The city of Fort Lauderdale is full of excitement and entertainment for all ages. While visiting the sunshine state to attend the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, take some time to check out these local Fort Lauderdale excursions.
Shop & Dine on Las Olas Boulevard
You can’t go wrong with an afternoon spent strolling down Fort Lauderdale’s renowned forefront, Las Olas Boulevard. This eclectic shopping and dining district hosts over 120 retail shops, unique art galleries, delicious eateries and luxury apartments, condominiums and mega-mansions. You can spend an entire day leisurely walking down the 2.5-mile boulevard, stopping at the many coffee shops, ice creameries and lively bars along the way. There are plenty of luxury boutiques to window shop or pick out a new outfit to hit the town later that evening. If you follow the road far enough east, your feet will hit the sands of Fort Lauderdale Beach, a bustling locale that offers plenty of beachfront bars, restaurants and beautiful waterfront resorts.
Explore the Speakeasy Scene
These hidden hideaways are the perfect escape from downtown’s classic shoulder-to-shoulder bar scene. They showcase curated menus of carefully crafted cocktails, visually appealing culinary delights and an intimate vibe that takes you back to the Roaring ‘20s.
Unit B: Located above The Brass Tap in Flagler Village, Unit B requires a special four-digit pin to enter at the nondescript doorway that leads up a dim staircase into an intimate, classy and comfortable atmosphere. Unit B is open Tuesday-Thursday 7 pm-1 am and Friday-Saturday 7 pm-2 am.
Rm. 901: A reservation at Rm. 901 is not one you want to forget to make. Located in the Hyatt Centric Las Olas, this eclectic and unique speakeasy showcases a mix of oriental rugs, a wooden bar with velvet barstools and a cozy atmosphere with interactive bartenders that curate expert cocktails to your liking. You’ll enjoy a vibe without the crowd with your private bartender and a total of six guests. Rm. 901 is open Thursday-Sunday at 5 pm, 7:15 pm, and 9:30 pm.
Bodega Taqueria Y Tequila: Doubling as a fast-service taco joint, Bodega Taqueria Y Tequila is cleverly split into a “business in the front, party in the back” style layout. You’ll notice the casual taco truck serving authentic Mexican street food and garage-style picnic table seating when you walk in. The speakeasy is located behind a discrete door that leads you into an intimate yet swanky bar area with endless tequila options, plush red velvet sofas and chic décor. The lounge is open Sunday-Wednesday 6 pm-12 am, Thursday 6 pm-1 am and Friday-Saturday 6 pm- 3 am with daily happy hour from 6 pm- 8 pm.
Apothecary 330: Located in the Historic District of Fort Lauderdale, Apothecary 330 is an intimate cocktail bar that uses high-quality elixirs, syrups and infusions to create one-of-a-kind cocktails. The exposed brick walls and crank phones take you back in time as you admire the ornate décor and furnishings. The master mixologists can create anything you desire from their library of liquors. Located in the back of Pizza Craft, Apothecary 330 is open Thursday-Friday 5 pm-12 am, Saturday 11 am -12 am, Sunday 11 am-11 pm, Tuesday 5 pm-10 pm and Wednesday 5 pm-11 pm.
Sidecar Speakeasy II: Wine enthusiasts will fall in love with Vinos on Las Olas, a fine wine and craft beer bar that offers a relaxed atmosphere in the middle of the bustling Las Olas Boulevard. The hidden gem is right around the corner behind an unmarked door. Once you enter the code, you’ll be greeted by friendly bartenders, a stunning bar housing plenty of liquor and hear the sounds of classic 1920s melodies. Sidecar Speakeasy II is open Sunday-Thursday 7 pm- 1 am and Friday-Saturday 6 pm-1 am.
No Man’s Land: Situated in Fort Lauderdale’s charming Victoria Park neighborhood, No Man’s Land is a sultry and sophisticated hideout serving classic cocktails surrounded by chandeliers, gold curtains and dramatic cerulean booths. Their small plates are impressive that perfectly compliment their delectable libations. No Man’s Land is open Sunday-Wednesday 5 pm- 12 am and Thursday-Saturday 5 pm-2 am with cocktail hour Monday-Friday 5 pm-7 pm.
Mama Hank’s: Far from the typical Roaring ‘20s-style décor and offerings, Mama Hank’s features a unique Americana theme with illustrations of buffalo, red, white and blue undertones and steak entrees complimented by an impressive whiskey menu. Located in Chops + Hops, Mama Hank’s is open for reservations Thursday 5 pm-12 am and Friday and Saturday 5 pm- 2 am.
Take to the Water in Style
There are plenty of unique ways to tour the waters surrounding the city in style. After all, you’re in Fort Lauderdale, a city known for its beautiful beaches and boating canals. Here are a few fun and interactive ways to float along the Intracoastal and New River.
Water Taxi: The Water Taxi is “more than just a boat ride.” Offering 11 stops between Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood, the Water Taxi allows you to sit back, relax and enjoy a drink as your expert guide fills you in on all things Fort Lauderdale. This is an excellent excursion for couples, families or just a group of friends to hop from one restaurant to the next. The taxis run from stop to stop, and you are free to hop on and off to be whisked away to the following location. Boarding is first come, first serve and if you have purchased a ticket in advance, you will have preferred boarding. Purchase your tickets online at watertaxi.com
Jungle Queen Riverboat: World famous since 1935, a cruise aboard the Jungle Queen Riverboat is a must-do while visiting Fort Lauderdale. The unparalleled hospitality onboard has maintained the Jungle Queen’s impressive reputation for over 80 years. The main section of the tour near the New River offers front-row views of the mesmerizing homes on Millionaire’s Row, a stretch of mega-mansions that dot the Intracoastal. Your expert guides will make your trip informative and memorable, feeding you knowledge about noteworthy landmarks along the way. The riverboat comes fully equipped with wine, beer and liquor so you can sip on your favorite cocktail along the way. The Jungle Queen also offers an Island Dinner and Show Cruise, where you will arrive at their private tropical isle to enjoy an all-you-can-eat Barbeque dinner and live entertainment.
Peruse the Local Galleries and Museums
NSU Art Museum: Located on Las Olas Boulevard in the heart of Fort Lauderdale’s art district, the NSU Art Museum houses over 6,000 works, including collections by leading Latin American artists and American painter William Glackens. The building contains 25,000 square feet of exhibition space, a bookstore and a café. You can spend hours admiring the broad-ranging collection of unique art with exciting activities for children.
Bonnet House Museum & Gardens: Built in 1920, Bonnet House was created by American artist Frederic Clay Bartlett. He and his second wife, Evelyn Fortune Lilly, turned the property into what it is today, an ornate and eclectic assortment of decorative elements, artwork and beautiful gardens. It focuses on preserving the art, history and nature surrounding the estate; the gardens house five distinct ecosystems. Visiting the Bonnet House is a serene escape from the usual Fort Lauderdale hotspots.