from North America, Africa, Asia, and Oceania.[39] In 2000, Fort Lauderdale had the twenty-sixth highest percentage of Haitian residents in the US, at 6.9% of the city's population,[40] and the 127th highest percentage of Cuban residents, at 1.69% of the city's residents.[41]

Like many cities in South Florida, Fort Lauderdale has a large population of people who do not speak English as their first language at home, although not as high as the county average.[42] As of 2000, 75.63% of the population spoke English as their first language, followed by Spanish at 9.42%, Haitian Creole 7.52%, French 2.04%, and Portuguese at 1.02%.[43]

Economy

Fort Lauderdale skyline, featuring Las Olas River House, completed in 2004. 110 Tower (AutoNation) can be seen on the far right of the photo, and the spire of the Bank of America Plaza can be seen on the far left.
Luxury yacht Man of Steel in Fort Lauderdale´s harbor

Fort Lauderdale's economy is heavily reliant on tourism. From the 1940s through the 1980s, the city was known as a spring break destination for college students. Cruise ships and nautical recreation provide the basis for much of the revenue raised by tourism. Fort Lauderdale now attracts a more sophisticated and affluent tourist, while largely ignoring the dwindling college crowd.[44] There is a convention center located west of the beach and southeast of downtown, with 600,000 square feet (55,742 m2) of space, including a 200,000-square-foot (18,581 m2) main exhibit hall.[45] Approximately 30% of the city's 10 million annual visitors attend conventions at the center.[46]

The downtown area, especially around Las Olas Boulevard, has seen development in the past decade, and now hosts many new hotels and high-rise condominium developments. The downtown area is the largest in Broward County, although there are other cities in the county with commercial centers. Office buildings and highrises include Las Olas River House, Las Olas Grand, 110 Tower (formerly AutoNation Tower), Bank of America Plaza, One Financial Plaza, Broward Financial Center, Wachovia Center, New River Center, One Corporate Center, 101 Tower, and SouthTrust Tower.[47]

The Fort Lauderdale metropolitan area foreclosures increased 127.4% from 2006 to 2007, or one filing per 48 households in the quarter. Fort Lauderdale ranks fourth in the list of top 10 metropolitan areas ranked by foreclosure filings per household for the third quarter of 2007.[48]

Fort Lauderdale is a major manufacturing and maintenance center for yachts. The boating industry is responsible for over 109,000 jobs in the county.[49] With its many canals, and proximity to the Bahamas and Caribbean, it is also a popular yachting vacation stop, and home port for 42,000 boats, and approximately 100 marinas and boatyards.[7] Additionally, the annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, the world's largest boat show, brings over 125,000 people to the city each year.[50]

Companies based in the Fort Lauderdale area include AutoNation, Citrix Systems, DHL Express, Spirit Airlines, and National Beverage Corporation. The largest employers in the county are Tenet Healthcare, which employs 5,000 people; American Express, which employs 4,200; The Continental Group, which employs 3,900; Motorola, which employs 3,000, and Maxim Integrated Products, which employs 2,000.[51]

Gulfstream International Airlines, a commuter airline, is headquartered in nearby Dania Beach.[52][53][54]

Government

Fort Lauderdale has a Commission-Manager form of government. City policy is set by a city commission of five elected members: the mayor and four district commission members. In 1998 the municipal code was amended to limit the mayoral term. The mayor of Fort Lauderdale now serves a three-year term and cannot serve more than three consecutive terms.[55] The current mayor is John P. "Jack" Seiler. He succeeds the longest serving mayor, Jim Naugle, 1991-2009.[56] Administrative functions are performed by a city manager, who is appointed by the city commission. Fort Lauderdale Fire-Rescue Department provides Fire and Emergency Medical Services.

Federal representation

The United States Postal Service operates post offices in Fort Lauderdale. The Fort Lauderdale Main Post Office is located at 1900 West Oakland Park Boulevard in the City of Oakland Park.[57] Post offices within the city limits include Alridge,[58] Colee,[59] Coral Ridge,[60] Gateway Station,[61] Melrose Vista,[62] and Southside Station.[63]

Education

According to 2000 census data, 79.0% of the city's population aged 25 or older were high school graduates, slightly below the national figure of 80.4%. 27.9% held at least a baccalaureate, slightly higher than the national figure of 24.4%.[64] Broward County Public Schools operates 23 public schools in Fort Lauderdale. 2007 Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) results for Fort Lauderdale's public schools were mixed; while ten (of sixteen) elementary schools and one (of four) middle schools received "A" or "B" grades, Sunland Park Elementary School[65] and Arthur Ashe Middle School[66] received failing grades. Boyd Anderson High School, which is located in Lauderdale Lakes but whose attendance zone includes part of Fort Lauderdale, also received a failing grade.[67] None of the three failing schools have failed twice in a four-year period, thus triggering the "Opportunity Scholarship Program" school choice provisions of the Florida's education plan.[68]

Seven institutions of higher learning have main or satellite campuses in the city:

Additionally, the Davenport, Iowa-based Kaplan University's Corporate headquarters and an academic support center are located in the city.[69]

Transportation

Interstate 95 as it passes through Fort Lauderdale.The city's skyline can be seen in the background.

Local bus transportation is provided by Broward County Transit (BCT), the county bus system. BCT provides for connections with the bus systems in other parts of the metropolitan area: Metrobus in Miami-Dade County and Palm Tran in Palm Beach County. Tri-Rail, a commuter rail system, connects the major cities and airports of South Florida. In November 2006, Broward County voters rejected[70] a one-cent-per-hundred sales tax increase intended to fund transportation projects such as light rail and expansion of the bus system.[71]

Four railroads serve Fort Lauderdale. Florida East Coast Railroad (FEC) and CSX Transportation are freight lines, Amtrak provides passenger service to other cities on the Atlantic coast, and Tri-Rail provides commuter service between Palm Beach County, Broward County (including two stations in Fort Lauderdale), and Miami-Dade County.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, in neighboring Dania Beach, Florida, is the city's main airport and is the fastest-growing major airport in the country.[72] This is, in part, attributable to service by low-cost carriers such as Spirit Airlines, JetBlue and Southwest Airlines, resulting in lower airfares than nearby Miami International Airport.[73] Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood is an emerging international gateway for the Caribbean and Latin America. Miami International Airport and Palm Beach International Airport also serve the city.

