Looking for the best things to do in Fort Lauderdale FL? Is there anything to do in this part of Florida? Well yes there most certainly is!
Fort Lauderdale, which can be found on the southeastern coast of Florida, is the largest city in Broward County, and has a population of about 182,760 residents. It is best known for its illustrious beaches, various attraction spots, and diverse and upbeat culture, there is certainly a little something for everyone to enjoy while in Ft. Lauderdale.
Here are the thirty fun activities and attractions do when in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
30 Best & Unique Things to do in Fort Lauderdale
If there is one thing Ft. Lauderdale is known for, it is certainly the beaches. Here are a few fun adventures to do around and/or in the ocean.
This one is bringing a new twist to the ordinary boat party! Plenty of people can say they’ve partied on a boat, but how many can say that they have partied on a floating tiki hut? One of the best bars in Fort Lauderdale without doubt.
Here is your chance to stand out amongst the rest and take a ride on a tiki boat today. Cruisin’ Tikis Fort Lauderdale offers a variety of fun tour options including, Tiki Fun Cruises where you ride down the New River & look at all the magnificent mansions that surround it, a Late Night Jazz Cruise which allows you to watch a gorgeous sunset, while cruising to the soothing sounds of jazz, a Sandbar trip where you can anchor at the Fort Lauderdale sandbar and chill with friends or mingle with other sandbar goers, or the Sunset Cruise where you get to watch the captivating Fort Lauderdale sunset.
Rental prices for this adventure start at $300 for a 90-minute rental and it is recommended that you book ahead of time.
The Jungle Queen is a riverboat that has been around since 1935 and is a classic when you come to Fort Lauderdale.
When booking the Jungle Queen, you can select between their Tropical Isle Dinner & Show with Sightseeing, which has a 6 PM departure time or their 90 Minute Sightseeing Cruise, which leaves at noon and 2:30 PM. The Jungle Queen also offers group rates, charters, and private events.
Not only will you get to see all the unique spots along the New River like museums, statues, parks, and landmarks, but you will get to enjoy an all you can eat BBQ while watching live entertainment.
Fort Lauderdale Beach
You cannot visit Fort Lauderdale without stopping at the beach! If you can, try to make a day out of going to Ft. Lauderdale Beach, by soaking up some of that hot Florida sun, and walking the strip.
There are plenty of shopping stores & restaurants to choose from along the strip like Lulus, Rock Bar, & Coconuts.
If you’re feeling like a spa day, feel free to stop and get a massage or facial at one of the local spas. There are plenty to choose from like the Heavenly Spa by Westin, The Atlantic Hotel & Spa, G.A. Naturals or Casbah Spa & Salon.
You can even rent segways, bicycles or e-bikes to get around, although it is very walking friendly. There is also the Sun Trolley which is the Ft. Lauderdale free community shuttle, which works as a great way to get around.
The water taxi is a phenomenal way to get around, and has 10 stops in Ft. Lauderdale, which makes the Water Taxi a classic attraction.
Some of these ten stops include the Stranahan House, Ft. Lauderdale Beach, Shooters Waterfront, Beach Place, & the Galleria Mall to name a few. It is recommended to buy tickets in advance for riding aboard the Water Taxi, as they tend to sell out fast.
There are a variety of pass options available with all day passes for adults and children 12+ starting at $30 per person, while multi day passes beginning at $85 per person.
If you are looking for a unique, romantic, and memorable experience, this is the experience for you. The Las Olas Gondola Tour is known as the “Venice of America” thanks to their use of authentic Venetian gondolas.
This will be a cool way to ride down the Fort Lauderdale waterways to take in the scenery, and to do so at any time that you please because the company says available 24/7 essentially. You can go on a Light Romantic Cruise, a Sunset Cruise, a Full Moon Cruise, or even a Daytime Cruise.
The options are truly limitless when booking with the Las Olas Gondola Tours and come with a 75-minute tour of the city of Ft. Lauderdale.
