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12 Things To Do The Next Time You're In Fort Lauderdale
Life & Travel

12 Things To Do The Next Time You're In Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale is a South Florida city known for its many beautiful beaches and the 300 miles of canal ways that garnered it the "Venice of America." And whether you're into nightlife, arts and culture, the beach, or the food scene, there are things in Fort Lauderdale to do for everyone. From attractions to restaurants to activities, here is a list of things to do the next time you find yourself in Fort Lauderdale.


Water Taxi

Fort Lauderdale got its nickname as the "Venice of America" due to the 300 miles of beautiful Intracoastal Waterway running inland through the city. The Water Taxi is a perfect way to take the scenic route of exploring the city. You can experience the main attractions and even bar and/or restaurant hop while spending all day on the waterways. An all-day pass ($35) allows you to hop on and off of Water Taxis all day, allowing you to visit the different shops and restaurants that make up the city's Hollywood Broadwalk with ease.

In addition to the Water Taxi, you can opt to experience the different waterways, as well as the iconic Millionaires' Row, via yacht, paddleboard, or even by gondola for an authentically Venice-esque type vibe as you sightsee.

Rocco's Tacos & Tequila Bar

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Get a taste of the spirit of Mexico with the help of a Fort Lauderdale dining staple, Rocco’s Tacos & Tequila Bar. Happy hour starts at 4 and lasts until 7 daily, but Rocco's also hosts lively fiestas by way of Bottomless Brunch weekends and Taco & Tequila Tuesdays. The latter allows you to sample different tequilas through their collection of more than 300 tequilas. Taco Tuesdays also allow you to take advantage of their all-you-can-eat tacos special. Aside from stellar tacos, their menu boasts authentic Mexican cuisine like tableside guacamole, elotes, molcajetes, enchiladas, birria tacos, and more.

Archibald's Village Bakery

o have one of the best cinnamon rolls you've ever tasted, stop by the local and tourist favorite Archibald's Village Bakery. The award-winning bakery also has a full coffee menu and was recently crowned #3 in Yelp's Top 100 US Restaurants 2023. You can eat your coffee and food on their patio or go and enjoy them on the Fort Lauderdale Beach, which is conveniently steps away from the cafe.

From their Morning Glory Loaf to breakfast wraps to their lemon-glazed blueberry scones and a chocolate chip cookie that could rival your favorites, a visit here, while you're in Fort Lauderdale is a must.

NSU Art Museum

"Hooray for Hollywood" in the "Picturing Fame" exhibition at NSU Art Museum

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One thing about me is I will find an excuse to go to an art museum, and the NSU Art Museum just so happens to be the one in Fort Lauderdale. It feels like a great way to get a bit of art and culture into what sometimes feels like a food-heavy vacation (I'm not complaining, though!). With over 6,000 art pieces, the works I zeroed in on were from the "Picturing Fame" exhibition and from the Haitian artists that were featured, whose stories of struggle, freedom, and revolution could be felt in the artwork they crafted. This included artists Gérard Fortuné, Roland Dorcely, and Robert Saint-Brice and their collective exhibition titled "Cosmic Mirrors."

I was also partial to the works of Kathia St. Claire featured in the exhibition "Immaterial Being." I loved her use of using linoleum panels to create quilt-like backgrounds that would act as the textured canvas for her paintings. It's a signature technique of the artist that you fall for just as you do her work.

Kathia St. Hilaire, "Our Only Guide to Justice"

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Fort Lauderdale Beach

Fort Lauderdale has at least ten wonderful beaches to choose from when deciding to embark on a beach day. The turquoise waters, tall palm trees, and white sand are just three of the reasons to indulge in Fort Lauderdale beaches. Fort Lauderdale Beach has that in the form of four miles of magnificent coastline and is considered one of Florida's best beaches. It's everything that is beautiful, and because of its shallow waters, water activities like swimming, snorkeling, fishing, and diving are popping there.