Fort Lauderdale is home to Port Everglades, the nation's third busiest cruise port.[74] It is Florida's deepest port, and is an integral petroleum receiving point.[75] Broward County is served by three major Interstate Highways (I-75, I-95, I-595) and U.S. Highways such as U.S. 1, US 27 and US 441. The interchange between I-95 and I-595/SR 862 is known as the Rainbow Interchange. It is also served by Florida's Turnpike and State Highway 869, also known as the Sawgrass Expressway.

Healthcare

Fort Lauderdale is served by Broward General Medical Center and Imperial Point Medical Center, which are operated by Broward Health, the third largest hospital consortium in the United States. Broward General is a 716-bed[76] acute care facility which is designated as a Level I trauma center.[77] It is also home to Chris Evert Children's Hospital and a Heart Center of Excellence. The hospital serves as a major training site for medical students from Nova Southeastern University's College of Osteopathic Medicine, as well as nursing and paramedic programs from throughout the area. Imperial Point Medical Center is a 204-bed facility[76] with a hyperbaric medicine program.[78] Holy Cross Hospital, a 571-bed[79] hospital operated by the Sisters of Mercy, was named by HealthGrades, Inc. as one of the 50 best hospitals in the country for 2007.[80]

Lifestyle, media, and culture

Lifestyle

As is true of many parts of Florida, the city's population has a strong seasonal variation, as snowbirds from the north spend the winter and early spring in Florida.[81] The city is also sometimes referred to as "Fort Liquordale" because of its beaches, bars, nightclubs, and history as a spring break location for tens of thousands of college students.[82] However, the city has actively discouraged college students from visiting the area since the mid-1980s, passing strict laws aimed at preventing the mayhem that regularly occurred each year. The city had an estimated 350,000 college visitors for spring break 1985;[83] by 2006, that number had declined to about 10,000.[84]

Media

Fort Lauderdale is served by English-language newspapers South Florida-Sun Sentinel and The Miami Herald, as well as Spanish-language newspapers El Sentinel and El Nuevo Herald. The city is also home to alternative newspapers City Link and New Times Broward-Palm Beach, monthly magazine HOME Fort Lauderdale and gay-interest publications Express Gay News, Mark's List (formerly The 411 Magazine), and HOTspots! magazine.

Culture

Fort Lauderdale's arts and entertainment district runs east-west along Las Olas Boulevard, from the beach to the heart of downtown. The district is anchored in the West by the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, and runs through the city to the intersection of Las Olas and A1A. This intersection is the "ground zero" of Fort Lauderdale Beach, and is the site of the "Elbo Room" bar featured in the 1960 film Where the Boys Are, which led in large measure to the city's former reputation as a spring break mecca. The city and its suburbs host over 4,100 restaurants and over 120 nightclubs, many of them in the arts and entertainment district.[7] The city is also the setting for the 1986 movie Flight of the Navigator, and host of Langerado, an annual music festival.

Sports

Fort Lauderdale does not host any professional sports teams, but the Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League play at BankAtlantic Center in suburban Sunrise.[85] Major League Baseball's Florida Marlins,[86] the National Football League's Miami Dolphins[87] and the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association all play in neighboring Miami-Dade County.

Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale was the home of the defunct Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the North American Soccer League from 1977 to 1983, and the Miami Fusion of Major League Soccer from 1998 to 2001. Lockhart Stadium is the current home of the Florida Atlantic University Owls football team.[88]

The New York Yankees & Baltimore Orioles used to conduct spring training in the city at Fort Lauderdale Stadium,[89] and NCAA Division I college sports teams of Florida International University and University of Miami play in Miami-Dade County. Florida Atlantic University's athletic programs (other than football) are played in neighboring Palm Beach County.

Fort Lauderdale is also home to the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex, which is located at the International Swimming Hall of Fame. It contains two 25-yard (23 m) by 50-meter competition pools, as well as one 20 by 25-yard (23 m) diving well. The complex is open to Fort Lauderdale residents, and has also been used in many different national and international competitions since its opening in 1965. 10 world records have been set there, from Catie Ball's 100 m breaststroke in 1966[90] to Michael Phelps' 400 m individual medley in 2002.[91]

Sites of interest

Stranahan house, the oldest building in Fort Lauderdale, originally built as a trade post

In addition to its museums, beaches, and nightlife, Fort Lauderdale is home to the Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop, a large indoor/outdoor flea market and the site of the world's largest drive-in movie theater, with 13 screens.[92] The International Swimming Hall of Fame is located on Fort Lauderdale beach, and houses a large aquatic complex as well as a museum, theater, and research library.[93] Hugh Taylor Birch State Park is a 180-acre (0.73 km2) park along the beach, with nature trails, camping and picnicking areas, canoeing, and features the Terramar Visitor Center, with exhibits about the ecosystem of the park.[94] The Henry E. Kinney Tunnel on US Route 1 is the only tunnel on public land in the state of Florida.[95] It was constructed in 1960, and its 864-foot (263 m) length travels underneath the New River and Las Olas Boulevard. The James Randi Educational Foundation is also located in Fort Lauderdale.

See also


References

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  10. ^ a b Hughes, Kenneth J (1993), "Three Tequesta and Seminole hunting camps on the edge of the Everglades" (PDF), Broward Legacy (Broward County Historical Commission). 16 (3 and 4): 31–42, http://fulltext.fcla.edu//DLData/SN/SN01480340/0016_003/file5.pdf, retrieved 2007-07-01. 
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External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale [1] is known as the "Venice of America" due to its expansive and intricate canal system. It is in Broward County, Florida, United States. Population is over 170,000.

The city is most famous for its beaches and boats.

While the city of Fort Lauderdale is relatively small, the term 'Fort Lauderdale' is often used to refer to the larger metropolis that has grown up around it. It is the county seat for Broward county, and is in the middle of the South Florida metropolitan area,(Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach) which has over 5.5 million people.

Understand

The first inhabitants of the land were Seminole Indians who arrived in the 18th century. During the Second Seminole War, Major William Lauderdale led his Tennessee Volunteers into the area and raised New River Fort on the site of the modern city in 1838. In 1893, a young Ohioan named Frank Stranahan arrived and built a house that served as the first trading post, post office, bank and town hall of the area. The house was built near the site of the New River Fort and still stands today as a museum, Stranahan House.

Fort Lauderdale was officially incorporated as a town in 1911, and became the seat of newly formed Broward County. It began as a predominantly agricultural community of dairy farms and citrus groves.

More growth came with establishment of the Naval Air Station, which is now Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport.

The city and its surrounding suburbs experienced tremendous growth following the end of World War II, and the arrival of home air-conditioning. In the 1960s, Fort Lauderdale became the center of Spring Break after the debut of the movie "Where the Boys Are." It is now an anchor of the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach Metropolitan area, the nation's 6th largest metro area.

