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Beyond Miami: Things to do in Fort Lauderdale

Miami is one of the most popular holiday spots in the US, but head just 30-minutes north out of town and you’ll find the metropolitan city of Fort Lauderdale. Considered a destination in its own right, there are plenty of things to do in Fort Lauderdale, from lounging on its white sand beaches to exploring its lively beachside bars and restaurants.

Pack a picnic breakfast or some light snacks and spend the morning soaking up the sun (or shade, should you prefer), in the comfort of a beachside cabana. If you’re less organised, food and drink is easily accessible from a variety of nearby bars and restaurants.

Once you’ve had your fill of sand and sea, enjoy a relaxing lunch dining oceanside on the terrace at one of Fort Lauderdale’s most serene and romantic restaurants. Casablanca Café is an American piano bar and restaurant dishing up more than just a stellar ambiance with Mediterranean flair. The kitchen produces plates of prime beef and fresh seafood (our personal favourite being the petite filet mignon with gorgonzola sauce) while the bar mixes refreshing cocktails to perfection. Casablanca is also a great choice for an intimate date, special occasion or small group event.

Head down Las Olas Boulevard to explore streets lined with local restaurants, outdoor cafes, independent boutiques, gift shops and specialty stores. Las Olas is a popular local hangout seven days a week, and offers a multitude of festivals and street fairs throughout the year.

After working up an appetite with all that shopping, opt for a relaxing dinner at Market 17. The restaurant sources the majority of its ingredients from local farms and fisheries, allowing fresh flavours of the season to shine through each dish. The menu changes every few days, making the dining experience a little different on each visit.

There’s nothing like a boat trip at dusk, and Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi is the ultimate way to see the most of the city’s waterways in a pinch. Hop on at any of the 12 on-and-off stops until midnight seven days a week, for a one-off fee. Grab a cocktail at the popular 15th Street Fisheries, explore Riverfront nightlife downtown, and taste European craft beer at Briny Irish Pub. It’s the perfect ending to your Fort Lauderdale day trip.

Written by Kristin Clark

Image credits:

Fort Lauderdale Beach © iStock: ddmitr

Morning in Fort Lauderdale © iStock: Michael Warren

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