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Tips For Planning Your Fort Lauderdale Vacation

Picture it – miles of pristine shoreline with crystal waters blending seamlessly into bright blue skies; an assortment of natural, historical, and cultural attractions, fun things to do, and a mosaic of culinary experiences to appease every palate. Sounds amazing? Then you should plan a Fort Lauderdale vacation! With something for every kind of traveler, this swoon-worthy destination hits all the notes for the ultimate beach retreat.

Anett Victoria - Author of SeaSpiration

Written by Anett Victoria

When it comes to a beach vacation, Anett is the person who certainly has tips on where to go and what to do no matter it is a luxury tropical holiday, a romantic seaside getaway, or a fun family trip to the ocean. As a world traveler with years of experience in exploring tropical countries and a water sports fan, she creates this inspiring site where she writes travel guides, reviews and recommends beach gear, and gives travel tips to make planning your trip quicker and easier! Are you curious about where She wanders now? Follow her adventures on IG too!

Where is Fort Lauderdale?

Fort Lauderdale is in southeastern Florida. Located along the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of New River, this sun-drenched waterfront is not far from Miami, only about 30 miles to its north.

Fort Lauderdale water canals with houses and yachts

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, just 5 miles away, makes the city easily accessible.

What is Fort Lauderdale known for?

A popular vacation spot, Fort Lauderdale’s defining characteristic is its labyrinth of inland waterways. One hundred sixty-five miles of navigable waterways weave through the city, making it unique and rightly earning it the moniker “Venice of America.”

Fort Lauderdale yacht marina

Over the years, this oceanfront destination has emerged as a hub for yacht owners. Its yacht-lined shores represent a microcosm of its 50,000-plus registered yachts! Not surprisingly, Fort Lauderdale is also known as the “Yachting Capital of the World”.

Is Fort Lauderdale a good place to vacation?

The idyllic, sun-soaked shores of Fort Lauderdale are perfect for some shoreline zen. The crystal waters also provide the perfect canvas for a range of water sports.
This layered destination, however, offers more than just a classic sun, sea, and sand vacation. The many historic sites and museums dive into its storied past and culture. There are also several opportunities to have a playdate with the outdoors.

City of Fort Lauderdale

To top it all, Fort Lauderdale boasts a colorful and multifaceted dining and entertainment scene. So, yes! It’s time to plan a Fort Lauderdale beach vacation!

What is the best time to visit Fort Lauderdale?

With abundant sunshine all year, there’s never a bad time to visit Fort Lauderdale. However, the best month to go to Fort Lauderdale is from December to April.

people on Fort Lauderdale beach on a sunny day

This period offers optimal temperatures from the high 70s to mid-80s degrees Fahrenheit and has a low chance of rain. Plus, you’ll miss the rainy season as well as the hurricane season.

Is it safe to travel to Fort Lauderdale?

Fort Lauderdale is a relatively safe place to visit. However, it is wise to restrict your visit to tourist-friendly places in the city, like Fort Lauderdale Beach, Las Olas, and Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.

Places to avoid are in the northwest region of the city. Also, walking alone is not advised at night; be on your guard.

Vehicle burglary is common. Close the windows all the way and lock your car doors. Don’t leave any belongings in the car.

Also, keep in mind Fort Lauderdale weather can deteriorate quickly, turning a perfect day into a dangerous one. Stay weather aware.

What are Fort Lauderdale Beach rules?

Here are some beach rules and regulations to ensure an enjoyable and safe beach experience when visiting Fort Lauderdale:

  • Alcohol, glass containers, and pets are not permitted on the beach.
  • Swimmers, rafters, and snorkelers must remain within 50 yards offshore.
  • Balls, Frisbee, and activities are allowed only in specifically designated areas.
  • Directives given by lifeguards and rangers should be followed at all times.

What is the best area to stay in Fort Lauderdale?

The best part of Fort Lauderdale to stay is the Central Beach area. The epicenter of tourism in Fort Lauderdale, the location is convenient for sun-seekers and sightseers alike.

at the beach in Fort Lauderdale

The beach is within walking distance, and attractions like the Bonnet House Museum and Gardens are at the doorstep. Plus, there are numerous restaurants and bars along this lively oceanfront strip.

