Fort Lauderdale is known as the “Venice of America”. Seeing those gorgeous waterfront mansions makes you wonder why you haven’t won the lottery yet. Fort Lauderdale is a great destination to stop by for beach and water activities.
See & Do
- Fort Lauderdale Beach: We arrived a little early for our planned snorkeling activities so after parking, we went for a quick walk along Fort Lauderdale Beach. It seems pretty nice, there is plenty of parking, seems very clean and relaxing, and the beach itself is pretty big. We grabbed a (slightly expensive) lemonade from a vendor as soon as we arrived and sat for a bit by the water. There are plenty of restaurants and other things to do in this area.
- Snorkeling at Twin Ledges: We joined the snorkeling tour with Sea Experience. They take you out on a boat to a predetermined location about a mile off the coast where you’ll see all sorts of fish. The waves were a bit choppy and the snorkeling was a bit more about the “full experience” of boating rather than just snorkeling, as it included a brief tour of expensive houses in Fort Lauderdale as well a segment where the guides let you jump off the boat. But in all fairness, for the price you pay (~$25), it’s actually a really great deal considering all you get, and we’d definitely consider doing it again if we’re in the area.
- Hollywood Beach: We came here at night to enjoy the Hollywood Beach boardwalk on our first night in the area. We parked at the first spot we found, but later on we noticed that there is a huge parking garage right in the middle which is where most people parked. The boardwalk is VERY happening in this area, but to our dismay we found it more full of kids than you’d expect, seems like this is more of a family friendly kind of place to visit. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s not exactly what we were looking for. This looks like it would be a pretty cool place to rent a bike and ride up and down for a bit during the day. Later in the evening, we found a hookah place which was better in quality than what we’re used to in NYC. Unfortunately we couldn’t stay too long since we were a bit time restricted by our parked car.
Eat & Drink
- The Taco Spot: Kind of got the impression this was more about the drinks than the food — this place was bursting at the seams so we ordered food to go and ate it by the boardwalk while people watching. We had burritos and tacos. They were mediocre.
- Pho Brandon Vietnamese Cuisine: Craving some noodles, we yelped a random noodle shop in Plantation to satisfy our craving. Pho Brandon is tucked away in a random strip mall, and the food ended up being really quite good. The pho we ordered really hit the spot.
- Hyatt Place Fort Lauderdale: This Hyatt Place location is in a bit of a suburban location, not exactly ON the beach. We couldn’t find anything more affordable that was any closer so we decided to take a chance on this place. It ended up working out as the room was large and clean, and they unexpectedly provided a nice, free breakfast. The room itself was in a “suite” kind of layout with a kitchen included, so if you want to save some money by cooking you can do so. It’s about a 15 to 20 minute drive due east to get to the beach, and we never had any major problems with traffic, so ultimately I’d say it was worth it for the price we paid.
- Night of 01/01/2016 till morning of 01/03/2016