Fort Lauderdale, Broward County’s thriving metropolis, offers exquisite dining, a plethora of attractions and an overall eclectic feel perfect for a weekend getaway. From diner comfort food to exotic cuisine, dining out in Fort Lauderdale will virtually guarantee a full and filling experience. Enjoy a scenic drive up to Fort Lauderdale and a no shortage of places to play when you arrive. Lodging in Fort Lauderdale is abundant, to say the least. The choices range from bargain-friendly to beachfront luxury, with plenty of options in between. No matter how you stay, be sure to play outside at this gorgeous weekend getaway destination.
Less than 30 miles away from Miami, getting to Fort Lauderdale is quick, and the different route options make it super convenient as well. Take I-95 to Fort Lauderdale for roughly 27 miles to exit at 27 Broward Boulevard/FL-842. I-95 is one of the busiest and most frequented thoroughfares for local commuting as well as for leisure travel. With the exception of week-day, rush-hour traffic, a drive to Fort Lauderdale is a cinch. As an alternative option, take Route 1 north to Federal Highway and Fort Lauderdale for roughly 23 miles. If you can get to Biscayne Boulevard in Miami, you can get to Fort Lauderdale on a scenic in-city drive. For added convenience, there’s a vast supply of eateries, shopping centers, pharmacies, gas stations and even grocery stores to fulfill any need you many encounter during the drive.
Stop Along The Way
ArtsPark at Young Circle
One Young Circle
Hollywood, FL 33020
This park is easily accessible, located on Hollywood Boulevard and U.S. 1, offering excellent entertainment space for a variety of performances. It features a 2,500-seated outdoor theater, a large stage measuring at 60 feet by 40 feet and full lighting and sound equipment. Families may enjoy a fun day outdoors at the park’s full playground, in any part of the wide-open park space, and at the Millennium Springs, a fully interactive water display. For art enthusiasts, the Visual Arts Pavilion is a fantastic space for intriguing art displays, including an art gallery and live art demonstrations.
Once You Arrive
Hugh Taylor Birch State Park
3109 E. Sunrise Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
Prices: $6 per vehicle up to eight people/$4 single-occupant vehicle or motorcycle/$2 general park access
Fort Lauderdale Beach is adjoined to the park, providing direct access to an incredible day out. For an afternoon of fishing, there are several public areas available, and park goers may fish along the intracostal waterway seawall. Private concessions are available at the park for kayaking rentals; the park itself provides canoeing rentals. Trails for biking, hiking and inline skating are also available on the park grounds.
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Mai-Kai Polynesian Restaurant
3599 N. Federal Hwy.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309
This highly popular Polynesian restaurant offers a flavor vacation to the South Pacific. Its authentic menu includes regional favorites such as the pupu platter, Thai red curry, and sweet and sour pork and chicken. The live Polynesian shows are choreographed by the restaurant’s owner, reflective of her yearly visits to the South Pacific. There’s also a gift shop onsite so guests may take a piece of the Mai-Kai experience home with them.
Commercial Point Café
3601 W. Commercial Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309
Commercial Point’s unassuming menu and casual atmosphere are a welcomed treat in a city full of upscale dining spots. It offers classics including pancakes, omelets, hearty sandwiches, fresh salads and wraps, offering nutritious, flavorful foods using the freshest ingredients available. Open weekdays for breakfast and lunch from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., hungry customers find satisfaction in flavorful selections and ample portions.
The Atlantic Resort and Spa
601 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd.
FortLauderdale, FL 33304
Price: from $220 per night
This beachfront property encompasses the beauty of the Fort Lauderdale coastline. It’s conveniently located on the coast of Fort Lauderdale, just a few miles from downtown. Enjoy five-star accommodations and superior amenities, including tablets in each room, 24-hour room service, private balconies with ocean views and plush pillow-top bedding. Spa Atlantic, the hotel’s on-site spa facility, is an experience in relaxation in wellness that is incomparable, with first-rate services including facials, massages, spray tanning and a full-service salon.
Art Bar Nightclub
300 S.W. 1st Ave.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
If you’re looking for an energetic and vivacious party scene, Art Bar surpasses the competition. This multi-room nightclub provides a DJ in each room, each playing a different set of musical genres. Unique art pieces adorn the walls, enriching the colorful appeal defining the club’s name. One of Art Bar’s main bars is double-sided: patrons may buy drinks from the walk up window on the street.
Related: Best Outdoor Bars In South Florida
100 S.W. 3rd Ave.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312
This nightclub and event space is famous locally for outstanding live performances. Explore several levels, including a main level, VIP mezzanine and balconies. Its music options include jazz, rock, and hip-hop. Concert goers may use the club’s website to view its full events calendar, and even purchase tickets online. Inside the club is a full bar with a solid selection of beer on tap for the non-cocktail crowd.
For nearly 20 years, Shawanda James has been actively involved in creative writing in Miami, Florida. In addition to her work as a freelance writer, she is actively seeking publication for her debut novel and collection of poetry. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.