Climate

Fort Lauderdale has a humid tropical monsoon climate. The city does experience some cold fronts between November and March, during the dry season, however most of the winter is warm and mild. The summers are hot and muggy, with temperatures in the upper 80s and low 90s lasting into early fall. The city sees most of its rain in the summer (wet season), and although some wet cold fronts come through in the winter, the winter is mainly dry (dry season) with mild temperatures broken up by invasions of colder air and some rain when the fronts come through.

May to September is the summer wet season. During the summer, it is hot and humid, with the prevailing wind bringing the warm tropical breeze blowing up from the Caribbean. It is often clear and sunny in the mornings but as the land heats up the air rises and the sea breeze kicks in. This brings in more damp moist air from the sea and so by noon it often starts to cloud over and then there are commonly short sharp showers in the afternoon, which helps to cool the air off for a cooler and generally dryer evening. The Atlantic hurricane season largely coincides with the mid to latter part of the summer wet season.

Fort Lauderdale, positioned just above the Tropic of Cancer, owes a lot of its winter warmth to the Gulf Stream that runs just a couple of miles off shore. The Gulf Stream brings warm water up from the tropics year-round. On a typical summer day the temperature does not get below 75 ºF (24 ºC). Summer temperatures are commonly in the high 80s to low 90s (30-35 °C), which is often relieved by the sea breeze, that in turn brings some afternoon thunderstorms. During winter, humidity is significantly lower. The average daily high in the winter is usually between 65 and 75 °F (18-24 °C) and the low normally around 59 ºF (15 ºC), rarely dipping below 40 ºF (4 ºC) when a front comes through.

Fort Lauderdale receives abundant rainfall, most of it falling in the summer. The annual total of 63.8 inches (1488 mm) is one of the highest for a major U.S. city. This sounds a lot, but it does not rain that much, it's just that when it does rain it really chucks it down, a real tropical downpour.

Get in

By plane

South Florida is served by four airports:

  • Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport (IATA: FLL) (ICAO: KFLL), located just two miles south of down town Fort Lauderdale [2]. It is a major airport and popular low cost carrier destination. This is most convenient airport to Fort Lauderdale. Spirit Airlines maintains a hub here; JetBlue, Southwest Airlines, Delta Airlines, and Continental Connection all also have substantial operations here. FLL is the main domestic airport for the South Florida region. It is also an emerging hub for flights to and from the Latin America and the Caribbean. There are some limited charter flights to and from Europe. Many passengers are bound for or coming from cruises using Port Everglades, some two miles away. Many taxis, cruiseline buses, and hotel/motel shuttles make access to either easy.
  • Miami International Airport (IATA: MIA), [3] is located 25 miles south of Fort Lauderdale. It is the major international airport in South Florida, and known as 'The Gateway to the Americas'. Home of American Airlines Latin American hub. There are frequent flights to Europe and many direct flights to the US West Coast; it is a 40 minute drive from Fort Lauderdale using I-95, but can be much, much slower during rush hour.

You can catch the Tri-Rail from Miami airport to Fort Lauderdale station for about $5 a head. Then catch the linking bus, or get a cab from the station to the hotel. (More on Tri-Rail below). You can take one of the shuttle vans from Miami Airport to Fort Lauderdale, price varies by destination but will be around $50 to $70 a head.

  • Palm Beach International Airport (IATA: PBI), 1000 Turnage Boulevard, West Palm Beach, Phone: (561) 471-7420, [4]. Primarily serves the Palm Beach area with flights to the Northeast Corridor. You can use Tri-Rail to get from Palm Beach Airport to Fort Lauderdale.
  • Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (IATA: FXE), West Commercial Boulevard and NW 21st Av. One of the ten largest general aviation airports in the country. It is in the Cypress Creek area of the city. This is where you arrive if flying your private plane.
  • Tri-Rail, 1-800-TRI-RAIL, [5]. Tri-Rail is a commuter rail line linking Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach in Florida. It is run by the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority. The 72-mile system has 18 stations along the South Florida coast. The train connects to the Metrorail in Miami at the Tri-Rail/Metrorail Transfer Station. For more detailed information refer to the entry. From Miami International Airport you can catch the Tri-Rail to Fort Lauderdale, and then a bus connects you the last mile downtown. Tri-Rail runs less frequently on weekends, so check the schedule [6].
  • Amtrak [7], 200 SW 21 Terrace, 1-800-872-7245. Provides service to cities up the Atlantic Coast of the United States. Amtrak has two stops in the Fort Lauderdale Area, one in Fort Lauderdale located on Broward Boulevard and I-95, and another one in the suburb of Hollywood on Hollywood Boulevard and I-95. The train goes south to Miami and north to Boca Raton.
  • Interstate 95 (I-95) is the major North-South artery along the East side of the city. It connects Fort Lauderdale with the downtowns in Miami and West Palm Beach and goes north to Jacksonville and beyond.
  • Florida's Turnpike runs North-South west of the city. To the south it connects to Homestead and the Florida Keys. To the North it connects to Orlando and North Florida.
  • I-595/I-75 connects Fort Lauderdale to Florida's West Coast (including Naples, Fort Myers, Sarasota and the Tampa Bay area).
  • Greyhound Bus Lines, 510 NE 3 Street downtown, telephone 1-800-229-9424, [8].

By Ship

Port Everglades, on the south side of the city center, is the most active container port and second most active cruise port in Florida. It supports a high number of cruise ships with about ten thousand passengers arriving and departing each week.

Get around

The east side of Fort Lauderdale, between down town and the beach, is criss crossed with canals. It doesn't matter if you are in a car, on bicycles, or on foot, you have to cross the canals where the bridges are. This is one town where a good map can save you a lot of backtracking. Surprisingly the best road map of the East side of town is the 'Dolphus Waterway Map".

NOTE: The US1 does NOT intersect with Las Olas blvd. Your map is wrong ifit says otherwise. US1 passes under the river in a tunnel and goes under Las Olas too, re-emerging only at Broward Blvd. to the north. This confuses many people who are trying to navigate around Fort Lauderdale.

By car

The easiest way to get around Fort Lauderdale and South Florida is by car. If you are renting, it is substantially less money to rent a car from a location outside of the airport. The city is set up on grid system, and is fairly easy to navigate. Downtown is roughly two miles west of the beach. You need to consult a map when on the the East side of town because the canals divide up the city and you need to find the bridges.

