Enjoy a day of fun in the sun at eight distinct beaches in Greater Fort Lauderdale, spanning 24 miles. Meditate as you watch the sunrise on beautiful Deerfield Beach, Greater Fort Lauderdale’s cove-like beach with a fishing pier, sand volleyball courts and surf lessons. Hillsboro Beach boasts the brightest lighthouse on the East Coast with monthly tours through the Hillsboro Lighthouse Preservation Society. Heading south, enjoy Pompano Beach, a favorite spot for families with playgrounds, a fishing pier, dive shops and boat charters. Catch the Old Florida “beach village” vibe of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea’s half-mile hamlet and snorkel (no boat needed) from theshore along three-tiered reefs. Stroll, jog or bike along the Fort Lauderdale beachfront promenade, a charming cosmopolitan spot. Dania Beach is home to some of the least crowded stretches of shoreline, and a favorite for kayaking, swimming and picnicking. Hollywood is retro-cool and laid-back with a 2.5-mile Broadwalk that is ideal for walking, cycling (try a fun-cycle) and jogging. In Hallandale Beach, visitors can enjoy beautiful stretches of beach and exciting nightlife.
Greater Fort Lauderdale is a gateway to the Everglades and more. Enjoy some of Mother Earth’s most amazing wonders. Here’s a sampling: Climb (or take the elevator) to the observation tower or follow the boardwalk at Anne Kolb Nature Center at West Lake Park in Hollywood, a mangrove estuary and habitat for wading birds and other native wildlife. Snake Warrior’s Island in Miramar is a 53.3-acre nature preserve along the Great Florida Birding Trail. Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek offers a serene setting with picnic shelter, amphitheater and Royal Fern Hall. Deerfield Island Park, accessible only by boat, is a 53.3-acre nature-oriented park offering outdoor recreational activities and is open only on the weekends with free boat shuttle to the island. Central Broward Regional Park in Lauderhill is the only certified U.S. cricket stadium and is free on weekdays with soccer/football fields, netball, tennis, basketball and water playground. Tree Tops Park in Davie features 23 acres of nature trails. Enjoy free entrance to all county parks Monday through Friday.
Day or night in Greater Fort Lauderdale there’s something to do for everyone under the sun. Check the events calendar at visitlauderdale.com/events for news on many free events and happenings. Your Greater Fort Lauderdale experience can be as busy as you wish! And remember, window shopping is fabulous and free throughout the area, but save room in your suitcase for great bargains and finds at local boutiques and designer outlets.
Cheer on the runners at A1A Marathon in February along the beach; Free Yoga in the Park Saturday mornings at various parks in the City of Plantation, 9:30-10:30am (December-May); Free surfing lessons Saturday mornings from Island Water Sports, Deerfield Beach; Florida Panthers NHL Practice sessions, (October-April), Florida Panthers IceDen; Dream Car Classic in Hollywood first Sunday of the month, 10am-2pm; Supercar Saturdays, 2nd Saturday of the month at The Shops at Pembroke Gardens Cars @ThePointe third Sunday of the month in Dania Beach, 10am-2pm.
Sistrunk Marketplace, live music four nights a week, 5:30-11pm. Dancing Under the Stars with free concerts at Hollywood Beach Bandshell on the Hollywood Broadwalk, Wednesday-Sunday. Dance the Night Away at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Friday and Saturday. Friday Night Sound Waves free, local, live music series at Las Olas Oceanside Park, 6:30-9:30pm (March-July).
Photo: Eileen Escarda
Multiple communities come together to celebrate local creativity with food, drink, live music, street performances, interactive exhibitions and more. FATVillage, host the Fort Lauderdale Art Walk the last Saturday of the month (except December), 6-10pm; Downtown Hollywood Artwalk, third Saturday monthly, 5-10pm with a walking tour of the mural project and a collection of curated outdoor murals by local, national and international recognized artists. Keep an eye out for fascinating public art including Thrive, the colossal installation by Daniel Popper at the entrance of Society Las Olas apartments, 301 SW 1st Ave., Fort Lauderdale.
Marando Ranch, open daily except Wednesday, Davie; Green Market Pompano Beach, Saturday (November-April); Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop, flea market, daily; The Yellow Green Farmers Market, Hollywood, weekends; Lauderdale-By-The-Sea Farmers’ Market at El Prado Park, Sunday (December-May); Farmers Market | Florida fresh at The Shops at Pembroke Pines, Sunday; Las Olas Oceanside Park Farmer’s, Antique And Artisan Market, every Saturday.
Las Olas Art Fair, January, March, October, downtown Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale Air Show, May, Fort Lauderdale beach
Stonewall Pride, June, Wilton Manors
Wicked Manors, Halloween, Wilton Manors
Christmas on Las Olas, Las Olas Blvd, November
Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade, second Saturday in December, along the Intracoastal Waterway
Pompano Beach Holiday Boat Parade, second Friday in December
Hollywood Beach Candy Cane Parade, in December
All routes are now free on the City of Fort Lauderdale’s community shuttle, formerly known as Sun Trolley. You can also get a free ride across the New River in downtown Fort Lauderdale on the Riverwalk Water Trolley, daily 10am-10pm. Or catch a ride on the Circuit, a free electric shuttle in Fort Lauderdale, daily 11:30am-10pm, and in Hollywood, Sunday-Thursday 10am- 9pm, Friday-Saturday 10am-10pm.