I still vividly remember my family trip to Fort
Lauderdale about 10 years ago: it was just before
easter and the city was crammed full with
American students on their spring break. The
beaches were crowded, the streets were
overflowing with drunken students having a good
time and I doubt there were any hotel vacancies
a drunken student fell off a balcony and killed
himself, the good people of Fort Lauderdale
decided they'd had enough. Hotels refused to
accept bookings from students, the police would
cracked down on even the smallest misdemeanours
and Ocean Drive A1A was turned into a one-way
street (going north) to prevent cruising. Spring
Breakers took the hint and most of them decamped
to Daytona Beach. Then a considerable amount of
money was spent on beautifying the beach and the
place has turned into a rather nice upmarket
resort - one of the nicest in Florida.
TIP: there are
no direct flights from Britain to Ft. Lauderdale
at the moment. If you see a flight advertised to
Miami at £290 and one to Ft. Lauderdale for
£420, don't take the more expensive option! It
is bound to involve a stopover somewhere (e.g.
Atlanta). Instead fly to Miami, where you can get
the Tri-Rail from the airport to Ft. Lauderdale
(and on to Palm Beach) for only about $5. The
journey to Ft. Lauderdale takes about 30 minutes.
telephone area code is 954.
Lodgings: (back to
are some beautiful upmarket and expensive hotels
on or near the 17th Street Causeway with pools,
tropical gardens, tennis courts, fitness centres
etc. Recommended are:
Amerisuites (1851 SE 10th Avenue Tel:
Bahia Mar Beach
Resort (801 Seabreeze Blvd. Tel: 764 2233)
Hotel (1881 SE 17th Street Tel: 463 4000)
Lago-Mar Resort (1700 South Ocean Lane
Tel: 523 6511)
Highly recommended by many guides.
Secluded, perfect for a relaxing holiday. Has
private beach and several pools.
They are all over
$200 a night, but look for special offers and
reasonably-priced hotels are located one or two
blocks from the beach, which has the advantage of
being much quieter and some of them are family
run. They are located in Bayshore Drive and the
Birch Road area. Some offer special weekly or
monthly rates and have efficiencies (a small,
one-room apartment) and one-bedroom apartments.
Coral Marquis (4011 North Ocean Blvd.
Tel: 563 0600)
Recently renovated with a heated pool.
Inexpensive. The AAA awards it three diamonds.
The Pillars -
Waterfront (111 N Birch Road Tel: 467 9634)
2 blocks from the beach recently rennovated and
well-kept. Many satisfied holidaymakers are
coming back year after year.
St. Tropez Resort (725 North Atlantic Avenue
Tel: 564 8468)
Perfect location, right on the beach. A bit
noisy, however, from traffic the A1A. Recommeded
by the Frommers 99 guide.
Three Suns Inn (3016 Windamar Street Tel:
Family-run resort, has special weekly &
monthly rates. Very close to the beach.
Tropi Rock (2900 Belmar Street Tel:
Unusual place, much different to normal motels,
due to its decorations, which the owners call
"Latin fusion". Numerous facilities
including fitness room, two tennis courts,
barbeque grills and of course pool. Highly
recommended; a friend would not stay anywhere
else but here. (P.S. We were just informed
that the Broward edition of the New Times
declared this place as the best resort motel.
See also the
Superior Small Lodgings listings for Fort Lauderdale, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea and Pompano Beach.
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Cafe (1 East Commercial Blvd. Tel: 776
Very popular with the local residents. Central
location, right on the beach. Good salads,
sandwiches and seafood. Moderately priced.
Olas (East Las Olas Blvd. Tel: 463 1000)
Local media praise this place, which was
opened four years ago. New world cuisine, very
expensive. (N.B. There are at least another
30 great restaurants in this street.)
Smokeys (1970 Sawgrass Mills Circle Tel:
A nickname for Elisa Caplan Hight, the boss of
this best barbeque restaurant in S Florida. Mrs
Smokeys claims that her secret is her special
sauces. Who are we to dispute this?
O'Hara Pub (722 E Las Olas Blvd. Tel:
Lively music, very popular and crowded most of
the time. Food is inexpensive but good.
Sunfish Grill (2771 East Atlantic Blvd.
Tel: 788 2434)
Constantly one of the most outstanding seafood
restaurants in Broward County. Menu changes
frequently, depending on the fresh catch.
Galleria Mall Very posh
with some first-class department stores. Smallish
food court. The only mall in Fort Lauderdale.
Nearby malls: Broward Mall, Fashion Mall, Pompano Mall and, not to be forgotten,
Swap Shop (3291 West Sunrise Blvd.
Tel: 791 7927)
A place that has to be seen to be believed.
Houses numerous shopping stalls with an
incredible range of goods; the biggest drive-in
cinema in the world (plus 12 others!), a circus;
aligator wrestling and more. We were not that
impressed, but one million people visit every
month. Maybe we are too picky.
(participating): (back to top)
for water sports are too numerous to mention
here, check local listings. Recommended for
fishing is Pompano Pier, the longest pier in S
Sports (watching): (back to
or two major American basball or football teams
have winter camps in the area before their season
starts. It is interesting to watch top sportsmen
training and playing in practice matches. You can
also see the premier basketball, ice hockey,
baseball and American football in nearby Miami.
See our Miami Sports section.
Miami Fusion (Major League
Soccer) (Lockhart Stadium, 5300 NW 12th
Avenue, Fort Lauderdale Tel: 928 1584)
Plays March to October in the top American
football division. Chance to see world-class
players past their prime.
Swimming Hall of Fame (501 Seabreeze Blvd. Tel:
Houses one of the first Olympic-size swimming
pools in Florida. Another was added recently.
Many famous swimmers have practiced there (and
some still do) and there are occasional
inter-college U.S. Championships held there.
There is also a lovely swimming museum on site.
More Links: (back to
NY Times Article Great article about Ft.
New Times Broward Palm
Beach Just as great as the Miami
Fort Lauderdale Area Guide Very good directory
Fort Lauderdale Beach Cram-packed site with lots
of good info
Fort Lauderdale Visitors