With the pulse of the city as the beach's backdrop, you can take a break from the sun and heat by getting lost in shopping, cafes, and other forms of entertainment that are conveniently located near the beach.

Pompano Beach

Possibly even more visually breathtaking is Pompano Beach, a beach that has steadily topped best beaches of Fort Lauderdale to visit lists. Named for the prominence of pompano tropical game fish found there, the Pompano Beach has golden shores and is located between the Hillsboro and Fort Lauderdale beaches. The water is warm, and the ocean looks clear, making it a perfect location for water activities like scuba diving, fishing charters, snorkeling, kayaking, jet skiing, kitesurfing, paddleboarding, and more. If you want to take a break from the water, you can also get lost in a discovery of a series of art installations at Shipwreck Park.

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park 

Located across 180 acres along Fort Lauderdale Beach is the city's central park, Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. The forest acts as a lush oasis where nature lovers can get their hike on through nature trails. They can also rent pedal boats, kayaks, paddle boards, and canoes. There, people can fish and enjoy other recreational endeavors through biking, jet skis, and more.

Rivertail

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The Wahoo Crudo at Rivertail

Breakwater Hospitality Group

Voted Miami New Times' "Best Restaurant Fort Lauderdale 2020," Rivertail is a chic casual seafood restaurant that offers bold and spectacular flavors through creative dishes. Located on the waterfront, Rivertail serves dishes that are inspired by oyster bars, fish houses, and fine dining restaurants across the globe. Passionfruit Ceviche, Crab Donuts, Mussels Maria, the Seafood Roll, the Snapper, and Wahoo Crudo are just some of the restaurant's mouthwatering creations that stand out and keep diners coming back for more. When looking for the best seafood in Fort Lauderdale, look no further than Rivertail.

Glitch Bar

Any excuse to tap into your inner child and play games while you drink is an excuse with my name on it. The Glitch Bar in Fort Lauderdale is a popular arcade bar located in the MASS District of the city. With an entry fee that is the cost of a drink, Glitch Bar offers free play on pinball and old-school arcade games like the beloved Donkey Kong and Pac-Man. They also have weekend DJs and host trivia nights.

Tufting House

Color outside of the lines with a rug tufting experience to remember. Rug tufting has been rising in popularity thanks to the wonderful world of TikTok, and at Tufting House, I was able to learn a new skill and expand my creativity in a major way. Among other services and private classes, Tufting House also offers a custom rug tufting opportunity where you can create your own mini rug to sketch, tuft, and take home. You can go as a group or even make a date or solo date for yourself. I would have never thought to spend a few hours firmly tufting my rug creation, but it's a therapeutic creative outlet I'll never forget.

Sistrunk Marketplace

With diverse cuisine options that would pique any foodie's interest, Sistrunk Marketplace is a culinary hub that can satisfy any palette. Sistrunk Marketplace is a one-part food hall, one-part brewery, one-part marketplace, and all parts a spot you must hit up if you're in Fort Lauderdale. Among the wide array of different food options the food dining hall offers, the restaurants include authentic Italian food by way of Mari's Kitchen Italian Market, vegan and Hawaiian poke by way of Poke OG, southern food by way of Nellie's Southern Table, and even Korean food by way of Perillas Korean Kitchen.

The Sistrunk Marketplace is also home to the brewery Dream State and the on-site microbrewery provides craft ales, and beers that are imported as well as local.

W Fort Lauderdale

The entrance to the AWAY Spa at the W Fort Lauderdale

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With the tranquil respite of their AWAY Spa, the sparkling pool with its transparent walls, and an overall nod to luxury, the W Fort Lauderdale hotel has to be a stop on your list while in Fort Lauderdale one way or another. Spend a day or two getting acquainted with their amenities, book that 50-minute Go Deep massage, lay out in the sun or shade while lounging by the pool, and bask in the oceanfront views of Fort Lauderdale Beach.

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Featured image by JGI/Daniel Grill/Getty Images

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