Known for its beaches, canals, and upscale sites, there are many great Fort Lauderdale attractions to enjoy on a Florida vacation. From sipping on a latte while strolling along one of the city’s boulevards to learning about Fort Lauderdale’s past at one of the many historical sites, the “Venice of America” has a little something to offer everyone.
In this article, we’re going to highlight nine of the top things to do in Fort Lauderdale. Some of the activities mentioned will have you exploring the city center, while others will have you exploring nearby regions and perhaps even nearby countries.
Read on to get started!
9 Top Fort Lauderdale Attractions
1. Las Olas Boulevard
If you’re ever wondering what to do in Fort Lauderdale, walking down Las Olas Boulevard might be the answer. The shopping and dining strip is one of South Florida’s most authentic and unique districts, with a dizzying area of things to do.
The boulevard houses more than 30 al fresco dining options, two world-famous museums, 65 unique shops, ten international art galleries, and a lot more. All of that makes it a fantastic place to spend a few hours or an afternoon window-shopping and walking around.
2. History Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale might be famous for glitz and glam, but the city also has a fair number of historical sites. And when you’re looking for fun things to do in Fort Lauderdale, you can’t go wrong with a trip to History Fort Lauderdale.
Located right downtown, History Fort Lauderdale features a campus of historical sites, complete with several different educational experiences. The history museum is in the 1905 New River Inn and features artifacts from prehistory and modern times. Likewise, the Pioneer House Museum gives you a glimpse into what life in a 1907 home was like.
Even if you’re not a history buff, History Fort Lauderdale remains one of the top Fort Lauderdale attractions.
3. Bahamas Day Trips by Plane
Many travelers don’t realize that the Bahamas are just a short plane ride away from the Floridian coast. Because of that, an island trip to the Bahamas is another one of the top Fort Lauderdale activities.
When you travel with Bahamas Air Tours, you’ll leave in the early morning for a day trip to the Exumas. The region is famous for clear, turquoise water, stunning beaches, and a laid-back and peaceful vibe — all of which you’ll get to see and experience.
But besides stopping by beautiful beaches, Staniel Cay day trips also take you to see the famous Exuma pigs. Although they’re technically outside of Florida, seeing these friendly, swimming animals up close is definitely one of the top things to do in Fort Lauderdale.
Visit the famous Bahamas Swimming Pigs on the Miami to Bahamas Day Trip by Plane with Bahamas Air Tours.
4. Stranahan House
Another famous historical site in Fort Lauderdale, Stranahan House, is also one of the top Fort Lauderdale attractions.
Built in 1901 by Frank Stranahan, the city’s “founding father,” the site is the oldest surviving structure in Broward county. While it’s a museum today, it’s functioned as a home, post office, trading post, and town hall in the past.
As you stroll downtown, make sure to stop by Stranahan House to enjoy a little slice of history nestled among blocks’ worth of modern amenities.
5. Water Taxis
As mentioned, Fort Lauderdale is nicknamed the “Venice of America.” When you visit the city, you quickly see why — the city has many canals that snake their way through it. Because of that, one of the best ways to explore Fort Lauderdale is by getting out on the water.
By purchasing a pass in advance, you’ll be able to hop on any number of the city’s water taxis. These make their way through the canals while explaining to passengers the history and relevance of the sights around them. It’s a great way to learn more about the city while having fun!
When you’re hungry, you can get off any of the stops along the way to grab a bite to eat. And as some of the best Fort Lauderdale attractions are restaurants, that’s something you’ll want to do!
6. Airboat Tours in the Everglades
If you’re ever wondering what to do in Fort Lauderdale, consider heading out of the city again, but this time, to the Everglades.
Located just a short ride away from Fort Lauderdale, Everglades National Park is a 1.5 million acre wetland preserve. Exploring it by airboat, you get the chance to see all sorts of incredible animals, including crocodiles, turtles, panthers, and turtles.
Another great thing about the Everglades is that travelers of all types will enjoy them. Whether you’re exploring the Sunshine State with your family or are traveling with just one other companion, the site will always be one of the top Fort Lauderdale attractions.
7. Miami Auto Museum at the Dezer Collection
The Miami Auto Museum at the Dezer Collection was a collection of cars privately owned by Michael Dezer, a car enthusiast and collector. It had on display numerous vehicles of the past from Europe and the United States, as well as cars from famous films, such as Batman and James Bond movies.
Unfortunately, as of 2022, the Miami Auto Museum at the Dezer Collection has closed and is moving to Orlando, Florida. Once there, its new name will be the Orlando Auto Museum. If you’re ever traveling through the state’s capital, keep an eye out for it!
8. Bonnet House
The Bonnet House is another historical home that makes the list of top Fort Lauderdale attractions. Located on Fort Lauderdale Beach, the home is a subtropical estate that the original builders designed to be a winter residence.
The family cared about history, arts, and the environment, and today, Bonnet House is a place where visitors can learn more about all of those subjects. But besides being a place to learn, the site is also a place to explore. Its lush gardens and plantation-style architecture make it another highlight on any South Floridian vacation.
9. Museum of Discovery and Science
Families looking for more fun things to do in Fort Lauderdale can’t go wrong with the Museum of Discovery and Science. This interactive attraction offers all sorts of fun exhibits for visitors of all ages.
Some of the exhibits include:
- Storm Center, where you can experience hurricane-force winds
- An FA-18 flight simulator that lets you soar through the skies
- An Everglades exhibit that showcases bats, turtles, alligators, snakes, and sharks
- A dig site that lets you dig for fossils next to a giant Megaladon
- A two-story river otter exhibit
Plan on spending two to three hours at the museum, and maybe even longer if you’re visiting it with kids!
Fort Lauderdale Attractions of All Shapes and Sizes: Don’t Miss Them
From modern amenities to historical sites and scenic spots, there’s no shortage of Fort Lauderdale attractions to enjoy. Regardless of how long you plan on spending there, make sure to stop by a few of the sites mentioned above.
Bahamas Air Tours excels at fitting day trips to the Exumas into even the busiest traveler’s schedule. Let us help you take your vacation to the next level by showing you world-class beaches, famous sites, and the Exuma pigs.
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