Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)

Fort Lauderdale became a favorite destination for spring breakers in the 1930s, and this reputation was solidified by the 1960 classic, Where the Boys Are. But over the past couple of decades, college students began flocking to other beach cities like Daytona and Panama City. Today, Fort Lauderdale, named after Major William Lauderdale who commanded a series of forts during the Seminole Wars, is known for attracting an older, more discerning crowd.

If you ask native Floridians, the sun-soaked beaches near Fort Lauderdale are some of the best in the state. Deerfield Beach, Hillsboro Beach and Pompano Beach are all just a short drive from downtown. Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, which boasts a natural coral reef just yards offshore, is a haven for snorkelers. Take a fishing excursion on the Miss Bonita 2 Sport Fishing Charter that takes 3 trips a day to deep-sea fish. When you get back, try any one of Fort Lauderdale's amazing fresh seafood restaurants.

The Riverwalk Arts and Entertainment District offers visitors a hub of activities, with the Broward Center for Performing Art and the Museum of Art. Fort Lauderdale is nestled among an assortment of restaurants, shops and parks. For the quintessential Fort Lauderdale experience, stroll down one of its oldest and most storied thoroughfares, Las Olas Boulevard. It’s been a favorite spot for residents since 1917 and is enjoying a new heyday with its collection of quaint boutiques, bistros of every kind, galleries, nightclubs, cafés — and few chains.

Caribbean and Artistic Escapes

Fort Lauderdale is a major gateway to the Caribbean. From its busy port, Port Everglades, you can embark to some of the tropics’ most popular destinations including St. Lucia, Barbados, St. John, Antigua and Panama. And if you’re only in town for a short time, you can still take a quick, 2-day jaunt to Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas.

Soak up the sun and sand of the Caribbean. Explore St. Maarten and Grand Cayman Island for more beach getaways.

For more information about other Florida destinations, visit our Florida Featured Locations page