Broward County is served by three major Interstates (I-75, I-95, I-595) and some U.S. Highways including U.S. Highway 1, US 27 and US 441. It is also served by Florida's Turnpike and State Highway 869, also known as the Sawgrass Expressway.

On Airport car rental companies include:

  • Alamo Rent A Car, +1-800-462-5266, [9].  edit
  • Avis Rent A Car, +1-800-331-1212, [10].  edit
  • Budget Rent A Car, +1-800-527-0700, [11].  edit
  • Dollar Rent A Car, +1-800-800-3665, [12].  edit
  • E-Z Rent-A-Car, +1-800-277-5171, [13].  edit
  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car, +1-800-261-7331, [14].  edit
  • Hertz Car Rental, +1-800-654-3131, [15].  edit
  • Thrifty, +1-800-847-4389, [16].  edit

Off Airport car rental companies with Shuttle include:

  • Sunshine Rent A Car, +1-888-786-7446, [17].  edit

By taxi

Taxis are generally expensive, but available at almost any time and place.

  • Yellow Cab, +1 954-777-7777. The largest company in the city.  edit
  • Water Taxi, [18]. via the Intracoastal waterway and New River. A different way to see the city, its beautiful waterfront mansions, and stately yachts.  edit
  • Broward County Transit (BCT), +1 954-357-8400, [19]. The county bus system. BCT provides for connections with the bus systems in other parts of the metropolitan area: Metrobus in Miami-Dade County and Palm Tran in Palm Beach County. Buses are available, but often slow and inconvenient. There is a push to increase bus service.  edit
  • Sun Trolley, +1 954-761-3543, [20]. An inexpensive trolley serving the downtown, beach, and convention center areas. It also provides a link from downtown to the Broward Blvd Tri-Rail station. If you're looking for a cheap scenic tour through Fort Lauderdale, ride the Sun-Trolley or take the 11 bus along Las Olas Blvd and A1A.  edit

By train

Tri-Rail, +1 800-872-7245, [21]. Commuter train which runs north and south parallel to I-95, connecting Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Tri-Rail provides access to South Florida's three major airports, as well as links to Miami's Metrorail. However, since Tri-Rail trains can sometimes be thirty minutes to an hour late and has trains coming every two hours apart on the weekends so you will probably have better luck taking the city bus system. Tri-Rail also does not offer a very scenic tour as it is just a commuter line through the back sides of town.  edit

By boat

Fort Lauderdale is America's yachting capital, and as such has numerous boat charter and rental companies. There are many restaurants and bars along the intracoastal that cater to the passing yachtsmen and their guests.

Water Bus [22] has 11 pick up/drop off locations in east Fort Lauderdale along the Intracoastal Waterway and New River. Float to and from the hotels, shopping, restaurants, beaches and nightlife. Slow and costly, but worth it for the view and romance.

By bicycle

When you visit the beach you will see that many locals bike to the beach. Things in Fort Lauderdale are close, but often further apart than a quick walk. A bike makes everything much closer, and you don't have to find parking. By bike, it's only 10 minutes from the beach to downtown, the supermarkets, or the malls. A bike creates it's own breeze so biking is not only quicker and less effort than walking, it's often cooler too.

You can rent a bike, or, if you know you are going to be staying more than a couple of days, it may be more cost effective to buy a $100 bike from a big discount store and sell it or pass it on when you go home. (If you stay a week, you can just about pay for a bike in the money you save on parking.)

There are bike lanes on the road by the beach on A1A and on Las Olas Blvd going between the beach and downtown and the Riverwalk. Ride in the same direction as the traffic. It is common to take to the sidewalks on the bridges or or on major roads when the bike lane disappears.

Because most things are quite close and Florida is very flat, bicycles are a very green, very sane, and relatively quick way to get around. You also get to see more, hear more, and be able to stop easily along the way to take pictures, something that is difficult to do when in a taxi or a car.

The beach in the evening
The beach in the evening

Fort Lauderdale Beach (The Strip)

The most popular section of beach is where A1A runs along side the beach, between Las Olas Blvd north to Sunrise Blvd.

The "Elbo Room" bar, located at Las Olas Blvd and A1A was featured in the 1960's film Where the Boys Are'. The movie led to the city's former reputation as a spring break mecca. The bar anchors the Southern end of the 'Strip', a strip of eating and drinking establishments that run along the land side of the beach road.

Spring Break peaked in the mid 1980's and the city now attracts a more upscale crowd. Fort Lauderdale is in the midst of a luxury condo building boom, this is displacing the hotels that once lined the beach.

The city is more cosmopolitan than most, having lots of Europeans and gay residents. The beach culture reflects the laid back nature of the community. You will find European food in the restaurants and bathers in thong swimsuits.

  • Beach Place, Located on A1A, north of Las Olas Blvd. A collection of bars, restaurants and retail stores connected to a Marriott hotel.  edit
  • Bonnet House, 900 N Birch Rd, +1 954 563-5393.  edit
  • Elbo Room, Las Olas Blvd and A1A. The most famous spring break bar, and one of the few remaining from that period.  edit

Downtown/Las Olas Blvd

The downtown area, especially around Las Olas Boulevard, has seen dramatic growth in the past decade, and now hosts many new hotels and high-rise condominium developments. Other improvements include a wide array of new boutiques, art galleries and restaurants.

The entertainment district runs east-west along Las Olas Boulevard. East Las Olas Blvd has a mile of upscale shops and restaurants. Across the railway lines, West Las Olas caters to a younger crowd. There are funky nightclubs and restaurants between the railway lines and the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. In between East and West, there is a new set of shops called Riverside.

East Las Olas Blvd has a mile of upscale shops and restaurants. Across the railway lines, West Las Olas caters to a younger crowed: There are funky nightclubs and restaurants between the railway lines and the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. In between East and West, there is a new set of shops and bars called Riverside that sits on the RiverWalk. The RiverWalk runs along the north side of the new river, from the shops at Las Olas to the performing arts complex.

  • Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW 5th Ave, +1 954 522-5334.  edit
  • Las Olas Boulevard. An upscale collection of store, restaurants and bars near downtown.  edit
  • Museum of Art, E Las Olas Blvd, +1 954 525-5500.  edit
  • Museum of Discovery and Science, 401 SW Second St., +1 954.467.6637, [23].  edit
  • Old Fort Lauderdale Village & Museum.  edit
  • Stranahan House, 335 SE 6th Ave, +1 954 524-4736.  edit

Wilton Manors

Wilton Manors is a city surrounded by Fort Lauderdale. It is a popular area for gays and lesbians. It has many guesthouses, restaurants, and bars/nightclubs catering to its gay clientèle. The busy center of the city is Wilton Drive near NE 26 Street. This is only two miles north of downtown Fort Lauderdale.

