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Known as the Venice of America, Fort Lauderdale is a popular vacation spot for families and tourists of all ages. Whether you want to soak up the sun at the beach, sample the city's culinary offerings, explore over a dozen museums, or enjoy the beautiful weather, you'll find something to love in Fort Lauderdale. Discover essential Fort Lauderdale information, take a look at the city's top things to do, and take note of some family-friendly day trips in the area.


Best Things to Do in Fort Lauderdale
Family-Friendly Day Trips From Fort Lauderdale
How to Get Around Fort Lauderdale

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Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Intl. Airport (FLL)

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Best Things to Do in Fort Lauderdale


From beaches to parks to museums, Fort Lauderdale will entertain and inspire the whole family. Put these attractions at the top of your list.


Can't wait to hit the beach? Head straight for Fort Lauderdale Beach, home to sugary sand and clean water for swimming. Unlike some of Miami's more party-focused stretches of sand, Fort Lauderdale Beach is a magnet for families.


Want to get out and stretch your legs? Make your way to Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, located right on Fort Lauderdale's waterfront. Here you can canoe in a freshwater lagoon, fish from the seawall, hike along well-marked trails, and picnic amidst beautiful tropical plants.


If you want to dig into Fort Lauderdale's history, visit the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, a historic plantation-style home that served as a gorgeous winter retreat for its original residents. Tour the art-filled home, stroll the grounds, and learn more about Fort Lauderdale in the 1920s.


For a few indoor activities on a rainy day, visit the Museum of Discovery and Science to experience a trip to Mars, take a ride through the Everglades, or even fly an airplane. At the Nova Southeastern University (NSU) Art Museum of Fort Lauderdale, see over 6,000 works of art by Pablo Picasso, William Glackens, the CoBrA artists, and many more.


Family-Friendly Day Trips From Fort Lauderdale


There's so much to see in South Florida. Hit the road for a couple of hours, and discover a wide variety of natural and cultural destinations.


Whether this is your first or your fifth visit to the Fort Lauderdale area, you won't want to miss your chance to see Everglades National Park. Drive west for about 30 minutes, and you'll arrive in Sawgrass Recreation Park. Take an airboat tour to see alligators, birds, and other local flora and fauna. Keep driving west to see more of the Everglades, where you can go hiking and spot wildlife.


Experience some of South Florida's cultural highlights in Miami, which is just 35 minutes south of Fort Lauderdale. Have a bite to eat in Little Havana, go for a dip at the Venetian Pool, or stroll through the stunning Vizcaya Museum & Gardens.


Located just south of Miami, Key Largo is a 90-minute drive from Fort Lauderdale. One of the northernmost Florida Keys, this spot is known as the Diving Capital of the World, thanks to the coral reef just offshore. This is the ideal spot to go snorkeling or diving, explore an underwater park, or get up close and personal with dolphins.


How to Get Around Fort Lauderdale


With convenient airports, highways, and cruise ship terminals, getting to and from Fort Lauderdale is easy. You can also find your way around town easily, whether you're planning to rent a car or drive on your own.


If you're planning to fly into the city to start your trip, book your tickets to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, which is just a 15-minute drive south of town. If you don't mind driving a little farther, take a look at Miami International Airport, which is about 35 minutes south of Fort Lauderdale.


Since you'll find Fort Lauderdale's best activities and attractions scattered all across the city, driving is the best way to make sure you don't miss a thing. Keep in mind that many of the highways in the surrounding area are toll roads, but you can use the Sun Pass in your rental car to pay and get on your way quickly.


You can also park the car for an afternoon or evening as you take advantage of the city's public transportation options. Hop on the water taxi to reach destinations along the Intracoastal Waterway or ride the Sun Trolley to reach downtown or the beach.


With so much to do for visitors of all ages, it's no surprise that Fort Lauderdale is a hit with families. Set your sights on the Venice of America and start planning your next family getaway.


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