Last Updated on by Lohanna Reis
Fort Lauderdale has traditionally been known as a spring break haven due to its miles of white sand beaches and beach side clubs and bars.
However, if you take the time to wander away from the main tourist areas, you will find that there is a wide variety of things to do in Fort Lauderdale.
5 Great Outdoor Activities to do in the Fort Lauderdale
South Florida boasts temperatures of 76F during the day in the winter with nightly lows in the 50s. During the hottest month of August the average high is 91F and low is 73F . This means you can find plenty of outdoor things to do in Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding areas all year round.
1. Hit the Beach: Lauderdale-By-The-Sea
Head to the beach where the locals go. Instead of hitting the most popular beach, go a little further north to the end of Commercial Blvd. to the town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea.
With plenty of places to stay either on or across the street from the beach, this makes a good place to vacation, but without the crowds. You can find numerous laid back restaurants with outdoor seating within walking distance from the beach as well as small beach shops.
Another great beach just south of Ft. Lauderdale is Hollywood beach. Hollywood Beach has a boardwalk where you can find restaurants, shops, and lots of rollerbladers.
2. Outdoor Sports: Paddle Boarding, Kayaking, Snorkeling, Jet Skiing
Since the weather here makes it easy to do things outdoors year round, you will find an abundant amount of companies offering lessons and equipment rentals for outdoor gear. Here are just a few:
- EZride Surf School – Want to learn to surf? Take surfing lessons whether you are just a beginner or if you want to improve your moves. With several South Florida locations you will be able to find one near you.
- Sea Experience – Take a snorkeling or scuba diving trip. Don’t have your own equipment? Sea Experience will rent some to you. Not certified. Sea Experience also offers SCUBA lessons. They offer night dives too!
- Las Olas Paddle Boards, Bikes & Kayaks – This company offers 90 minute or full day rentals for paddle boards, kayaks, or tandem kayaks. Want to include a furry friend? Tandem or Trio paddle boards can be rented for 2 or 4 hours and can include room for a cooler. Another option is to rent a motor for your board or kayak if you want some speed. You can even rent a mini powerboat that fits up to 2 people.
- Ft. Lauderdale Watersports – View Ft. Lauderdale from up in the air. Enjoy this exhilarating experience while experiencing the serenity of the ocean from up above. If you are afraid of heights you can rent a jet ski instead and head out over the ocean. In town for a celebration? Book a sand bar boat party.
- Ft. Lauderdale Fishing Charters – If fishing is more of your thing take a chartered fishing trip. Trips include fishing licenses.
3. Cruise the Inter Coastal Waterway
Want a sneak peek into the lifestyles of the rich and famous? Take a tour of the Inter Coastal Waterway. Ft. Lauderdale offers many tours from day time sightseeing to dinner cruises. Or you can even charter a private yacht.
Tour guides will educate you on the elaborate mansions and tell you who lives where as you view extravagant homes.
- Jungle Queen Riverboats – The Jungle Queen offers several options for cruising the Inter Coastal. Departing at 6pm, enjoy a Tropical Isle Dinner & Show with your sightseeing. The cruise will show you the mansions along Millionaire’s Row. Then you will dine at a private island on All-You-Can-Eat BBQ while watching live entertainment. After that you will be treated to a variety show which includes magic, comedy, and music. If a 4 hour dinner excursion is too long, enjoy a 90 minute sightseeing tour either during the morning or in the afternoon.
- Las Olas Gondola Tours – If you are looking for romantic things to do in Fort Lauderdale, cruise the Venice of America in an authentic gondola. Choose from Night Light Romantic Cruises, Sunset Cruises, Full Moon Cruises, or a daytime cruise. The ride is 75 minutes long. Feel free to bring your own beverages and snacks. For an extra fee they will even insert your own romantic message into a bottle to “find” along the cruise! This makes a great way to propose!
- Carrie B. Cruises – Take a 90 minute tour in a climate controlled salon with tables, seating, and picture windows or go on top for some fresh air and sun. Carrie B. has food and beverages available for purchase plus a full bar.
- Ecoboats – Rent an electric boat to cruise the inter coastal or hire a captain to point out the sights and drive your private party. This private charter can hold up to 12 people.
4. Segway tour around Fort Lauderdale
Want to try something new? Try taking a Fort Lauderdale Segway tour. Instead of an ordinary walking tour of Ft. Lauderdale, get some exercise and learn a new skill by riding a Segway.