Suburban Fort Lauderdale/Broward County

Greater Broward County is home to 1.8 million people, and offers an wide array of activities.

  • African American Research Library and Cultural Center.   edit
  • Antique Car Museum, 1527 Packard (SW 1st) Av., +1 954 779-7300. Collection of pre-war Packard automobiles and other memorabilia.  edit
  • Boomers! Rollercoaster Park, 1801 NW 1st Street, +1 954 921-1411. Go here for exciting rides and to let loose.  edit
  • Butterfly World / Tradewinds Park, 3600 W Sample Rd, Coconut Creek, +1 954 977-4400, [24]. Come here to see exotic butterflies and to get in touch with nature.  edit
  • Billie Swamp Safari, Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation, +1 800 GO-SAFARI, [25]. Swamp Buggy Eco-Tours, Aiboat Rides, Animal & Reptile Exhibits, Day/Overnight Packages and Exclusive Tours.  edit
  • Cypress Airboat Rides, +1 561 798-2884. Explore this ecosystem on a heart pounding ride, or a more relaxed airboat tour. Open year round.  edit
  • Florida Everglades Holiday Park, 21940 Griffin Rd (west to end of Griffen road), +1 954 434-8111. Here you can see our amazing wetlands and possibly an alligator or two.  edit
  • Flamingo Gardens and Wray Botanical Collection, 3750 S. Flamingo Rd, Davie, +1 954 473-2955, [26]. If you are an outdoors person, or just want to see our state bird you have to visit here. Adults $17, Children Ages 4-11 $8.50, Ages 3 and under Free.   edit
  • Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop. A large indoor/outdoor flea market with the country's largest drive-in movie complex (13 screens).  edit
  • Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, 3109 East Sunrise Boulevard, 954-564-4521, [27]. 2$ per Car, 1$ per Person.  edit
  • Sawgrass Mills, Located in the suburburb of Sunrise, some 10 miles to the west.. The world's largest outlet mall.  edit

Do

There are many things to do in Fort Lauderdale, but the beautiful beach is a prime attraction. There parking just south of Las Olas Blvd or if that is full, there is plenty more under the Las Olas Blvd Bridge. The machines take cash or credit cards. There is more parking on A1A, North of Sunrise Blvd.

Athletes enjoy running along the road by the beach in the early mornings. On Saturdays mornings there is a continual stream. Best viewed from one of the numerous coffee shops or restaurants across the road from the beach.

You can rent a bicycle and explore along the beach, or head inland via Las Olas Blvd, to explore the upscale shops that line Las Olas towards the down town. From Las Olas the RiverWalk connects to the Arts and Entertainment district. Parking at some beach hotels is limited and with things quite close you will find bicycles are a good way to get around. Bicycle on the sidewalks if the traffic scares you.

You can go boating on the miles of waterways, take the water taxi, or take one of the river cruises like the Jungle Queen. There is also sport or deep sea fishing. If boating is not your thing, then you can just watch the boats go by from the many waterfront bars and restaurants.

There is plenty of shopping. The metropolis has lots of malls. The closest to the beach is the Galaria, about 10 minutes walk from the beach along Sunrise Blvd. The biggest by far is the huge Sawgrass Mills mega mall out on the west side of the city. With over 300 retail outlets it is one of the largest malls in the USA. There is also the 'Swap Shop', that bills itself as 'the largest Drive-In movie theater and daily flea market in the world.'

From Fort Lauderdale you can take a day trip to Miami's South Beach, or closer to home, Hollywood beach. Popping down to visit the night clubs and restaurants along Hollywood Blvd near Young Circle is a close and interesting evening outing.

On Friday and Saturday evenings the bars and clubs along SW 2nd Street come alive with young people. If you are under 35 this is the place to be on weekend nights. Known by locals as Cooley Hammock, this is the two blocks on SW 2nd St just West of the rail way tracks, near the Science Museum and Preforming Arts Center. For tourists, or people over 35, there is the RiverSide complex with bars and restaurants just East of the same railway lines.

You can take overnight excursions to the Florida Keys or the Bahamas, but both are just too far away to make good day trips. There are also organized coach trips to the theme parks in Orlando but again a bit too far for day trips. If you are only here for a week it may not make any sense to take several days out to bus hundreds of miles to a different city when there is so much to do here.

  • Discovery Cruise Line [28] sails every day to the Bahamas, departing at 7:45AM & returning at 10PM.

Sports

Golfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, and deep sea fishing are very popular sports in the area. The metropolitan area also offers the following spectator sports:

  • The Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League play at BankAtlantic Center in suburban Sunrise, Florida.
  • The Florida Marlins of Major League Baseball and the Miami Dolphins play at Dolphins Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. The stadium is 17 miles South-West of Fort Lauderdale.
  • The Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association play at AmericanAirlines Arena in downtown Miami, located 23 miles south of Fort Lauderdale.
  • International Swimming Hall of Fame is located at Fort Lauderdale Beach.
  • South Florida also hosts the college sports teams of Florida Atlantic University, Florida International University, Nova Southeastern University, and University of Miami.

Personal Fitness

Because the weather is good, there are year round events and races. Unlike the rest of the USA which closes up during the Winter, there are sports and events year round. There are so many local running races during the cooler months that there may be as many as three or four races on a week end. Greater Fort Lauderdale Road Runners [29] keeps a central listing of running races on their web site.

