Beyond Miami: Things to do in Fort Lauderdale

By: Kristin Clark

October 14, 2013

Miami is one of the most popular holiday spots in the US, but head just 30-minutes north out of town and you’ll find the metropolitan city of Fort Lauderdale. Considered a destination in its own right, there are plenty of things to do in Fort Lauderdale, from lounging on its white sand beaches to exploring its lively beachside bars and restaurants.

Pack a picnic breakfast or light snacks for the morning and spend the early afternoon soaking up the sun (or shade, should you prefer), in the comfort of a beachside cabana. If you’re less well organised, food and drink is easily accessible from a variety of nearby bars and restaurants.

Florida Beach | Casablanca Cafe

Fort Lauderdale’s Casablanca Cafe © Phillip Pessar

Once you’ve had your fill of sand and sea, enjoy a relaxing lunch dining oceanside on the terrace at one of Fort Lauderdale’s most serene and romantic restaurants. Casablanca Café is an American Piano Bar and Restaurant dishing up more than just a stellar ambiance with Mediterranean flair. The kitchen produces plates of prime beef and fresh seafood (our personal favourite being the petite filet mignon with gorgonzola sauce) while the bar mixes refreshing cocktails to perfection. Casablanca is also a great choice for an intimate date, special occasion or small group event.

Florida Beach | Downtown Fort Lauderdale

A view of downtown Ford Lauderdale © Vince Alongi

Head down Las Olas Boulevard to explore streets lined with local restaurants, outdoor cafes, independent boutiques, gift shops and specialty stores. Las Olas is a popular local hang out seven days a week and offers a multitude of festivals and street fairs throughout the year.

Florida Beach | Fort Lauderdale Beach

Fort Lauderdale offers gorgeous white sand beaches © Daniel Dudek-Corrigan

After working up an appetite with all that shopping, opt for a relaxing dinner at Market 17. The restaurant sources the majority of its ingredients solely from local farms and fisheries, allowing fresh flavours of the season to shine throughout each course. The menu changes every few days, making the dining experience a little different each and every visit.

Florida Beach | Water Taxi, Fort Lauderdale

One of Fort Lauderdale’s water taxis © B. David Cathell Photography

There’s nothing like a boat trip at dusk, and Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi is the ultimate way to see the most of the city’s waterways in a pinch. Hop on at any of the 12 on-and-off stops until midnight seven days a week, for a one-off fee. Grab a cocktail at the popular 15th Street Fisheries, explore Riverfront nightlife downtown, and taste European craft beer at Briny Irish Pub. It’s the perfect ending to your Fort Lauderdale day trip.

Header photo: Highway A1A, leading into Fort Lauderdale © Jared

Written by Kristin Clark

Virgin Atlantic operates daily direct flights to Miami from London Heathrow. Book your flight today.

Have you visited Fort Lauderdale? What were your favourite things to do?

Kristin Clark

Kristin is an established lifestyle blogger [] who has collaborated with numerous brands including Chandon, Levis, Express, H&M, and more. Raised in Colorado, she now resides in South Florida soaking up the sun 365 days a year. A wine lover and foodie at heart, she finds thrill in discovering the best hidden cuisine throughout her travels. Follow Kristin: @KristinClarkFSU

Categories: Our Places