Fort Lauderdale, Florida is where you will find 23 miles of palm-fringed Florida shoreline from Hollywood / Hallandale Beach in the south to Deerfield Beach in the north.
Summer is hot, hot, hot. The breeze from the Atlantic slightly helps to cool the air, but the humidity is enough to keep you indoors. This is a great time of year for water sports, as the water temperature is rather balmy. Winter in Ft. Lauderdale is perfect.
Miles of Lagoons and
waterways make Fort Lauderdale one of the most popular areas on Florida’s Gold
Coast. Getting around Fort Lauderdale is half the fun: One of the city's main
thoroughfares is the New River, where you can hop on a water bus or taxi and
take in the sights. This South Florida city's extensive system of waterways and
a reputation for gracious living have made it one of the country's largest
yachting centers. Restaurants and bars overlook the canals, and several of the
city's special events, including a winter holiday boat parade that draws local,
national and international celebrities, revolve around boating and the water.
Major redevelopment in the
1990s left Fort Lauderdale with an abundance of excellent museums, art
galleries, restaurants, hotels, and chic sidewalk cafes. An elegant beachfront
promenade attracts upscale vacationers from all over the world. Once known
strictly as a tourism-based economy, Fort Lauderdale now supports a diverse
range of industries, including marine, manufacturing, finance, insurance, real
estate, high technology, avionics/aerospace, film and television production.
Incorporated on March 27,
1911, the City of Fort Lauderdale is situated on the southeast coast of Florida,
centrally located between Miami and Palm Beach. Encompassing more than 33 square
miles with a population of nearly 167,000, Fort Lauderdale is the largest of
Broward County's 30 municipalities and the seventh largest city in Florida. It
is strategically located along a stretch of wide, white-sand beach.
Several nearby coastal
communities make up Greater Fort Lauderdale. To the north are Pompano Beach
(where sport fishing is a favored pastime), Lauderdale-by-the-Sea (a small
seaside oasis) and Deerfield Beach (virtually untouched by beach erosion). To
the south are Port Everglades (the country's second-busiest port, frequented by
top cruise lines), Dania Beach (known for its antiques), Hallandale Beach (a
seaside community formerly home to retirees but now popular with younger folks,
as well) and Hollywood (its Boardwalk parallels the ocean).
Las Olas Boulevard, which
follows the New River as it flows toward the Atlantic Ocean, is Fort
Lauderdale's upscale shopping and dining district. If you are a history buff,
the restored Victorian home of city founder Frank Stranahan, now a museum, can
easily be included in a boulevard stroll. The picturesque Riverwalk serves as
the cornerstone of the City's arts, science, cultural and historic district.
At the far west end of the
boulevard is Las Olas Riverfront, an entertainment and retail complex. Getting
around Fort Lauderdale is part of the sightseeing experience: Water taxis ferry
passengers between hotels, restaurants, theaters and nightclubs until midnight.
At night, the twinkling lights along the canals make the rides quite romantic.
Though most of Florida's professional teams are based in Miami-Dade County,
South Florida is home to the NFL's Miami Dolphins, MLB's champion Florida
Marlins and the NBA's Miami Heat. The NHL's Florida Panthers play in nearby
Sunrise. In spring, South Florida is a mecca for baseball teams: Fort Lauderdale
hosts the Baltimore Orioles, and a neighbor to the north, Jupiter, is the
temporary home of the St. Louis Cardinals and Montreal Expos.
Some of the less traditional
shopping areas, frequented mostly by locals, are of great interest to the
visiting treasure hunter. Antique buffs may want to head to Dania Beach's
Antique Row with its dozens of shops within a few blocks along Highway 1.
Bargain shoppers will enjoy Pompano Beach's Festival Flea Market which houses
more than 650 vendors, an arcade and a farmers market, and the Swap Shop, the
state's largest indoor/outdoor flea market. Sawgrass Mills is a vast, totally
enclosed, climate controlled shopping city. This super sized outlet mall is so
large that it is marked off inside with street signs. There is never a slow day
at Sawgrass Mills.
Fort Lauderdale retains a
fun-loving, beach town atmosphere, but it also offers activities ranging from
contemporary art exhibits to Major League Soccer games. At the heart of the
city's cultural life is the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, which hosts
operas, ballets, theater productions, symphony concerts and other performances
by both local and touring companies.
Fort Lauderdale offers an
outstanding quality of life, highlighted by a semi-tropical climate, rich
natural beauty and array of cultural, entertainment and educational amenities.
Embraced by the Atlantic Ocean, New River and a myriad of scenic inland
waterways, Fort Lauderdale truly lives up to its designation as the "Venice of
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