Recommended hotels in Fort Lauderdale

Amidst its bounty of land and sea, Fort Lauderdale offers a vast array of accommodations. The challenge is to decide where to stay!

Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach

One of the newest Fort Lauderdale resorts on the strip, you have a front-row seat to the beautiful Atlantic Ocean when you stay at Conrad.

The stylish suites, elevated oceanfront swimming pool complete with a poolside bar and private cabanas, tranquil spa retreat, and four bespoke dining venues at this luxury resort make for an unforgettable stay for all types of travelers, but especially for families. The Conrad is also a great choice to spend a few nights before going on a cruise.

Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort

This towering 5-star resort is a neat summary of Fort Lauderdale’s magic. All the things that make Fort Lauderdale a coveted destination – the beach, eclectic dining and shopping, and tourist attractions – are within easy reach.

The main highlights include an elevated pool overlooking the ocean, a lavish spa, and a sushi restaurant, where you eat by a bonfire – Hilton Fort Lauderdale is a perfect choice for a romantic getaway!

Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort

Elevate your stay by booking a room at the Westin. With a modern and crisp decor that reflects the blue ocean waters, this all-inclusive, family-friendly resort boasts uniquely designed suites with incredible views, an oceanfront pool, a spa, a fitness center, and even a kid’s club. Best of all, the service is known to be exceptional!

W Fort Lauderdale

W is hands down the trendiest of the Fort Lauderdale hotels on the strip. The all-glass rooftop WET pool is a whole party in itself!

The uber-contemporary lobby bar offers handcrafted cocktails and nightly entertainment. The on-site restaurants offer dining experiences curated by an award-winning restaurateur. And the spa offers a full range of services. Did we mention the oceanfront hotel is dog-friendly? W Fort Lauderdale is a top choice for couples with a fur baby!

Plunge Beach Resort

Plunge Beach Resort is a retro-chic beach getaway in the quaint oceanfront town of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, five miles from Fort Lauderdale Beach’s main drag. From its seaside bamboo-backed bar to its bohemian oceanfront bungalows, this resort is one-of-a-kind.

Amenities include two swimming pools, a fitness center, and complimentary beach cruiser bicycles. Take advantage and cruise the bike-friendly town!


Find answers to frequently asked questions about Fort Lauderdale to plan the ultimate beach vacation.

Brimming with sunshine all year round, this oceanfront destination is primed for fun. It offers everything from white sandy shores and outdoor attractions to historic sites and standout dining and entertainment. A Fort Lauderdale vacation is a must!

Absolutely! Fort Lauderdale offers pristine sugar sands and crystal-clear waters. The expansive shoreline guarantees it never feels crushed by crowds, and the calm waters make it ideal for kids.

With minimal current and generally calm waters, Fort Lauderdale Beach is safe to swim. Plus, lifeguards are stationed at the beach every day, 365 days a year.

Certain neighborhoods like the Riverwalk Arts and Entertainment District, which holds some of the city’s top attractions, and Las Olas Boulevard, which offers premier shopping, dining, and entertainment, are walkable. Rest of the city, not so much.

The main strip in Fort Lauderdale is the beach strip which runs roughly from the Bahia-Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach north to Casablanca Café. The nicest area in Fort Lauderdale, it is home to a bevy of hotels, restaurants, and bars.

Like other tourist destinations in the state, Fort Lauderdale can be expensive. However, with its countless options, it is possible to find affordable lodging, dining, and entertainment.

Fort Lauderdale fits the bill if you want a calm, laid-back atmosphere with easy access to beaches and nature trails. If a booming nightlife scene and diverse cultural experiences are more your speed, it is better to stay in Miami when vacationing in Florida.

Fort Lauderdale offers a more affordable take on vacation. Whether you’re looking for quality dining or top-notch accommodations, Fort Lauderdale is easier on the wallet. It also has free and budget-friendly things to do.

A hard comparison! Both tropical getaways have great beaches. However, Fort Lauderdale provides a better beach experience than neighboring Miami. Beaches are quieter and offer a tranquil retreat. Although Miami has a few secluded beaches, it has a more urban vibe and its shoreline tends to be crowded.

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