Greater Fort Lauderdale knows a thing or two about boating — and it shows. This year, the city that’s aptly known as the Venice of America for its 165 miles of waterways will host the 63rd annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) from October 26 to 30.
FLIBS is the largest in-water boat show in the world and draws more than 100,000 attendees every year who spend the five-day event exploring everything from luxury yachts and fishing boats to marine accessories and equipment across seven different show locations.
Beyond the event itself, visitors can enjoy waterfront dining, take a stroll down Las Olas Boulevard, book an oceanfront stay at one of the top hotels Fort Lauderdale has to offer, and so much more. Here’s everything you need to know about this year’s show and how to make the most out of your visit to Greater Fort Lauderdale.
Attending The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show: This year’s event highlights
During FLIBS, nautical know-it-alls and novices alike will have a boatload of fun exploring more than 1,300 vessels lining multiple marinas across nearly 90 acres of showcasing space.
Start the day off at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, where you’ll not only find marine accessories and equipment on display, but you can also see them in action. The AquaZone experience is complete with a 40,000-gallon freshwater pool where you can watch demos from exhibitors like Torqeedo, SEABOB, and Zapata Fly Boards.
SuperYacht Village at Pier Sixty-Six South will be your next stop right across from the 17th Street Causeway bridge. Here, you’ll discover not only the most luxurious superyachts at the show, but you’ll also be able to view a collection of exotic vehicles on display.
Heading northeast up the New River, you’ll find Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show exhibitors and food and beverage vendors spread out between the Bahia Mar Yachting Center and the Las Olas Marina. (Pro tip: Wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off since most boat owners will ask you to remove them before stepping on board to explore the vessel.)
Purchase a VIP ticket, and you’ll also gain access to the Windward VIP Club—the ideal place to escape the heat with air conditioning, a premium open bar, and gourmet bites.
Where to park and how to get around
While there are plenty of Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show parking options near each show location, anticipate there being heavy traffic and limited space. The Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center has more than 3,000 available spots where FLIBS attendees can park for $20 per day.
From there, the show offers a complimentary shuttle service that travels between show locations—or if you prefer to take the waterways (it is a boat show, after all!), the Water Taxi also runs between marinas for $15 per day or $65 for all five days.
Where to stay
After a long day of scouting out your dream boat, retreat to one of the top hotels Fort Lauderdale has to offer. From resort to boutique properties, the city is teeming with luxury accommodations, such as the iconic Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach and the Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Fort Lauderdale, that are within close proximity to the event. Check out this list of FLIBS affiliated hotels that offer attendees a discounted rate.
South Florida things to do
Beyond boating, Greater Fort Lauderdale abounds with outdoor activities, from exploring Hugh Taylor Birch State Park to sunning on 24 miles of beaches. One thing Greater Fort Lauderdale does particularly well is waterfront dining.
Dock and dine on the patio facing the Intracoastal Waterway at Shooters or Boatyard, where a marina slip is as easy to come by as an open parking spot. Beloved beachside restaurants Fort Lauderdale locals and visitors both frequent include the Japanese-Korean-fusion sushi bar at Takato and the newly reopened DUNE by Laurent Tourondel. Las Olas Boulevard is also lined with trendy eateries, galleries, coffee shops, and ice creameries. But, make a reservation in advance since restaurants tend to book up fast.
Times and ticket pricing
The show starts at 10 a.m. and ends at 7 p.m. daily, except for on Wednesday when the event kicks off at noon and on Sunday when the weekend wraps at 6 p.m. General admission tickets start at $39 per person per day and VIP packages start at $300 per person per day.
FLIBS and Greater Fort Lauderdale look forward to welcoming Everyone Under The Sun! Don’t miss the boat—purchase your tickets here.