Florida is a great place to visit nearly any time of year with its warm weather, plentiful beaches and abundant theme parks. 

My family has enjoyed Fort Lauderdale, just north of Miami on the Atlantic Ocean side, which offers water fun, shopping and family-friendly activities. When it comes to things to do in Fort Lauderdale, there’s no shortage.

Here’s my family’s top 7.

7 Beach-tastic Things to Do in Fort Lauderdale

 1. Relax at the Beach

Ft Lauderdale Hollywood beach

You can’t just go to Florida without allowing for plenty of beach time. Where else can you soak up the sun nearly any time of year?

The Fort Lauderdale area offers 23 miles of beaches, which include surrounding communities, like Hollywood and Dania.

We’ve stayed in Hollywood at both the Diplomat Resort & Spa and  Margaritaville Hollywood, and we give both two thumbs up with excellent dining, family activities, pools and beaches.

Plus, its waters stay warm year-round thanks to the Gulf Stream.

2. Walk Along the Beachfront Promenade

Fort Lauderdale beachfront promenade

As any good beach should have, there’s a lovely beachfront walk in Fort Lauderdale called the “promenade” that is equally as great for keeping an eye out for dolphins as it is for people-watching.

Known for its “wave wall” and brick-lined path, the Fort Lauderdale Beachfront Promenade takes you past, shops, restaurants, cafes and more. Renting a bicycle is a fun way to explore this pathway that runs along the ocean.

3. Visit Butterfly World

Butterfly stock

If you’re traveling with kids, you’ll want to be sure to stop at Butterfly World, the world’s largest butterfly park.

There, you can walk among 20,000 live butterflies, as well as see exotic birds. What’s more magical than watching butterflies all around you?

Here are even more fantastic things to do in Fort Lauderdale for families from Alamo’s Scenic Route blog.

4. Shop Las Olas Boulevard

Las Olas Boulevard

If you want to get in a little shopping during your time in Fort Lauderdale, look no further than the elegant Las Olas Boulevard

The mile-long Las Olas Boulevard is peppered with restaurants, boutiques, sidewalk cafes and art galleries and is beautifully lined with palm trees.

There you’ll find everything from furniture to shoes to toys. It rises above the Intracoastal Waterway and offers views of expensive yachts and amazing homes. 

5. Snorkel or Scuba Dive

Did you know that greater Fort Lauderdale has nearly 70 miles of natural coral reef just offshore? And it has the biggest collection of warm-water shipwrecks in the Western world.

That makes it an AMAZING spot for snorkeling or scuba diving

There’s also a reef within about a five-minute swim from shore in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea and Hollywood, and many shipwrecks a bit further. So grab your snorkel and scuba gear for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure just off the coast of Fort Lauderdale.

6. Walk the Broadwalk in Hollywood

Hollywood Broadwalk Florida

One of my family’s favorite things to do in Fort Lauderdale is to walk the 2 ½-mile Hollywood Broadwalk (their version of a “boardwalk”).

It’s a great way to burn some calories after dinner as the sun sets and check the many parks, shops and people along the way. Plus, there’s a free live weekly music series and a dolphin fountain where kids love to cool off in the summer heat. 

7. Hike the Everglades

Florida Everglades

Visit Everglades Holiday Park for the opportunity to see alligators, take an airboat tour, fish, ride bikes and more. It’s your chance to step into Florida’s famous Everglades!

You can’t miss with a trip to Fort Lauderdale whether it’s a spring break getaway, a summer vacation or a chance to escape winter’s grasp. For more travel inspiration, be sure to check out Alamo’s Scenic Route

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  • Lyn Mettler

    Lyn Mettler is a longtime travel writer for US News & World Report, USA Today 10Best and The TODAY Show who created Families Fly Free, a program which teaches families her simple system to use travel rewards to fly for free.

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