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Miami vs Fort Lauderdale: Which is better?

Miami vs Fort Lauderdale: Which is better?

Wondering whether to visit Miami or Fort Lauderdale?

Miami and Fort Lauderdale have both been top vacation destinations for decades, but which city is better? That’s a tough call, as each city offers its own unique attractions and experiences.

Both have plenty of entertainment and activities, from beaches and nightlife to shopping and outdoor adventures. Both offer a variety of restaurants and events, and both are close to some of the most beautiful scenery in the US.

In the article, we will weigh up some key features to help you decide – Miami vs Fort Lauderdale?

Miami vs Fort Lauderdale: Which is better?

Let’s break it down into some key categories:

  • Which has better beaches?;
  • Better restaurants?;
  • More things to do?;
  • Which is cheaper?;
  • Has better hotels?;
  • Which is a better place to live including for retirees?;
  • Which is more beautiful.

Which has better beaches?

The debate of whether the beaches are better in Fort Lauderdale or Miami is one that has been ongoing for some time. Both cities boast some of the best beaches in the world, and at the end of the day, it really depends on what kind of beach experience you’re looking for.

For those looking for an urban atmosphere, Miami is likely the better option. Miami Beach is one of the most popular beaches in the world, thanks to its golden sand and its vibrant nightlife. Other popular beaches in Miami include Haulover Beach, with its nude sunbathing areas, Bal Harbour Beach, and the Collins Avenue Beach. All of these beaches offer plenty of activities such as kayaking and paddleboarding, as well as access to nearby shopping and dining.

Fort Lauderdale, on the other hand, is known for its quieter beaches and laid-back atmosphere. Two of the most popular beaches in Fort Lauderdale are Hollywood Beach (actually in Hollywood not Fort Lauderdale but commonly considered a FL beach) and Fort Lauderdale Beach. Hollywood Beach boasts a two-and-a-half-mile-long boardwalk, perfect for bike rides and long strolls. Fort Lauderdale Beach is great for swimming, surfing, and sunbathing. Both beaches offer a variety of restaurants and shops nearby.

If you’re looking for nightlife and an urban atmosphere, Miami is the clear winner. But if you’re looking for a more laid-back beach experience, Fort Lauderdale is likely the better option. Both cities offer plenty of activities and attractions, so regardless of where you end up, you’re sure to have a great time.

  • Our pick? Miami. We have never seen more beautiful water than in Miami.

best-5-star-beachfront-hotels-in-miami

Which has better restaurants?

Fort Lauderdale and Miami are two popular cities in Florida and both offer an array of delicious restaurants. Each city has its own unique style and atmosphere, so when it comes to finding the best restaurants in the area, it may be difficult to choose between them.

When it comes to Fort Lauderdale, there are a variety of restaurants that offer a variety of flavors and styles. Some of the best restaurants in Fort Lauderdale include 3030 Ocean, a seafood restaurant that offers fresh, locally sourced seafood and an array of traditional seafood dishes. Another popular spot is the Capital Grille, a steakhouse that offers a high-end dining experience with an extensive wine list and top-notch service. 

Miami has some of the most diverse restaurants in the country as there are a wide range of cultures all living in Miami so a lot of international flare. Some of the best restaurants in Miami include Joe’s Stone Crab, a classic seafood restaurant that offers fresh seafood and an array of sides. Another popular spot is Zuma, an award-winning restaurant that offers a modern Japanese menu with a variety of sushi, sashimi, and other dishes. For a unique experience, try the Bazaar by Jose Andres, which features a variety of tapas and small plates.

When it comes to choosing the best restaurants in Fort Lauderdale or Miami, it all comes down to personal preference. Whether you’re looking for seafood, steak, or a unique dining experience, both cities have something for everyone.

It’s important to research the restaurants in each city and decide which one is the best fit for your taste and budget.

  • Our pick? Miami. We personally prefer the international flare of Miami but both cities have some good dining to enjoy.

Dolce Salato Pizza & Gelato

Which has better activities?

Fort Lauderdale and Miami are both popular destinations in South Florida and each city has its own unique attractions. Both cities offer a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy, but ultimately, which one is better for sightseeing depends on individual preferences.