One of the most unique activities to do in Fort Lauderdale and a really romantic activity for couples.
Fort Lauderdale has plenty of nature spots available for avid outdoor adventurer as well as urban outdoor adventures. Here are several spots to visit during your stay.
This is one of Florida’s national parks & it is located right off of Fort Lauderdale beach. The entrance fee for the park is $6 per vehicle for up to eight people ($4 if alone) or $2 for each bicyclist/pedestrian.
This park is jam packed with a variety of activities, which is sure to keep everyone satisfied. At Hugh Taylor State Park you can paddle board, camp with family or friends, fish to release some stress, hike to truly experience the scenic adventure, go for a swim, or rollerblade to really get your blood flowing.
These are just some of the experiences that you can get into at Hugh Taylor State Park, so it is definitely worth a visit during your next stay in Fort Lauderdale.
For our outdoorsy lovers, this park is perfect for anyone who loves a good hiking trail, canoe session, or horseback riding adventure.
With more than 243 acres to explore you can also go fishing or look out for wildlife in the park’s marshland. There is a gate fee of $1.50 per person, (with children under 5 being free), however with shelter areas that have outdoor grills, volleyball courts & a playground you can easily make this an all-day affair with the family.
The park also has an observation tower that not only takes a great photo op but is perfect for getting an epic view of the treetops.
Fern Forest Nature Center
One of the many parks in Broward County, Fern Forest is indeed home to more than thirty different types of ferns, which are plants without flowers. Fern Forest Nature Center was established back in 1975 and is two miles of trails that surround the former floodplain of Cypress Creek.
This is a tranquil park that is free to enter for everyone and is open from 9 AM to 5 PM daily. There is also an educational exhibit hall, amphitheater, picnic area, and event rentals available here.
Fern Forest does have events going on throughout the year, so don’t forget to take a look at their event calendar to see what activities are available during your stay.
One of the best free things to do in Fort Lauderdale for sure.
Located in downtown Fort Lauderdale, also known as Las Olas, the Riverwalk is surrounded by tons of restaurants, parks, and plazas.
There are always some events going on at the Riverwalk like the Annual Chili Cook Off, Sunday Jazz Brunch, International Food Festivals, or even the Annual Irish Festival. With so many events going on, you are sure to find something happening here.
Even if by the slight chance that it is a calm weekend, Riverwalk itself has attractive scenery and plenty of photo opt areas for taking pictures for Instagram.
If you want to kick it up a notch, there is a water service for hire if you would like to sail in style while in Fort Lauderdale. If riding on the sea is not your style, you can also hop on the Sun Trolley and visit various restaurants and the ten tropical and urban parks throughout the district.
This is a must visit boulevard as it is ever changing with new restaurants being added all the time. Take a stroll around and view all the hotspots that East Las Olas Blvd. has to offer like Louie Bossi’s, The Royal Pig, Big City Tavern, and American Social to name a few. All of these spots are great for brunch & will get you right with its yummy food options as well.
After brunch you can relax at one of the many parks in the area to take in the Florida sun, or you could do a little shopping along the boulevard.
Once nightfall hits, feel free to head on over to 2nd Street., which is lined with various clubs and bars to choose from like Club Euro, Township Fort Lauderdale, Capones, or the Booze Garden to name a few.
Indoor Adventures When it Rains
Fort Lauderdale has plenty of nature spots available for the avid outdoor adventurer. Here are several spots to visit during your stay.
This is a family-friendly indoor entertainment option, which has a variety of attractions to choose from. Some activities you can do here include go kart racing, rope courses, escape rooms, trampoline parks, laser tag, and much more. Teenagers love it here!
There is a nice menu to choose from to ensure everyone stays fueled up while enjoying the arcade room, bowling lanes, roller skating rink, or even the bar.