  • The swimming Hall of Fame pool complex is one block back from the beach. A world class venue where top athletes swim. There are a number of national swimming meets through out the year.
  • There are a good number of local Triathlons, mostly the shorter sprint distances.
  • Jungle Queen. Dinner cruise featuring sites along the New River in and around downtown.
  • Pier Fishing at Commercial Blvd, Atlantic Blvd, Hillsboro Blvd and Dania Beach. Each area has long piers into ocean, and fishing available.
  • Bahia Mar Marina. Just across from the beach. You can walk around the marina and look at luxury boats and yachts owned by the well-heeled. On one jetty there is a monument and plaque announcing slip F-18 as an American Literary Landmark - this is where author John D MacDonald's fictional hero, Travis McGee , moored his 52-foot houseboat The Busted Flush (21 Travis McGee novels were published).
  • Flamingo Fishing, [30]. A drift fishing boat that makes 3 trips daily from the Bahia Mar Marina. The boat supplies all the equipment and supplies needed for deep sea fishing.  edit
  • Miss Bonita 2 Sport Fishing, [31]. The Miss Bonita II is a sport fishing charter that takes 3 trips daily from the Bahia Mar Marina. Our Trips includes all the equipment and supplies needed for deep sea fishing. Call for special rates and all inclusive trips.  edit

Buy

Fort Lauderdale, and South Florida in general, is a shoppers paradise. There is something to satisfy everybody's shopping desires. Here are is a list of some of the main districts/destinations:

  • Shops on Las Olas Blvd,Little specialty shops and upscale restaurants line Las Olas Blvd, starting down town and running East on Las Olas Blvd for a mile, to SE 15th Avenue. Most shops and restaurants are open late in the evenings.
  • Galleria Mall, Sunrise Blvd and Bayview Dr. Fort Lauderdale's regional mall. Has over 200 stores including: Neiman Marcus, Macy's, Dillard's, and Saks Fifth Avenue. This is only 1/4 of a mile, about ten minutes walk from the beach.
  • Sawgrass Mills, located in city of Sunrise at Sunrise Blvd and NW 136 Ave. One of the world's largest malls for shopping, dining, and entertainment. [32]
  • Broward Mall, located in Plantation at Broward Blvd, and University Drive.
  • Coral Square Mall, located in Coral Springs at Atlantic Blvd. and University Dr.
  • Festival Flea Market, located in Pompano Beach on Sample Rd, just east of Florida's Turnpike. Large indoor flea market.
  • Pembroke Lakes Mall, located in Pembroke Pines at Pines Blvd. and Flamingo Rd.
  • Pompano Square, located in Pompano Beach at US1 (Federal Hwy) and Copans Rd.
  • Aventura Mall, large, upscale regional mall located in Aventura.
  • Boca Town Center, large, upscale regional mall located in Boca Raton.
  • Swap Shop. 1+954-583-2221. The Swap Shop is an older flea market located west on Sunrise Blvd. at a drive-in movie. Along with getting your hair braided you can shop for fruits, vegetables, clothes, nick knacks, and practically any other things other locations would not have.
  • Archives Book Cafe, CLOSED 1948 E Sunrise Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, Phone: +1 954-764-8212. Good selection of hard to find books and has a small coffee shop and cafe.
  • Clothes Encounters, 1952 E Sunrise Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, Phone: +1 954-522-2228. Huge selection of funny t-shirts along with basic swimwear and gifts.
  • Flagler Antiques, 720 Flagler Drive, Fort Lauderdale. 10,000 Square Feet of antiques.
  • Orchids Care, 3369 West Fork Drive, Fort Lauderdale.Provide insightful tips and techniques on growing orchids. Orchids Care [33]
  • Shop at Swap Shop. Get your hair braided there Phone: +1 954-583-2221. The Swap Shop is an older flee market located east on Sunrise Blvd. Along with getting your hair braided you can shop for fruits, vegetables, clothes, nick knacks, and you can practically find other things that other locations would not have.
  • Zoo 14, 1208 NE 4th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, Phone: +1 954-763-9666. Men's designer clothing and club wear.

Work

Fort Lauderdale's economy is very diverse. Once it was heavily reliant on tourism and the very large marine industry but it now has a very diverse economy based on many small and medium business.

Several large companies are based in the Fort Lauderdale area including: AutoNation USA, Citrix Systems, DHL Express, Spirit Airlines, and National Beverage Corp. Due to its proximity to Miami, Fort Lauderdale is emerging as a location for Latin American headquarters for companies such as Microsoft.

Fort Lauderdale is a major manufacturing and maintenance center for large and expensive private yachts. The boating industry is responsible for over 100,000 jobs in the area. With its many canals, and proximity to the Bahamas and Caribbean, it is also a popular place to keep a yacht, and a major stop for nautical staging and refitting. Unfortunately the boating industry is being squeezed out because waterfront property continues to increase in value and this is forcing some marinas and shipyards to sell out or relocate out of the area. The total number of available boat slips is also declining as marinas are more actively seeking a few large mega-yachts instead of several smaller boats. Even so, the marine industry continues to grow, catering more and more to the mega yachts. There is now a section of the old State Road 84 that has been renamed Marina Mile where the mega yacht industry is booming.

During the 1970s, the city's tourism was largely driven by younger people, because Fort Lauderdale was infamous for being THE spring break destination for college students. This changed in the late 1980's when there was a crack down on underage drinking. Fort Lauderdale is now less spring collage spring break destination and does more year round business with European families and upscale US tourists. There city also has a booming cruise ships industry: Every day there are ship loads of tourists leaving and arriving at the sea port.

Eat

Fort Lauderdale has countless dining options. Among the most popular areas are Las Olas Blvd, Olde Town Fort Lauderdale, and the Beach.

  • Big City Tavern, 623 E.Las Olas Blvd. Great atmosphere, outside seating available. Sandwiches to steaks served.  edit
  • Capital Grille, Galleria Mall. Upscale restaurant featuring excellent service and great steaks. Incredible wine selection.  edit
  • Cheesecake Factory, 620 E.Las Olas Blvd, (954)463-1999. Located at base of Riverside Hotel where Las Olas meets the Tunnel. Popular chain featuring a large menu and countless desserts.  edit
  • Chima, E.Las Olas Blvd. Excellent Brazilian rodizio. Great salad bar too.  edit
  • Jalisco, 700 N.Federal Hwy, (954)462-9695. Small, family owned Mexican restaurant. Looks can be deceiving as excellent, yet affordable cuisine is served with a smile.  edit
  • Laffing Matterz, 219 S. Andrews Avenue, 954-763-5236. After you dine on chef-prepared fare, their cutting-edge musical satire will leave you wiping tears of laughter from your eyes!  edit
  • Mango's, 900 E.Las Olas Blvd. Popular and reasonably priced. Outside seating is available and there is often live music.  edit
  • PF Chang's, Galleria Mall. Popular national chain, serving non-traditional Chinese food.  edit
  • Monster Subs, 1978 E Sunrise Blvd, 954-463-7997. Sub shop known for handing you some of the meat to sample while you are waiting for them to make your sub.  edit
  • Trina, Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd (A1A). At The Atlantic Hotel. Award winning restaurant featuring a Florida-Caribbean cuisine.  edit
  • St Barts Coffee Shop, On the beach (A1A), 2 blocks south of Las Olas Blvd. Outside tables under umbrellas. It's where the locals go for coffee and breakfast.  edit
  • Mai Kai, 3599 N. Federal Highway. Phone: +1 954-563-3272. Along Polynesian food, you can view a show with fire.
  • Rosie's, Wilton Drive. Great hamburgers and lite fare, with large outdoor seating area. Fun gay-themed restaurant, with live music on weekends.
  • Tasty Thai, 2254 Wilton Dr, Wilton Manors, Phone: +1 954-396-3177. True authentic Thai Cuisine, get there early for dinner and get a complete meal at a reasonable price.
  • Georgies Alibi, 2266 Wilton Dr, Wilton Manors, Phone: +1 954-565-2526. Gay bar & casual restaurant (hamburgers & sandwiches). Friendly, diverse "straight-friendly" crowd; lunch & dinner served both indoors & outside under covered patio area. Very reasonably priced.
  • Pomperdale' 3055 East Commercial Boulevard (954) 771-9830 An excellent New York Jewish style deli.