One of the biggest draws to Fort Lauderdale is its beaches. It is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. There are also plenty of activities to do on the shore like swimming, sunbathing, and surfing. Visitors can also take a stroll down Las Olas Boulevard to explore the city’s boutique stores, and art galleries.

There are plenty of things to do in and near Fort Lauderdale. For a dose of culture, head to the Riverwalk Arts and Entertainment District. Here you’ll find an array of galleries, museums, and performing arts venues. Spend an afternoon exploring the area’s many shops and restaurants.

If you’re looking for a more laid-back activity, spend a day at one of Fort Lauderdale’s parks. Hugh Taylor Birch State Park is a beautiful spot for a picnic and offers unique activities, such as kayaking and canoeing. Or visit the Anne Kolb Nature Center in the nearby Hollywood, where you can take a scenic hike and spot wildlife.

Fort Lauderdale Beach

Meanwhile, Miami is known for its lively nightlife, diverse cultural attractions, and world-class shopping. Visitors to this city can explore the iconic art deco district in South Beach, which is home to many historic buildings and unique architecture.

They can also explore the city’s vibrant Cuban culture in Little Havana or take a stroll down the popular Lincoln Road Mall. We would also recommend exploring Wynwood Walls, and taking a walk along the iconic Ocean Drive.

Ultimately, both cities offer plenty of attractions and activities to choose from. While Fort Lauderdale is best known for its beaches, Miami is known for its vibrant culture, nightlife and shopping. Depending on individual preferences, one city may be better than the other, it really comes down to personal taste. However, both cities offer plenty of activities to keep visitors busy and entertained.

  • Our pick? Miami for a vacation if you are new to the state as we think there is more to do.

South Beach Things to do in Downtown Miami FL

Which is cheaper?

When it comes to lodging, Fort Lauderdale is generally cheaper than Miami. Hotels in Fort Lauderdale tend to cost less than those in Miami, with a variety of budget-friendly options ranging from basic motels to luxurious beachfront resorts.

Additionally, Fort Lauderdale typically has more affordable restaurants than those in Miami, offering a variety of cuisines to suit any budget. When it comes to attractions, Fort Lauderdale offers a variety of free or low-cost activities. Visitors can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities such as swimming, kayaking, and beach volleyball. The city also offers a variety of museums and galleries for those interested in art and culture. There are also a number of parks, nature trails, and other areas to explore around the city.

Miami is also home to a variety of attractions and activities, but they are generally more expensive than those in Fort Lauderdale. Hotels in Miami tend to be more expensive than those in Fort Lauderdale, as well as restaurants. Additionally, attractions in Miami tend to be more expensive than those in Fort Lauderdale, with tickets for some of the city’s most popular attractions costing several times more than those in Fort Lauderdale.

Overall, Fort Lauderdale is generally cheaper than Miami. The city has a variety of budget-friendly lodging and dining options, as well as free or low-cost attractions.

  • Our pick? Fort Lauderdale

best-miami-hotels-with-a-view

Does Miami or Fort Lauderdale have better hotels?

When it comes to hotels, both cities have a variety of options to choose from.

In Miami, travelers can find luxury accommodations at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, a resort that offers the best of Miami and is within walking distance of the beach. Another popular option is The Setai, an all-suite hotel close to the Miami Design District that offers luxury amenities like a spa, private pool, and ocean views.

Other noteworthy hotels include Loews Miami Beach Hotel.

Fort Lauderdale also offers plenty of upscale options, such as the W Fort Lauderdale, a modern hotel that overlooks the ocean and has a chic rooftop pool. Another option is the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, which features a full-service spa, pool, and private beach. The Riverside Hotel is a 4-star hotel located in the heart of downtown Fort Lauderdale and offers luxurious rooms and suites. There are some great beachfront hotels in Fort Lauderdale.

When it comes to choosing between Miami and Fort Lauderdale for a hotel stay, both cities offer plenty of options that cater to various budgets. Miami offers more luxurious accommodations, while Fort Lauderdale is known for its smaller, boutique-style hotels. In the end, it really comes down to personal preference and budget.

