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Plan Your Trip to Fort Lauderdale: Best of Fort Lauderdale Tourism

Explore Fort Lauderdale

Despite its mostly after-hours draw for Spring Breakers and party-goers, Fort Lauderdale has a lot to offer before happy hour: miles of golden beaches, rare coral reefs, and a culture all its own. Thanks to the canals that connect the city, its other rep as the “Venice of America' means you can kayak, paddleboard, and even ride a gondola to get around. There’s lots of great stuff by land, too: picnic in Hugh Taylor Birch State Park (Fort Lauderdale’s own Central Park), grab some sand at LGBTQ+-friendly Sebastian Street Beach, or check out the 1920’s artists’ home-turned-museum Bonnet House & Gardens. By sundown, head toward the hum of Las Olas Boulevard for dinner, drinks, and dancing—we’ve got travellers’ favourite spots and even more recs below.

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Essential Fort Lauderdale

Where the cocktails are: A nightlife guide to Fort Lauderdale

Going out in Fort Lauderdale has been a national rite of passage ever since the city earned its beer-soaked title as the Spring Break Capital of the World in the 1980s. But I can assure you it’s not all wet T-shirt contests and drunken frat parties anymore. Fort Lauderdale has morphed into a world-class nightlife destination with everything from speakeasy cocktail bars to underwater burlesque. So grab a drink and get ready for a great night out.
  • Elbo Room
    There isn’t a plaque announcing this is the town's oldest bar. It opened sometime in the late 1930s, and the sticky, beer-soaked floors are rumored to have never been mopped since (which only adds to the charm). It’s one of the last holdouts on Fort Lauderdale Beach to preserve that rowdy spring break vibe of yesteryear.keeping the music turned all the way up, the beers cold, and the sandy, sunburned crowds hitting the dance floor.
  • The Wreck Bar
    Whoever told you mermaids don’t exist clearly has never visited B Ocean Resort’s Wreck Bar, a dark kitschy lounge that takes its design cues from shipwrecked Spanish Galleons of the 16th century. There are giant aquariums and tiki-inspired cocktails, but the main draw are the large porthole windows behind the bar that peer into the hotel’s pool where a pod of coquettish mermaids and hunky “aquamen” perform underwater burlesque shows multiple nights a week.
  • Riverside Market
    Refrigerators boasting the largest selection of beer in town line the perimeter of this cosy little neighbourhood joint in Sailboat Bend. Pluck a cold one, pop the bottle cap with one of the many openers dangling from the wooden posts, and head to your table where you’ll easily lose hours of time. The chill, laid back atmosphere has launched many meandering conversations with friends. The pizza, burgers, and bar snacks can easily extend a quiet night out into a last-call affair.
  • Georgie's Alibi Monkey Bar
    When it opened in 1997, Georgie’s Alibi Monkey Bar was the first gay bar in Wilton Manors, which is now considered the “second gayest” city in the country after Provincetown. More than 25 years later, the landmark bar remains an integral piece of the gayborhood’s LGBT identity. The dance floor's the place to be when the music’s turned all the way up and the lights are dialled way down low. Don’t miss the flirty cast of emerging and veteran drag queens who perform every Friday night.
  • Rhythm & Vine
    Choose-your-own-adventure at Rhythm & Vine: Early evenings are for oversized Jenga and Connect Four on the outdoor patio; arrive later, and the space transforms into an intimate club with a live DJ playing high-tempo tunes. The interior design is an IG-worthy fever dream of mismatched furniture, rainbow-coloured string lights, and kaleidoscopic wallpaper. The vintage Airstream outside serves craft cocktails, draft beers, and Chido tequila seltzers in something called a “bird bong,” a pink flamingo lawn ornament that’s been curiously rigged to double as a funnel.
  • Blue Jean Blues
    Step inside this dark, twinkly lit lounge for live blues and jazz every night of the week. Bands playing soulful genres from Caribbean jazz to bluesy rock to R&B take command from the raised stage in the back. Tables for foot-tapping, finger-snapping patrons line the walls. Bookings are suggested for those coveted seats, but it’s usually not hard to scout a stool at the bar. After a few tracks and refilled drink orders, the area in front of the stage magically transforms into a shimmying dance floor.
  • Pizza Craft
    The scent of fresh dough tempts patrons inside Pizza Craft Pizzeria, while an intriguing neon “cocktails” sign on a side door lures some even further into a sophisticated, speakeasy-style lounge with dark red walls and plush leather banquettes. Knowledgeable bartenders craft cocktails from an extensive liquor list, which features hundreds of whiskey, bourbon, and rye varieties. Old-fashioned aficionados can opt to build their own tableside with their choice spirits, garnishes, and smoke infusions.