Fort Lauderdale is a city that’s easy to love. It’s got beaches, canals, activities, and oceanfront views galore. With so much to do in this sunny town, you’ll never be bored during your visit. You can get lost among the charm of historic buildings or go on a shopping spree at one of the many malls in Fort Lauderdale. Here are some of our favorite things to do in Fort Lauderdale:
- Jungle Queen Riverboat Cruise
- Fort Lauderdale Beaches
- Las Olas Boulevard
- Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi
- Museum of Science and Discovery (MODS)
- Hugh Taylor Birch State Park
- Bonnet House Museum and Gardens
- Stranahan House
- Galleria Mall
Find great deals on even more exciting things to see, do, and eat across South Florida on Groupon HERE.
Take a ride on the Jungle Queen
Jungle Queen Riverboat Cruises is one of the longest-running tourist attractions in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. During the day, you can board this quaint riverboat and sail the waterways of Fort Lauderdale learning more about the history, attractions, and wealthy inhabitants of the city.
Our favorite thing, however, is that, in the evening, you can board this boat to set sail for a private “island” location for an all-you-care-to-eat Family-style barbecue dinner. Along the way, you will also enjoy an informative cruise, and at the conclusion of the dinner, the evening will culminate with a variety show performance which includes, among other things, Polynesian-style hula and fire dancing!
This attraction tends to be in pretty great demand from our experience, so we recommend checking for reservations as early as possible.
And consider this very popular alternative as well–Carrie B Venice of America Fort Lauderdale Sightseeing Tours.
Spend the day at the beach
If you’re looking for a great way to spend the day in Fort Lauderdale, the beach is an excellent choice. The beach is great because it’s a place where you can relax, unwind, and exercise all in the same place! Enjoy the sun and ocean while also getting your heart pumping on a jog along the shoreline. What else could you possibly need? In fact, most tourists never see the need to adventure beyond the beaches! The beaches in Fort Lauderdale are some of the finest in all of South Florida. It’s no wonder that the area welcomes nearly 13 million tourists every year.
Spend the Day on Las Olas Boulevard
Las Olas Boulevard is a major east-to-west thoroughfare in the city of Fort Lauderdale. It runs from the barrier island to the central business district of Fort Lauderdale and basically serves as the city’s “Main Street.” In this district, you’ll find shops, restaurants, historic sites, and so much more. This area also intersects with the city’s Riverwalk, a park which runs parallel to the New River. It’s worth taking a few hours or even an entire day to explore this happening section of town.
You may also want to check out Fort Lauderdale History Museum, which is not too far away: Get up to 30% Off on Museum at History Fort Lauderdale
Take a Ride on the Water Taxi
The water taxi is a great way to see the city. It’s an informative, sight-seeing experience that will take you to the vicinity of most of the major attractions of Fort Lauderdale.
The ride itself is fun and gives you a unique perspective on life in Fort Lauderdale. The driver will share information about various attractions along the route such as sights, history, culture, economy and more.
Visit MODS (Museum of Discovery and Science)
This museum is one of the largest museums of its kind in Florida and has more visitors than any other museum in the state. Upon arrival, you are greeted by a giant gravity clock, which is absolutely fascinating to watch as large balls travel their way around a system of tracks perfectly timed to operate all of the pullies and gears necessary to tell the correct time.
Upon entry, there are numerous interactive exhibits on bother first and second floors, but the largest exhibit on the first floor is one which is dedicated to Florida Eco-Scapes. This exhibit is filled with live animals and illustrates the various ecosystems which exist throughout the state of Florida.
On the second story, there is a whole section of the museum dedicated to aerodynamics and aerospace technology. This section includes a motion simulator which allows you to experience a journey to the planet Mars!
Possibly one of the most remarkable features of the museum is the 5-story AutoNation IMAX theater which is the largest of its kind in all of South Florida. While this theater plays all of the educational films you would expect in light of its connection to a science museum, it also plays other big Hollywood releases. For example, Top Gun 2 was playing at the time of our visit to the museum!
Relax in Hugh Tayler Birch State Park
One of the best ways to relax and unwind is at Hugh Tayler Birch State Park, which has so much to offer. There are many different activities for you and your family or friends, including hiking trails, swimming in one of their many lakes, and picnicking on their beautiful sandy beaches. If you’re feeling adventurous and want to go camping there are plenty of campsites available with all the amenities you need such as showers and restrooms. They also provide kayaking classes if you’ve never tried it before! You could fish or canoe/kayak on one of their many lakes where there are plenty of fish waiting for an angler like yourself! Bird watching is always an interesting activity too especially if you love animals so take advantage while visiting here! Biking is another popular thing people do at this park because they have over 12 miles worth of bike paths that go through various areas within its boundaries including wetlands which make them ideal places for bird watching too; keep those binoculars handy because sometimes animals will come out during certain times during specific seasons like winter when food sources tend not being plentiful for them then again maybe not depending on what kind it might be–it’s actually quite fascinating how animals survive without any human intervention whatsoever 🙂
If this isn’t enough excitement yet then let’s talk about horseback riding too! If riding horses isn’t something you’ve done before then don’t worry because this place offers lessons from experienced instructors who know exactly what they’re doing when it comes time taking care about these beautiful creatures’ safety first above all else regardless whether someone knows what they’re doing or not–this applies even more so with children learning how ride horses since children tend falling off more often than adults do due mostly due lack of experience riding one before starting up again immediately after falling off once.”
Visit Bonnet House Museum and Gardens
Bonnet House Museum and Gardens is a historic house museum in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The land was gifted by Hugh Taylor Birch to his daughter for her wedding. She and her husband constructed a home on this property. It derived inspiration for its name and color from the yellow spatterdock lily, which, when alligators still lived in waters surrounding their home, lifted their heads from water and spatterdock lilies atop their heads were said to look like “bonnets.” The flower came to be called the “bonnet lily,” so they called their house “Bonnet House.”
Go back in time to Stranahan House
The Stranahan House is a historic house museum on the National Register of Historic Places located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It is the oldest-standing home in Fort Lauderdale, and was built in 1885 by Frank and Ivy Stranahan, who were among the founders of Fort Lauderdale.
The house was designed by Henry J. Klutho, an architect from Chicago known for his work on winter resorts in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and at White Sulphur Springs Resort (in West Virginia).
In 1985 it was named a National Historic Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places; it is also designated as both a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers because of its key role in early 20th century residential development along with being recognized as contributing to the shaping of modern architecture in South Florida through its unique use of materials especially cypress wood.
Hit the shops at Galleria Mall
You’ll love the Galleria Mall. It’s located in the heart of Fort Lauderdale and has everything you could possibly want—shopping, food and even a movie theater. The mall is 1.4 million square feet of retail space with nearly 200 stores, including Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s. There are also more than 10 restaurants on its first floor alone!
Fort Lauderdale is an amazing place and there are so many things to do in this great city that it’s not possible to include them all in one short list. Consider some of the following activities as well:
If you’re looking for even more exciting things to do across South Florida, then find other great ideas for places to eat, and great activities on Groupon HERE.
Also, Flamingo Gardens is one of our favorite South Florida attractions of all-time. It’s just a brief drive outside the Fort Lauderdale city limits, but still within Broward County–totally worth the visit!