  • Our pick? Miami. If you have the budget the resorts are amazing.

best hotels in miami with pool

Which is a better place to live? Miami or Fort Lauderdale?

Which is a better place to live out of Miami and Fort Lauderdale all depends on your lifestyle and preferences.

If you’re looking for a city with a vibrant nightlife and plenty of activities, Miami is the place for you. Miami has a reputation as a party city, with clubs, bars, and restaurants that stay open late. There’s also plenty of shopping, art galleries, and street festivals. Miami is also home to some of the best beaches in the world, with white sand and crystal clear waters.

Fort Lauderdale, on the other hand, is a more laid-back city with a slower pace of life. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. There are plenty of parks, trails, and waterways to explore, as well as a variety of beaches. Fort Lauderdale also has a thriving arts scene, with galleries, theaters, and museums.

In terms of cost of living, both cities are comparable. The median home price in Miami is $530,000, while in Fort Lauderdale it’s $522,000. Both cities have a wide range of housing options, from apartments to luxury homes.

When it comes down to it, the decision of whether to live in Miami or Fort Lauderdale is a personal one. If you’re looking for a vibrant nightlife and plenty of activities, Miami is the place for you. But if you prefer a more laid-back lifestyle, Fort Lauderdale might be the better choice. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which city is the best fit for your lifestyle.

  • Our pick? Fort Lauderdale

Better Place for Retirees?

Same answer as above.

When it comes to cost of living, both Miami and Fort Lauderdale are expensive. Miami is known for its high real estate prices, while Fort Lauderdale is only slightly more affordable. The cost of living in both cities is higher than the national average, so retirees should be prepared to spend a bit more to live in either city.

Ultimately, the decision of which city is a better place to retire depends on the individual’s preferences and budget. Miami offers a vibrant and exciting lifestyle, while Fort Lauderdale provides a more laid-back and relaxed atmosphere. Both cities offer retirees an opportunity to enjoy the warm South Florida weather, so it’s up to each individual to decide which city is the best fit.

things to do in fort lauderdale Fort Lauderdale Beach

Fort Lauderdale Beach/ Flickr

Which is the more beautiful city to visit?

When it comes to beauty, Miami is the clear winner in our opinion.

This vibrant city is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, such as South Beach. The city also has a vibrant nightlife, with clubs and bars open into the early hours of the morning. The city is also home to a wide variety of restaurants, offering cuisines from all over the world. Miami also has plenty of shopping, art galleries, and cultural attractions to explore.

Fort Lauderdale is also a popular destination, but it cannot compete with Miami in terms of beauty. While the beaches are still stunning, in our opinion, they are no match for Miami’s.

The nightlife is also more subdued in Fort Lauderdale, with fewer clubs and bars. The city is also more focused on leisure activities, such as golf, tennis, and fishing.

The restaurants are still top-notch, but the variety is not as diverse as in Miami. In conclusion, Miami is the more beautiful of the two cities. Fort Lauderdale is a great place to visit and offers plenty of leisure activities, but it cannot compete with Miami when it comes to beauty.

  • Our pick? Miami
Parasailing Miami Watersports

Parasailing Miami Watersports/ Flickr

So which is better? Miami or Fort Lauderdale?

So let’s weigh up our categories to decide:

  • Which has better beaches? Miami
  • Better restaurants? Miami
  • More things to do? Miami
  • Which is cheaper? Fort Lauderdale
  • Has better hotels? Miami
  • Which is a better place to live including for retirees? Fort Lauderdale
  • Which is more beautiful? Miami

With a score of 5/2, Miami takes the win and officially the better city LOL. But really the “better city” comes down to personal taste, likes and dislikes. 

In this article, we have discussed the pros and cons for each to help you decide what is the right choice for you, whether for a vacation or for living.

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  • Florida Vacationers

    Florida Vacationers is the #1 place to find everything exciting to do in the Sunshine State from the incredible beaches to the beautiful springs, campgrounds and road trips - we are constantly on the lookout for hidden gems and secret spots! Bookmark this blog as your go to place for all things Florida related. We are so happy to have you as part of our Florida Vacationers community!

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