Drink

Fort Lauderdale's former reputation was built by Spring Break, and the city still does not disappoint. There are countless places to have a drink from little 'hole in the walls' to the ultra chic.

  • Tropic Seas Resort, 4616 El Mar Drive (Lauderdale By The Sea, FL 33308), (954) 772-2555, [34]. 8:00 a.m - 8:00 p.m.. Welcome to Tropic Seas Resort, situated directly on the beach in the charming seaside village of Lauderdale By The Sea. Our desirable accommodations is perfect for both international vacationers and the domestic travelers seeking that relaxing tropical get-away. Tropic Seas is centrally located and within easy walking and driving distance to the famous fishing pier, where you can experience the delectable tastes of sidewalk cafes, groove into the evening’s nightlife, shop at the various boutiques and souvenirs stores, have a day at the beach with the wealth of beachfront activities offered and experience Florida’s various cultural events.  edit
  • Riverfront is a collection of stores and bars on the west side of the downtown district.
  • Tarpon Bend, 200 SW 2 Street (Old Town). Great beer specials and popular on weekends.
  • Voodoo Lounge, 100 SW 2 Avenue,Old Town. Popular dance club.
  • Beach Place is on A1A across from the beach. It has many bars and restaurants, and is very popular on the weekends.
  • Elbo Room famous spring break landmark at Las Olas Blvd and A1A.
  • Fat Tuesday's, Beach Place. Great ocean views and strong frozen drinks. Perfect combo for fun.
  • Shooters is on the Intracoastal Waterway, south of Oakland Park Blvd. Very popular with the yacht crowd, as there are boat slips available.
  • Grady's Bar at 905 S. Andrews Avenue is a hangout for locals, open since 1940. Cheap drinks and food, cash only.
  • Flossie's Bar and Grill 3985 Angler's Avenue on the opposite side of I-95 from the airport. Outdoor tiki bar with live music some nights. Popular biker hangout.
  • Georgie's Alibi, [35] at the Shoppes of Wilton Manors. Wilton Dr. and NE 6 Ave.
  • Boom, [36] a nightclub at Shoppes of Wilton Manors. Wilton Dr and NE 6 Ave.
  • Roxanne's on Main, [37] on the corner of Dixie Highway and Oakland Park. Music, drinks and food.
  • Las Olas Blvd. luxury waterfront , Ocean ,Beach (Rentals Vacation Management), 1(954)604-3005, [38]. checkout: vars.. Beautiful apartment with a breathtaking water view in a brand new building. Conveniently located on a world famous Las Olas Blvd. 0,5 miles from the ocean and walking distance to all the restaurants and and shops. Apartment features Italian kitchen with stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops, marble bathroom and marble floors throughout the unit. Fully furnished with a brand new furniture, all utilities included. Two bedroom two bathroom apartments also available.   edit
  • Lauderdale by the Sea Vacation Rental Villa by the Ocean (Rentals Vacation Management), 1(954)604-3005, [39]. Steps to the beach in one of the safest cities in South Florida,public tennis and basketball courts,and access to sport fishing. Close proximity to over 50 public championship golf courses. Minutes to downtown Ft. Lauderdale, Las Olas Blvd., and the Performing Arts Center and numerous fine dining establishments. 20 minutes to Ft. Lauderdale Airport . vars..   edit
  • The Atlantic, a Starwood Luxury Collection resort. On Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd. (A1A).
  • Bahia Mar, 801 Seabreeze Boulevard (Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33316), 888-802-2442, [40]. A beachside resort that offers an array of leisure pursuits, including a premier yachting center, a charter fishing fleet, and a championship golf at Grande Oaks Golf Club.  edit
  • The Bonaventure Resort & Spa Fort Lauderdale Hotel, 250 Racquet Club Rd, +1 954-389-3300, [41]. Full-service spa, two 18-hole PGA championship courses and five inviting pools.
  • El Palacio Ft. Lauderdale Resort, 4900 Powerline Road , +1 954.776.4880, [42].
  • Days Inn Ft Lauderdale/Oakland Park, 1595 West Oakland Park Blvd., +1 954-484-9290, [43].
  • Elysium Resort, 552 N Birch Road, Phone: +1 954-564-9601, [44]. Large resort catering to gay men. Jacuzzi and two pools.
  • Embassy Suites, 1100 SE 17th St., Phone: +1 954-527-2700, [45]. An all-suite hotel situated in the heart of Fort Lauderdale.
  • Fort Lauderdale Grande Hotel & Yacht Club, 1881 SE 17th St (Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33316), (954) 463-4000, [46]. Located at the edge of the splendid Intracoastal Waterway. Across from the Broward County Convention Center.   edit
  • FTL Vacation Rentals, offering 1, 2 and 3 bedroom vacation homes. NE 17th Ave @ NE 12th St, Phone: +1 800-954-5309, [47].
  • Harbor Beach Resort and Spa, 3030 Holiday Drive [48] features a private beach and an 8,000 square foot tropical lagoon pool. Recognized as a Top Ten World's Best Wreck Diving, Marine Life and Value Dive Destination located off the 1/4 mile shores of Harbor Beach are two reefs and four dive sites.
  • Hawthorn Suites,2201 N. Commerce Pkwy., +1 (954) 659-1555, Fax: +1 (954) 659-1191, [49].
  • Hyatt Regency Bonaventure, 250 Racquet Club Road. Weston, FL 33326, [50]. Newly renovated. Golf Resort & Spa Complex situated on 23 acres. 20 minutes away from airport and beaches. With an Elizabeth Arden - Red Door Lifestyle Spa, fitness facility, three outdoor swimming pools and nearby golf and tennis.  edit
  • Liberty Apartment & Garden Suites, 1500 S.W. Second Avenue, (Dania Beach), +1 954-927-0090, [51]. Greater Fort Lauderdale's first and only exclusive extended stay resort hotel welcoming the gay and lesbian community and their pets.
  • Marys Resort, 1115 Tequesta Street, Phone: +1 954-523-3500 or 1-866-805-6570, [52]. Pet friendly, 4 cottages, heated swimming pool and Jacuzzi. Most have kitchenettes or full kitchens. Location is near the cultural area of Downtown, but close to beaches.
  • The Royal Palms, 2901 Terramar Street , Phone: +1 954-564-6444 or +1 800-237-7256, [53]. The Royal Palms is rated the # 1 gay resort in North America by Planet Out, the gay travel experts. The decor is delicious, the service exceptional and amenities without parallel in the gay guesthouse world. A gem in the heart of gay Ft. Lauderdale.
  • Sheraton Suites - Cypress Creek, 555 NW 62nd St., Phone: +1 954-772-5400, [54]. In the middle of the north business district.
  • TownePlace Suites Fort Lauderdale West, 3100 Prospect Road, Phone: +1 954-484-2214, Fax: +1 954-484-4533, [55].
  • Worthington Guest House, 543 N.Birch Road, 1-800-445-7036, [56]. The Worthington Guest House is a gay men's resort in "The Island" area of Ft Lauderdale. They boast 12 man jacuzzi and a large pool, both of which are open 24 hours a day. The Worthington is convenient to the town's gay nightlife, dining and shopping and only a 5-minute walk to the popular Sebastion Street Beach.
  • Windamar Beach Resort, 543 Breakers Avenue, +1 954-561-0039, [57]. Fort Lauderdale's friendliest gay guesthouse. Clothing optional throughout. Large heated 24 hour pool and a brand new hot tub. Lush landscape, newly renovated fully air conditioned rooms. Video lounge / dark room complex. Day passes available. Free BBQ & refreshments on weekends. Great place to meet locals. A few steps away from the gay beach, at Sebastian. Pet friendly.
  • Wyndham - Airport, 1870 Griffin Road, Phone: +1 954-920-3300, [58]. Adjacent to the FLL Airport and features 388 sound-proof rooms.
  • The Westin Beach Resort, Fort Lauderdale, 321 North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard, 954-467-1111, [59]. Opened March 15, 2009, after completing the first phase in a multi-million dollar rebirth.  edit
  • Tropic Seas Resort, 4616 El Mar Drive (Lauderdale By The Sea, FL 33308), (954) 772-2555, [60]. checkin: 3:00 p.m.; checkout: 11:00 a.m.. Welcome to Tropic Seas Resort, situated directly on the beach in the charming seaside village of Lauderdale By The Sea. Our desirable accommodations is perfect for both international vacationers and the domestic travelers seeking that relaxing tropical get-away. Tropic Seas is centrally located and within easy walking and driving distance to the famous fishing pier, where you can experience the delectable tastes of sidewalk cafes, groove into the evening’s nightlife, shop at the various boutiques and souvenirs stores, have a day at the beach with the wealth of beachfront activities offered and experience Florida’s various cultural events. See Website.  edit
  • Cambria Suites Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (Cambria Suites Florida hotel), 141 SW 19th Court, (954) 889-2600, [61]. checkin: 3pm; checkout: 11am. 100 percent non-smoking, all-suite hotel located four miles from the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. $89 to $149.   edit

