Florida is a top destination for people trying to escape nasty weather all over the world, but it’s fantastic all year round. There’s no limit to the opportunities on land, in the wetlands, and at sea for adventure and relaxation in the state.
Ft. Lauderdale is a favorite city for newcomers and seasoned travelers alike. Almost 200,000 people call it home and most wouldn’t dare move away because nowhere compares. Why’s that?
There’s no end to the excitement in Ft. Lauderdale, but you may not be familiar with the range of Ft. Lauderdale events and attractions. Wonder no more—Take a look at this list of awesome things for residents and tourists to do in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida!
Take an Evening Stroll Down the Boulevard
The state of Florida is everybody’s favorite paradox. It’s a major destination for elderly retirees who want to relax and live a calm life. Yet, it’s also the home base for spring break madness and people love it as a party destination throughout the year.
This is a division you can experience in every major city in Florida—and some smaller locales. Ft. Lauderdale is no different, and a great literal example of this night-and-day experience in the city is Las Olas Boulevard.
While the sun’s out, you can browse boutiques, grab an espresso, and have a long, pleasant lunch. You can take your family to visit museums and beautiful art galleries on Las Olas Boulevard, too.
After nightfall, the boulevard becomes a hot party spot. Its bars and restaurants attract bustling night crowds, and its art galleries host high-class events.
While most know Florida’s nightlife to be pretty wild, Las Olas is one of the state’s sophisticated nightlife spots. It’s a great place to go if you like to dress up and have a fancy night on the town.
Party Hard on the Water
On the other hand, you might prefer a wild night—or day! No worries: Ft. Lauderdale has plenty for you, too.
The Buccaneers NFL team’s 2021 post-Super Bowl victory bash made headlines when they partied on the Hillsborough River in Tampa, Florida. Few football fans watching could say they wouldn’t rather be on one of those yachts than on their couch, whether they rooted for the Bucs or not.
You might not have a Lombardi Trophy to throw around, but the same kind of fun is in your reach. While the team represents the Tampa Bay area and boated there, party boat culture is important to many cities and towns in the state. It’s no small part of what attracts young people to Florida for spring break and brings in a ton of money.
With that in mind, it shouldn’t shock you to learn that having fun on party boats is among the most popular Ft. Lauderdale things to do. As in other parts of the state, they’re best known for boozy, crazy fun. Spring breakers’ party cruises inject much-needed money into local economies, and citizens’ everyday boating fun keeps cash flowing year-round.
Despite their wild reputation, all kinds of people use party boats for less chaotic fêtes. Families enjoy them for birthday parties, graduations, and other events. They’re also a wonderful choice for retirees’ low-key lunch cruises and other calm events.
Appreciate Art in Ft. Lauderdale
After exploring the galleries and crafts sold on Las Olas Boulevard, you may be hungry for more artwork. The NSU Art Museum is the perfect place to go and only a short walk away.
The museum houses artwork of all kinds, with a primary focus on people, stories, and issues relevant to the Ft. Lauderdale community. Much of its permanent collection hails from Latin America, Africa, and highlights Latinx and Black artists in America.
You can see more traditional artworks like drawings, paintings on canvas, and outdoor murals. Some photographs, textile artworks, and even architectural structures the museum features push the boundaries of what the public calls art.
Whatever you hone in on during your NSU Art Museum visit, it’s sure to provoke deep thought. If you’d rather let your eyes do the work and gravitate to what you think looks nicest, there’s a wealth of opportunities for that approach, too.
The NSU in the Museum’s full name stands for Nova Southeastern University, a major private research university. The institutions combined in 2008 and the partnership is welcome news for anyone with a scholarly interest in art.
In addition to the museum’s collections, there are two research centers and related art collections on the museum grounds.
People studying the contributions of people from Latin America and Latina people in the United States can’t miss the Dr. Stanley and Pearl Goodman Latin American Art Study Center. The second research hub is called the William J. Glackens Study Center.
Any art student in or taking a trip to Florida should get in touch with the Museum if they want to see these study centers. The general public can enjoy the accompanying galleries, and explore materials online from the Glackens Study Center.
Explore the Area’s Natural Scenery
Ft. Lauderdale sits in the middle of a few incredible land- and waterscapes. You can explore nature at many spots in and around Ft. Lauderdale, but one of the cities finest is Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. The park prides itself on accessibility features, giving everyone opportunities to enjoy nature and leisure activities.
Five main habitats comprise the natural world within the park.
The first area is on the Atlantic ocean, including dunes on the beach and coral reefs underwater. You can snorkel or scuba to see the sights underwater or hike through the hilly dunes, where you’ll see crabs and other coastal wildlife.
As you head inland, you’ll run into a maritime hammock area. It’s not the kind of hammock you’re used to, a piece of fabric between two trees. A maritime hammock is a strip of hardwood forest growing on sandy, coastal land.
Farther in, the park holds an uncommon body of water known as a coastal dune lake. These lakes connect to the sea—in this case, the Atlantic Ocean. You can see some iconic Florida wildlife there, including great white herons and American alligators.
Moving onward, you’ll reach another kind of tropical forest called a tropical hardwood hammock. As the name implies, it’s a strip of tropical hardwood forest. Unlike the maritime hammock, the forest floor is made up of rich organic material, not sand.
The fifth major habitat in the park is a mangrove forest. Mangroves grow in water, and wildlife including upside-down jellyfish thrive in the muddy pools.
See a Live Show
If you’ve had enough of the great outdoors, consider seeing a live show inside. The Broward Center for the Performing Arts is a gorgeous venue and there’s always something going on.
Like so many other performance venues, the Broward Center is in desperate need of support after losing business due to COVID-19. Seeing a show in Ft. Lauderdale is the perfect way to show your support for the community by ensuring the performing arts stay accessible.
Speaking of accessibility, it’s one of the Broward Center’s focuses. They designate some performances as “sensory-friendly,” meaning they’re not overwhelming to people with sensory processing difficulties. On select performances, they aid the blind and partially-sighted community with touch tours.
Some of their performances feature American Sign Language interpretation. Those shows also include open captioning (OC), displaying dialogue on a digital screen bordering the stage.
Certain performances at the Broward Center feature audio descriptions of the action and scenery. Texts may be available in large print and/or Braille.
They have a selection of accessible seats reserved for wheelchair users and their companions. For those in need of wheelchairs at the venue, they have some available at no charge.
Many shows are great for families, including Disney productions and other options for kids. Performances range from symphony performances to psychic medium shows and more. It’s also diverse in the cultural sense, featuring performers from an endless variety of backgrounds who showcase their communities’ traditions.
If you’re not too sunburnt and mosquito-bitten to stay outside, the Broward Center has something for you, too. They have a series of outdoor shows that let you enjoy the performing arts under the stars.
Shows may sell out, sometimes far in advance, so make sure to buy tickets before traveling or to have a backup plan ready.
Valuable Information You Can Trust
These fascinating things to do in Ft. Lauderdale make for a thrilling, wonderful vacation. While these are some of the best Ft. Lauderdale activities, there are countless others. If you take a long trip to the area, make sure to do more research if you want to stuff your vacation with nonstop fun.
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