When considering what activities, you want to do, do not forget to take a look at any height, age and weight restrictions that may apply. Each attraction has their own price, however Xtreme usually has a lot of deals and specials, plus cool tournaments like free Super Smash Bros. Tournament every last Wednesday of the Month where you can win a $100 Xtreme Gift Card for winning first place.
This experience allows you to be destructive & let out any pent-up aggression you may have. Wreck It Fort Lauderdale is your one stop shop to break stuff & leave happy! There are a variety of packages available starting at $30 per person for the B.Y.O.B (bring your own breakables) option.
If you need to blow off steam or just really like breaking stuff, this rage room is the perfect activity for you. This company prides itself on being a judgment free zone, so feel free to be your true self here and let out your true animalistic instincts.
We promise it is okay & Wreck It provides you with all of the safety gear you will need to get to clobbering!
If you are looking for fun things to do in Fort Lauderdale at night – look no further.
This old school movie theater, which opened back in 1951, will fill you up with nostalgic vibes as you view an indie film or even watch one of the hottest cinemas currently out.
Each movie ticket will cost you about $14 per person. This movie theater is also known for holding the Annual Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF), which is taking place from November 4-13, 2022, this year, and will showcase films from film makers worldwide.
The Gateway Movies is even hosting a FLIFF Oscar Party Gala on Sunday, March 27, 2022 & each ticket will cost you $150 plus a service fee, per person. If you’d like to throw your own private party, Gateway also has venue rentals available.
Better known as the Guitar Hotel, this statement piece is the perfect place to win the jackpot. With several dining options, plenty of games to play, & a light show from the guitar-shaped hotel there is plenty to do.
There are new entertainment options to choose from nightly, so it’s best to check their event calendar if you’re looking for one thing special. Take a sip of your favorite drink at one of the 11 bars, while the lounges available allow you to relax and unwind.
If you need deep relaxation visit the Rock Spa & Salon, or even go golfing. With so much to do at the Hard Rock, you can easily make this your entire Fort Lauderdale stay.
If you don’t mind a little second hand shopping, Oddballs Nifty Thrift should be added to your list of places to visit while in Ft. Lauderdale.
You are sure to find a bunch of unique items here and the staff is very friendly and helpful. The aesthetics of this thrift shop is on point, and they even have a pretty mural that you can pose for picture in front of.
The Oddballs Nifty Thrift Is rated highly amongst locals & and has a variety of cool fines like antique furniture, cute little figurines, and a multitude of glass sculptures to choose from.
One of the best things to do in Fort Lauderdale when it rains. It’s so nice to spend time at a thrift store on a rainy day.
Cultural Attractions and Things to do with Kids
Fort Lauderdale has a very diverse culture. From an entertaining downtown to flavorful restaurants there is fun for everyone.
This is a cute little cafe that offers fresh, healthy, and tasty food plus excellent service daily! The owners pride themselves on providing unique dishes using the finest ingredients only, and their coffee is legit, to say the least.
If food isn’t enough for you, the surrounding community and scenery is to die for! From beautiful plants, shrubs & greenery (some are for sale), to a diverse mini art walk, and a cool mini crafts market, the vibes of this area are just 10/10.
Stopping here is honestly my number one recommendation because it’s such a hidden gem in Fort Lauderdale! There are even a couple other restaurants to try if you just want a different type of cuisine.
If you want a more traditional way of having a good time, visiting this performing art center will do the trick.
The center provides consumers with quality entertainment at a decent price. There is a constant rotation of events going on at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts with some of the upcoming events including The Beach Boys, The Bee Gees, and Gold Coast Jazz.
Each event has its own set price, but there are discount prices for students and teachers available. In order to visit the center, you must wear a mask & show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test.
If you got a sweet tooth Yo Mama’s Ice Cream will do the trick. After all, many people consider Yo Mama’s Ice Cream to be the best ice cream in Fort Lauderdale, and all the hype is well deserved especially because all of the ice cream is spun in house!
