Greater Fort Lauderdale is more than just a hotspot bursting with activities and places that everyone under the sun can enjoy. We’re also proud to be home to some pretty impressive recognitions and accolades. Here are five standout superlatives that make Greater Fort Lauderdale a must-visit destination:
Fort Lauderdale is known as the Venice of AmericaBack to Top of List
More than 300 navigable miles of water wind their way throughout the city of Fort Lauderdale, so it’s no wonder that it has people thinking of Venice’s Grand Canal. The Intracoastal, canals, and the New River lend itself to plenty of water fun.
Cruisin’ Tikis offers you and your friends the opportunity to ride on a floating tiki bar, fit with music and drinks. The Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi comes in a variation of sizes, but they’ll all take you down the New River and the Intracoastal to 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar & Grill in Hollywood Beach and back.
A classic experience on the water is the Jungle Queen, which has taken guests for daytime and dinner cruises with plenty of entertainment since 1935. Finally, taking a nod from our Venetian friends, there are gondola rides you can rent for a romantic evening out. Pro Tip: Launch from Casa Sensei, and you can bring along drinks and sushi.
Our Blue Wave-Certified BeachesBack to Top of List
Greater Fort Lauderdale boasts 24 miles of pristine, sandy beaches that attract countless beach lovers each year. Six beaches in Greater Fort Lauderdale—Fort Lauderdale Beach, Hollywood Beach, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Dania Beach, and Lauderdale-By-The-Sea—have earned the Blue Wave certification from the Clean Beaches Coalition.
This honor recognizes the municipalities of these beaches for their commitment to environmental care, including leaving no trace, preserving the dunes, promoting safety, endorsing healthy seafood, providing educational opportunities, and respecting the ocean.
Regular beach clean-ups are conducted throughout the year in Greater Fort Lauderdale, and during sea turtle season, the lights are kept amber to ensure that hatchlings find their way to the ocean instead of the street.
The Butterfly Capital of the World is in Coconut CreekBack to Top of List
That’s right, thanks to butterfly lover Ronald Boender, we have the privilege of this title because of Butterfly World’s contribution to saving species of butterflies. The three-acre park includes three butterfly aviaries, two aviaries for tropical birds, a bug house, and a working butterfly farm and research center. Growing up fascinated with butterflies, Boender moved to Florida in 1968 and started a commercial butterfly farm in 1984 that produced 1,000 butterfly pupae every week. This all led to the opening of Butterfly World in 1988 and the launch of the “Bring Back the Butterflies” campaign. The center is credited with helping save the Schaus Swallowtail. Pro Tip: During your visit, wear bright colors and stand still to attract the butterflies.
Fort Lauderdale is the Yachting Capital of the WorldBack to Top of List
Not only is the region known for its lengthy waterways but also the vessels that ride through them. Greater Fort Lauderdale hosts more than 45,000 registered personal vessels, many of which are yachts, including superyachts. These impressive crafts can often be spotted on Millionaire’s Row along the Intracoastal, requiring a captain and full staff, much like the neighboring mansions.
Unsurprisingly, the premier event of the year is the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) each fall. The show draws more than 100,000 attendees and generates $1.79 billion. This multi-day celebration of the maritime industry displays over 1,300 boats and gear from more than 1,000 brands.
For more than 50 years, the Winterfest Boat Parade has marked the pinnacle of the holiday season. Residents and visitors of Greater Fort Lauderdale flock to the New River to watch boats of all sizes decked out according to the year’s theme navigate the aquatic parade route.
Sawgrass Mills is the Largest Single-Story Outlet Mall in the USABack to Top of List
A visit to Greater Fort Lauderdale isn't complete without a trip to Sawgrass Mills in Sunrise. With more than two million square feet of retail space and over 350 stores and restaurants, even the most seasoned shoppers might be overwhelmed. No matter your interest, whether it's tech, fashion, home goods, makeup, or culinary arts, Sawgrass Mills has something for you.
Shoppers can find a range of stores, from Adidas, Tory Burch, and Coach to Dick’s Sporting Goods, Rebag, and Nordstrom Rack. For those in search of high-end fashion, The Colonnade Outlets features luxury brands like Gucci, Balmain, David Yurman, Prada, and Versace.
The mall is also perfect for out-of-towners as it includes a post office and luggage storage as part of the shopping experience. And for those who need a place to rest, the AC Hotel Fort Lauderdale Sawgrass Mills/Sunrise is just steps away.