The best things to do in Fort Lauderdale, from fine dining to yacht charter

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To experience Fort Lauderdale’s coolest restaurants by far (and fit in with some street art, rotating events, and local businesses), head to the Flagler Village development, The Hive, for Heritage Restaurant, run by Chef/Owner Rino Cerbone. The speakeasy-style location is a more unique take on Italian-inspired cuisine, with dishes on the menu including wagyu stuffed peppers, lemon and cream clams, whipped potato and cheddar cheese pizza and a fresh pistachio panna cotta.

A lifeguard tower in Fort Lauderdale Beach

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An aerial view of Fort Lauderdale

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Things to do in Fort Lauderdale

While you can get around Fort Lauderdale in your own car or carpool, it’s almost a crime to visit America’s yachting capital and not get out on a boat. Because Fort Lauderdale is so full of waterways, there are plenty of options for getting out on the waves: The local water taxi ($35 per person for hop-on hop-off access) makes 11 stops, running from the Shooters Restaurant at the water at Los Olas Boulevard. For a more private experience, hire your own electric gondola tour or opt for a boat rental on Sailo or Get My Boat: for a two- to three-hour cruise, choose one that stays in the canals and intracoastal waterway , where you’ll get a golden real estate tour. For a longer trip, head further south to Miami for crystal clear water and possible dolphin or manatee sightings. But you don’t need to venture outside of Fort Lauderdale for great swimming — the public beaches that line North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard are pristine and patrolled.

Back on land, head to the art galleries of Fort Flagler Village, decadent donuts at Circle House Cafe, elixirs and hookah at non-alcoholic bar Karma Kava, and Chick’nCone for crispy chicken served in a waffle cone. A short walk away is the food hall, patios, cooking classes and distillery tours of Sistrunk Market.

And it wouldn’t be Fort Lauderdale without a little taste of its party scene: Lona Cocina Tequileria, located inside the W Hotel’s waterfront, is a favorite for its ocean views, happy hour at $5 on the margarita and a legendary lobster quesadilla.

The lobby of Lago Mar in Fort Lauderdale

Courtesy of Lago Mar Resort & Club/©Keith Douglas

Where to sleep in Fort Lauderdale

It’s rare for a hotel to be a game-changer for a destination, but in a city of older-built properties, the Four Seasons Hotel and Residences is just that: the 189-room venue has taken Fort’s hotel scene to the next level. Lauderdale on the upper level. . Most rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the ocean, giving the effect of being on a cruise ship. In addition to its beachfront location, there’s a kids’ club, two pools, a cafe, and an upscale spa (rooms start at $795).

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