At Yo Mama’s Ice Cream shop, they specialize in create your own sundaes, hand spun milkshakes and homemade waffle cones.
If you have a savory tooth, this is still the place to be because they offer a variety of gourmet popcorn options to choose from. Yo Mama’s Ice Cream also has prime location as it is found only five minutes away from Fort Lauderdale Beach and less than half a mile away from the famous Bonnet House.
The Black Rock Bar & Grill provides consumers with an experience like no other. This is definitely a spot for carnivores to delight, although there are plenty of yummy salads to choose from as well.
Black Rock is known for their sizzling experience, as you get to cook your choice of premium meat to your liking. This is done at the table by using a volcanic black rock that is heated up to 755 degrees, to cook your meet to order.
Being able to cook your own meal on this unique surface will ensure that you have a pleasant and memorable experience for sure, just be careful not to burn yourself!
Joe Picassos is a cute ceramic and pottery shop that offers pottery, painting, and mosaic classes. They also have BYOB canvas painting sessions, clay sculpting, or paint a wine glass sessions available as well.
This is another fun for all ages event because you can bring the kids along, and have them paint premade pottery pieces, while you sip and paint on your own canvas.
You can book Joe’s to host your own private event or check out their event calendar to register in advance for one of their classes. Pricing do vary depending on which activity you would like to do, however, there is a $12 deposit fee when booking online, which goes towards your overall purchase.
Now, this is the attraction of all attractions! Constantly growing and changing, the Sawgrass Mall has well over 350+ stores to choose from.
Sawgrass is the largest single store outlet mall in the United States and has a store for every buyer. From discount stores to top-notch luxury, you will find a variety of options here.
Sawgrass Mall even has a movie theater where you can stop and watch a new flick, or you can make a stop at Gameroom to have childlike fun while playing arcade games. With more than a dozen restaurants to choose from plus two food courts, it will be hard to go hungry during your next shopping trip.
Located near Fort Lauderdale Beach and being one of the water taxis 10 Fort Lauderdale stops, the Galleria Mall is a classic when visiting Fort Lauderdale.
The perfect place to do a little retail therapy, there is a store in the mall to fit every desire. From Macy’s, Express Men, PacSun, the Apple Store and Michael Kors, you might want to go with a budget, because it’s very easy to drop a stack while here too!
You will also get to take in local art found throughout the mall through murals and unique art sculptures. With several decent dining options to choose from, I would head to one of the restaurants found on the outskirts of the mall, instead of using the traditional mall food court.
The Funky Buddha Brewery was created in 2010 and has been bringing the funk ever since! This brewery is famous for creating the Maple Bacon Coffee Porter back in 2011 which took the internet by storm.
You can tour the brewery or go for a drink and try one of the on tap beers with more than 25 different options. Visiting the Funky Buddha Brewery is sure to be filled with good vibes, which can continue even at home because Funky Buddha can also be found in stores!
You can take a look at their product locator to find their hard seltzers, Vibin’ Lager, or even the famous Maple Bacon Coffee Porter near you.
This is a unique gaming bar that is bound to leave an impressive impression on you. This tavern has weekly events like Thursday night Karaoke from 7:30 PM until midnight, Friday night Magic the Gathering Drafts, and Happy Hour Monday through Friday from 5 to 7 PM.
There are a bunch of old gaming devices like a GameCube, and a Nintendo 64. If you are a gamer or just looking for a cool dive bar to check out, the 10th Level Tavern is a great place to try.
It is also surrounded by a bunch of other restaurants, so you could always take a walk around the area to find an appetizing bit to eat.
Imagine Wal-Mart with amusement park rides & a massive arcade room in the center of it all, and this is exactly what you can expect to find at the Swap Shop.
There are tons and tons of different vendors selling items like gold chains, tasers, sage, clothing and so much more! A perfect spot to bargain for the best price as some vendors are willing to barter with you.
The Swap Shop also has a formidable drive-in movie theater that shows both old and new movies after dark. With an affordable price of $7 per person, this would be a comfortable spot to watch a new movie as a date night or family activity.
