6 Gem's To Explore In Fort Lauderdale!
One thing that I love about Fort Lauderdale is that there is so much to explore and discover. The city is full of grand parties and the best beaches in the world.
However, I want you to come on a ride with me to recognize real Fort Lauderdale and what it has to offer. Whether it's an ice cream shops, grabing a cold one from the beach place or simply visiting the local spots, there are many hidden gem's scattered all around the city.
Since many of them are hard to find, unless you are specifically looking for them, I've made a list of top 5 spots for you to visit before you leave our city of sunshine 🙂
Places to Go - Things to Do
I moved to Fort Lauderdale back in 2004 and I consider this place my second and permanent home. I love the vibe, the people oh! and the sunny beaches of course, but there is a lot more to see. Let's start with my favorite place that serves alcoholic beverages, activities to keep you in shape and has a chill spot to relax with friends or family just right across the street from the beach.
If you are an outdoor person and looking for fun activities with our family or friends this is the spot for you! It's an oasis in the tropical paradise.
Hugh Taylor Birch was a Chicago attorney that was looking for a winter house in the 19th century. You could say that he was the first snowbird in Fort Lauderdale. Back in the day it was more than a village, meaning there was a handful of houses and stores but other then that it was a tropical land full of palm trees and Iguanas.
Ocean front properties went for $1 per acre. Yeah! How crazy is that?! Therefore, Mr. Birch ended up owning a 3 mile stretch of the beachfront property. He built a house and called it "Terramar" and in 1941 the State of Florida obtained the title of the house and today it's known as the Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. He passed away in 1943 leaving us the perfect spot to make memories with our friends and family and enjoy some fresh air.
Hugh Taylor Birch State Park is located on the east side of Sunrise Blvd. Keep in mind that the parking will cost you $6 dollars per car but once you are in the park and you see all the activities they offer, you will never want to leave.
Activities they offer:
- Wildlife Viewing
- Canoeing & Kayaking
- Hiking Trail
It depends on how much time you spend doing the activities that will determine your cost at the end. The best part is that you can relax after working out and grab a drink at their local cafe. Since this is considered a park, there are picnic tables where you can bring your own food and enjoy the scenery.
You can plan your whole day at the park from 8am to sundown. Once you are done hanging at the park, there is an underground tunnel that leads you back to the beach. You don't even have to deal with traffic and trust me: A1A traffic is 24/7.
Las Olas is an expensive strip that has high end restaurants, shops and galleries. I love Las Olas because this is the spot where you could truly enjoy delicious food. It really depends on when you visit Fort Lauderdale because Las Olas is known for thorwing fun street festivals such as the Wine and Food Festival that happens in April and Art Fairs that are scheduled in June. Las Olas never sleeps!
Las Olas Blvd stretches from the beaches at A1A over the Intercostal Waterway. Before you get to the restaurants and galleries, you go through the neighborhood of million dollar houses and spectacular yachts. It is the heart and soul of Fort Lauderdale.
Places to Eat:
If you want to step out in the city and party it up while you are on vacation, SW 2nd street or Himmarshee street is the place to go. This is where the night life of Fort Lauderdale begins.
From rooftop restaurants to night clubs, downtown Fort Lauderdale is the place to hangout. Unlike Las Olas, you see more younger generation partying here. Each bar has live music or a DJ that's playing the set, either way party starts and ends in Himmarshee st. Here are some of my favorite clubs and bars where you can find me and my girlfriends hanging out.
Keep in mind that bars and clubs close at 2am.
Places to Hangout:
These are three of my favorite places to hangout. Downtown Fort Lauderdale bars are right next to each other and that makes it easier to bar hop without having to drive. Once you make it to the strip it's all up to you where you want to spend your time and money.
Cheers is a spot where you want to go home at 4 in the morning. It's a local sports bar that is known all around Fort Lauderdale. I used to be an server before I started blogging and I can honestly say that it was my best year. I loved hanging out with the locals and meeting new people.
If you enjoy live music, karaoke and amazing food, this is the spot for you. The owner Shawn Chase started out as a bartender and later became an owner of Cheers East while his brother owns Cheers west. It doesn't matter which part of town you are in, you'll always have Cheers to serve you the coldest of beers and the best food in town.
When it comes to Cheers and their service, the employees are on point. Shawn did an amazing job training the ladies and gents to make sure everyone is served and ready to have a great night. When you sit at the bar you won't see an empty glass. Bartenders take extra care of their local patrons as well as of the new customers.
While you eat and drink, their live music is off the charts. You got rock bands, country singers, and even hip hop Dj's rocking out the Cheers stage. If you enjoy pool or darts they have pool tournaments, ladies night specials, beer buckets and much more. It opens at 4pm and goes until 4am. I think you will have enough time to drink and party while you are vacationing.
Let's step away from the bar scene and let's step back into the nature scene. Jungle Queen is a more than a boat ride, it's an experience. The riverboat cruises started in 1935 by Al Starts and consisted of sightseeing tours throughout the "Venice of America".
Today it's considered a sightseeing, dinner and show cruise. It's a lot of fun when you get on the boat. I've been on it about five times and every time it's a different experience.
It starts it's venture from the Bahia Mar Yachting Center on A1A. The boarding starts about 45 minutes prior to departure. Once you are on the boat, you start going through Millionaire's Row where home prices start at 4 million dollars and up.
After the Millionaire Mile you arrive at the tropical isle where you are treated with All-You-Can-Eat Dinner (baby back ribs, chicken, shrimp and more. Live entertainment starts during dinner and a fun variety of shows continues after dinner. Take a tour of the tropical isle while you are there - it's worth it!
The Bonnet House is a historic home located on Birch Road in Fort Lauderdale. Chicago born artist Frederic Clay Bartlett owned the house in 1920. The Bonnet House Museum & Garden tells the story of the family that were first snowbirds to purchase the huge oceanfront land.
It is a nonprofit organization that simply wants to preserve the unique historic estate and it's wildlife. It's a museum you should definetly visit before you leave Fort Lauderdale. The unique styles and architecture is mesmerizing.
They are open Tuesday - Sunday from 9am to 4pm. Admission for adults are $20 and for students (ages6-12) $16 and Children are FREE.
I hope your stay in Fort Lauderdale will be memorable. These are few of my favorite places to hangout and spend some time with friends and family and I know you will too!