Fort Lauderdale sits on Florida’s coast, just over half an hour’s drive north of Miami. Known for its elaborate and expansive canal system, the city is often referred to as the “Venice of America”, and attracts major attention as a yachting port.
Once a popular spring break destination – as made famous in the movie Where The Boys Are – Fort Lauderdale has grown to become a family-friendly vacation spot, with an active beach, shopping and dining culture.
The greater Fort Lauderdale area hosts over 4,000 restaurants, ranging from small eateries to expansive fine dining establishments. Inspired by the 120-plus nationalities that call the area home, Fort Lauderdale's food scene is wildly diverse, and accommodates for all tastes.
Sample the area's best seafood, as voted by locals, at 3030 Ocean Restaurant, in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Try celebrated crab dishes, at Billy's Stone Crab Restaurant in Hollywood – voted by The New York Times to have “The Best Stone Crabs” – and at Rustic Inn Crab House – famous for its garlic crabs.
For a surf and turf style menu swing by Fort Lauderdale's best steak restaurant, Grille 66 & Bar. Or chow down on traditional southern delicacies, like catfish and calms, at Catfish Dewey's.
Taste the region's Caribbean influence. Drop into Aunt I's Jamaican Restaurant for oxtail, stewed chicken or jerk chicken made from scratch. Or take a culinary tour through America's heartland by way of the Latin and Caribbean islands at Jonny V.
Enjoy an evening of relaxed elegance at The Capital Grille. Voted by locals as Fort Lauderdale's "best fine dining" restaurant, The Capital Grille specialises in dry aged steaks, fresh seafood and award-winning wines.
For those with a palate for on-trend flavours, it's hard to go past YOLO (You Only Live Once) Restaurant – Fort Lauderdale’s favourite meeting place to dine, lounge, and socialise with friends.
From upscale malls and boulevards, to outlet centres and flea markets, Greater Fort Lauderdale has a shopping experience for all types of retail aficionados.
Known as the area's 'style mile', Las Olas Boulevard is Fort Lauderdale's favourite shopping precinct. Lined with independently owned boutiques, lively lounges and cafes with sidewalk seating, Las Olas is the shopping Mecca with a relaxed vibe.
Boasting Neiman-Marcus, Saks 5th Avenue, and Macy's, alongside spas and fine dining, The Galleria is Fort Lauderdale's hub for upscale pleasures. With over 1.4 million square feet of retail space, The Galleria beckons sophisticated shoppers.
Fort Lauderdale also caters for bargain hunters, with a variety of discount shopping centres, including: the world's largest discount and entertainment mall, Sawgrass Mills; the largest outdoor/indoor flea market in the United States, the Swap Shop; and the quarter-mile long shopper's paradise, Festival Flea Market.
Shopping is such an institution in Fort Lauderdale that local shuttle buses run between the beach and shopping centres, and most hotels provide easy access for car-less travellers.