First Impression: Gorgeous golden beaches with aquamarine waters, scenic sunsets and magnificent moonlights, great adventures, year-round sunshine and near ideal climate. It’s a rich tapestry woven with history, culture, sizzling nightlife, unlimited on- and off-water adventures, professional sports, entertainment complexes, arts, theaters, excursions, museums and garden, and a quaint trolley for sightseeing. Shopping, dining and nightlife on Las Olas Blvd. are a can’t-miss.
Location: In the center of South Florida's Gold Coast, midway between Palm Beach and Miami, the Greater Fort Lauderdale area stretches from Deerfield Beach and Pompano in the north to Hollywood and Hallandale Beach in the south. Sprawling across 1,200 square miles on the western edge, including 505,600 acres of Everglades and 23 miles of beach, the region is home to 30 cities and 1.8 million residents. It’s closely knit with Hollywood and Miami, which is just 26 miles away, and close to several outlying areas, like Orlando, which is only 211 miles away.
Weather: Average daily high/low temperatures run 59/78 degrees F (Fahrenheit) in January and 73/9 0F in July, with average annual precipitation running 61.6 inches. It can get much hotter in the summer months, but cool offshore breezes can temper high heat indexes, making sunscreen an absolute must in this sub-tropical South Florida destination, especially on the water or on the beaches.
Transportation: In the heart of Greater Fort Lauderdale, the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport is just three miles from hotels, attractions, the beaches, Broward County Convention Center and Port Everglades. There are numerous cabs, shuttle busses, private cars and limos. A 67-mile commuter Tri-Rail line links Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties, with free shuttles to the airport also available. There’s also public buses that serve 410 square miles with 40 routes, a Broward County bike-sharing system, water taxis and a Sun Trolley covering routes downtown and along the beach. Renting a car is the best and most cost-effective way to see the greater areas.
Local Flavor: Fort Lauderdale offers numerous culinary options for every palate, with some of the most famous areas for superior cuisine being Pompano Beach, Las Olas Boulevard, Melrose Park, Chula Vista Isles and Palm Aire Village. Enjoy a casual chic dining experience with more than 4,000 restaurants and some world-renowned chefs, ranging from intimate cafes to alfresco waterfront dining spots to quaint bistros, ethnic eateries, contemporary establishments with international flair, and world-renowned steak and straight-from-the-sea seafood houses. The only thing better than the food may be the views.
Nightlife: Feel the pulse of Greater Fort Lauderdale’s thriving, vibrant and eclectic nightlife, including nightclubs, extravagant shows and interactive entertainment options. Laugh it up at a comedy club, sip and socialize at a wine or jazz bar, catch the game with buddies at sports bars, grab your hats and boots for a western shindig, feel the passion of a Latin-inspired establishment or dance the night away at contemporary clubs with heart-pumping music and VIP areas where celebrity-spotting is not uncommon.
Retail Therapy: Get your fix at numerous trendy and chic boutiques, with some of the hottest off-the-runway fashions and one-of-a-kind items, as well famous hotspots like Galleria Mall, Las Olas Boulevard, Swap Shop, Festival Flea Market Mall, Citi Centre and Sawgrass Mills, North America’s largest outlet mall with more than 400 retailers, full service-restaurants, entertainment venues and the most sought-after luxury outlets. Shopping, dining and nightlife on Las Olas Blvd. are a must.
Lady Luck: long before the spring breakers, the Tequesta and Seminole Indian tribes settled the area long ago. Greater Fort Lauderdale is a sure bet for gamers, with casino venues ranging from Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino, MardiGras Greyhound Race Track & Casino and The Isle Casino & Racing at Pompano Park, as well as three Seminole Indian casinos. Greater Fort Lauderdale has become one of the top tropical destinations to ante up. Try your hand at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino or the Seminole Hollywood Casino in Hollywood.
Historical Landmarks: Among the many historical and cultural riches, history buffs are drawn to Port Everglades, Stranahan House, Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop, Bonnet House Estate, the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, Old Dillard Museum, the International Swimming Hall of Fame and Museum or the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum
Sport Lauderdale: Watch or play, Greater Fort Lauderdale is a sports lover’s paradise and close to all the action. Get your sports fix with the MLB’s Miami Marlins, NBA’s Miami Heat, NFL’s Miami Dolphins an NASL’s Fort Lauderdale Strikers. The Greater Fort Lauderdale is also teeming with water-sports adventures, like scuba diving, jet skiing, parasailing, surfing, snorkeling and sport fishing. There’s also world-class golf at more than 50 area golf courses offering the full country-club experience, as well as public links for any skill level, plus live harness racing at Isle Casino Racing at Pompano Park, which includes 1,500 Vegas style slots, poker room, electronic blackjack, four restaurants, multi-story feature bar, high-tech sports bar and a wagering area overlooking the track.
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