Contact

Phone

In order to make local phone calls, all ten digits of the phone number are required. As such, you'll notice that all local phone numbers include an area code. Currently the local area codes are (954) and (754), both local so you don't dial a 1 first but do dial the area code.

i.e. You dial 954 555 1212 or 754 555 1212

To call anywhere else you must dial 1 then the area code. i.e. To call to Miami from Fort Lauderdale you dial 1 (305) 555 1212

Area codes for Miami are (305) or (786) and for Boca Raton and Palm Beach it is (561).

Media

Fort Lauderdale is served by two English-language newspapers, the Sun-Sentinel|South Florida-Sun Sentinel and The Miami Herald, as well as two Spanish language|Spanish-language newspapers El Sentinel del Sur de la Florida|El Sentinel and El Nuevo Herald.

Fort Lauderdale is considered to be part of the Miami media market, which is the 12th largest radio market and the 17th largest television market in the United States. Television stations serving the Miami area include WAMI (Telefutura), WBFS (UPN), WBZL (WB Television Network|The WB), WFOR (CBS), WHFT (TBN), WLTV (Univision), WPLG (American Broadcasting Company|ABC), WPXM (i television network|i), WSCV (Telemundo), WSVN (Fox Broadcasting Company|FOX), WTVJ (NBC), WPBT (PB), and WLRN (also PBS).

Stay safe

Fort Lauderdale can be very safe but there are some parts of town you should probably avoid if you are on foot at night. Like all cities, you should ask advice on what areas are safe and what to avoid. The areas likely to be frequented by the tourists, along the beach, shopping along Las Olas and down town are safe. This would be the NE and SE parts of the city. You should use more caution if the address is on the West side of the city NW or SW.

Rental cars stand out as obvious targets for thieves, so never leave valuables in a visible place (put any purchases or valuables in the trunk) and always lock your car doors.

Tourists may find South Florida drivers get impatient with the heavy traffic during high season. Try to plan your route before setting off and remember that US1 tunnels under Las Olas Blvd and the river. It may look like the two intersect on a map but they don't. South Florida has quite a few senior citizens on the road mixed in with their crazy teenaged offspring, so be alert.

Emergency telephone number for fire, police and rescue emergencies is 911.

Cope

When driving, realize traffic is heavy, and there are people from all over the world with completely different driving habits. This feeds South Florida's reputation for having rude drivers. The problem lies in different people with different driving habits and that their ages run from 16 to over 100. Drive carefully and defensively.

Get out

Port Everglades is the nation's second busiest port for cruise ships, after Port of Miami. There are many cruises of varying lengths (1 day to several weeks) available to choose from. The airport offers a free shuttle bus to the port for car renters. Many off-airport rental car locations also offer port shuttles.

South Florida (Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach) is home to over 5.5 million people, and is the 6th largest metropolitan area in the United States. As such, the areas surrounding Fort Lauderdale have plenty to offer, particularly Miami.

Routes through Fort Lauderdale
TampaNaples  N noframe S  HialeahMiami
Daytona BeachBoca Raton  N noframe S  HollywoodMiami
Daytona BeachBoca Raton  N noframe S  HollywoodMiami
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!







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