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

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 Beehive for restaurants Inheritance, led 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 full of waterways, there are plenty of options for getting out on the waves: The Local gondola ($35 per person for hop-on hop-off access) makes 11 stops, from Shooters waterfront restaurant to Los Olas Boulevard. For a more private experience, rent your own electric gondola tour, or spring for a boat rental on Sailo or get my boat: For a two to three hour sail, choose one that stays in the canals and intra-coastal 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, circular house decadent donuts from the cafe, non-alcoholic bar by Karma Kava elixirs and hookah, and Chick’nCone for crispy chicken served in a waffle cone. A few steps away is Sistrunk Marketfood hall, patios, cooking classes and distillery tours.

And it wouldn’t be Fort Lauderdale without a taste of its party scene: Lona Cocina Tequilerialocated inside the seafront Westin Fort Lauderdaleis a favorite for ocean views, a $5 margarita happy hour special, 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 properties The Four Seasons Hotel and Residences That’s exactly it: the 189-room spot has taken the Fort Lauderdale hotel scene to the next 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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