Your instructor will guide you on how to operate the Segway and will help you out if you have any difficulties. Then you will be off to learn about Ft. Lauderdale.
Options include either a 4 mile yacht & mansion tour or an 8 mile Venice of America tour which includes the Yachts and Mansions tour plus nature and wildlife areas. In addition to Segway tours Segway Fort Lauderdale also offers jet ski rentals and private pontoon boat adventures.
5. See the Everglades in Fort Lauderdale
- Everglades Holiday Park – Everglades Holiday Park offers airboat tours through the river of grass. Afterwards you will see a live alligator presentation. Your adventure also includes 1 group photo at the airboat dock as well as a group photo with a baby alligator. The park also offers opportunities for fishing, Animal Encounters, boat rentals, and bike trails.
- Sawgrass Recreation Park – Tour the Everglades while learning about this unique ecosystem. The park also offers primitive camping and fishing tours. Of course you will have to try some gator bites from their gourmet food truck.
3 Best Indoor Things to do in Fort Lauderdale
1. Watch a Hockey Game from Florida Panthers
Home of the Florida Panthers, Ft. Lauderdale provides the experience of watching live hockey. Located in the City of Sunrise in Western Fort Lauderdale, the BB&T Center is easy to get to from Fort Lauderdale via 595 and Sawgrass Expressway. This also makes a great place to see a concert.
Start off your evening at Sawgrass Mills Mall, located directly across from the BB&T Center. This International Mall boasts top fashion stores, quirky shops, and a wide range of restaurants where you can have dinner before the game. Tip: Leave your car parked here after dinner and walk across to the BB&T Center to avoid the high parking fee.
2. Participate in one of the many Escape Rooms in Fort Lauderdale
On a rainy day or just if you want to try something different, head for an escape room. You and your group solve puzzles and riddles, explore themed rooms, and try to solve mysteries to find your way out of the room within an hour.
Escape rooms are scattered all over the Ft. Lauderdale area with a myriad of themes to choose from. Usually groups consist of 6-8 people, but often they will pair you with another group if your group has less. You can often find discounts on Groupon.
- Think Escape Rooms – This place offers 4 choices of games with varying levels of difficulty for 2-8 players. An on site bar offers beers, wines, ciders, and non-alcoholic beverages.
- Cubo Escape Rooms – Cubo offers a choice of 3 escape options for 2-12 players. This facility also offers ax-throwing.
- Escapology – 7 choices of games to choose from including Murder on the Orient Express for those Agatha Christie fans.
3. Tour a Brewery as Something to Do in Fort Lauderdale
Whether you are touring the best pubs and bars around the world or just looking to get out of the heat, one of the best things to do in Fort Lauderdale is to check out a local brewery. Again, you will often find discounts through Groupon.
- Gulf Stream Brewing Company – Watch beer brewed on site while playing games and sipping beer in the taproom. Have some pizza to go with your local beer from the Pizzeria Magaddino on site.
- Invasive Species Brewing – This brewery focuses on brewing IPAs but also has sour beers, lagers, porters, and stout. The taproom holds a large collection of taxidermy so this provides a unique experience.
- Funky Buddha Brewery – Tour the brewery and taste some of their more than 25 beers. They also offer an eclectic menu from their kitchen including eggplant fries, beer braised bratwurst, and smoked salmon BLT.
- Orchestrated Minds Brewing – This brewery specializes in IPAs, Sours, and Stouts from locally sourced ingredients. Only open Thursday through Saturday. I included this as one of the co-founders is female and I want to support female owned business.
- Tarpon River Brewing – Located in an old horse barn, this facility holds a tap room, tasting room, brewery and kitchen. Stop by for a tasting and something from their beer-inspired menu.
- LauderAle Brewery – Located in the warehouse district near the airport, this brewery creates a wide range of beer from blondes to stouts. This facility is family and dog friendly serving food from local food trucks.
No matter what your passion, you will never run out of things to do in Fort Lauderdale. Come visit to see for yourself.
About the Author
Donna Emperador writes for Explore the Road with Donnamarie, a lifestyle blog focusing on travel, food, and creative cocktails. Donna believes in bringing people together by traveling and learning about different cultures while sharing good food and cocktails. Originally from New York, she has lived in South Florida for over 20 years and enjoys spending time exploring the road to find unique places to share with readers. When home, she enjoys creating recipes inspired by different cultures from across the globe and inventing new cocktails to share with friends. She can be found on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
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