Unique Things to do in Fort Launderdale – Museums
We all love learning a bit about the area we are in, so check out some of these fascinating museums found throughout Ft. Lauderdale.
If you have an appreciation for old-school cars, taking a trip to the Dauer’s Museum of Classic Cars is necessary! This museum has over fifty-five classic cars that debuted between 1899 and 2020. Each vehicle is in pristine condition and most transports you back in time to see the transformation of automobiles over the years.
There is an array of car models available including Rolls Royce, Cadillac, and Jeep just to name a few, which all help to show a part of America’s beautiful history.
The Museum offers self-guided tours which cost $20 per adult, and $10 for children ages 4 to 14, & they also offer VIP tours that are $35 per person and require a minimum purchase of two tickets to enter. Since 2001, Dauer’s Museum of Classic Cars has worked hard to bring you back in time to a simpler era filled with vintage cars & progressive culture.
Located in the heart of Downtown Fort Lauderdale, the Museum of Science & Discovery is a fan favorite for local Floridians.
This museum is kid friendly as there are plenty of interactive displays and programs to keep the children entertained. From learning about the three R’s, to communicating with animals, this museum does not disappoint. There are a variety of different events and programs happening at the museum like Camp Discovery, which is a S.A.F.E. STEM Camp, or Blast Off which is a traveling exhibit that makes you feel like you are in space.
If none of these programs tickle your fancy, simply stop by the museum to visit their IMAX theater, where they have an ever-changing list of movies being shown. Admission prices for nonmembers is $24 for adults & teens, $19 for children ages 2-12, and $22 for seniors 65+.
If you are looking to get in for free, stop by on February 5th, which is the museum’s free entrance day, or buy a Brightline ticket, and get in free until the end of February 2022.
If you do not mind taking a 10-minute stroll or hopping on a Lime or Bird e-scooter to zoom through the five blocks, you can certainly stop by the Nova Southeastern University Art Museum right after/before the Museum of Science & Discovery.
If you would rather view the museum’s collection from a distance, the museum does have an awesome virtual tour feature, where you can browse through a few different exhibits from the comfort of your phone!
The exhibitions on display are constantly changing, so each visit can feel like the first time if you play your cards right.
If you stop by on the first Thursday of the month, you gain access to the museum free of charge, otherwise it will cost $12 for adults & teenagers, $8 for seniors and military, and $5 for students with a valid ID. Children under the age of twelve, and NSU Museum members have free admission.
Not to be confused with the Stonewall Riots in New York in 1969, the Stonewall National Museum and Archives (SNMA) is one of the largest private collections of American LGBTQ culture and history in the United States.
SNMA prides itself on being a safe and welcoming environment with a mission to preserve and share the history of the LGBTQ community and its impact on America.
The SNMA is a non-profit organization that allows you to use their library and view their exhibitions free of charge. This museum is open Monday through Friday from 11AM until 5 PM, and on Saturdays from 11 AM until 3 PM.
The Bonnet House Museum & Gardens sits on thirty-five acres of beachfront property that brings you back to America circa 20th century. The Bonnet House was a wedding gift to Frederic and Evelyn Bartlett, from Fred’s father, Hugh Taylor Birch, and has something for every traveler’s delight.
This museum is has a plethora of history, beautiful art, breathtaking horticulture, and wildlife galore. When visiting this historic house, you may take a self-guided or a guided tour.
If you opt to take the self-guided route it will cost $20 per adult, & $8 for children between the ages of 6-17, while selecting a guided tour will cost you $25 per adult & $10 for children ages 6-16. All ticket sales are final and non-refundable, so be sure to book accordingly.
And there you have it, the top thirty things to do while in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This list can really go on and on, but thirty different things is a nice start. With so much to do throughout the city, this list could go on for an eternity. If you’ve ever been to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, what was your favorite place to visit?
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