Fort Lauderdale, Florida Information

Real Estate Agent with United Realty Group, Inc. BK641413

Fort Lauderdale, sometimes referred to as the "Venice of America" for its seemingly endless miles of waterways, is one of South Florida's hot spots.  It is also the county seat of Broward County - the heart of South Florida's Gold Coast. 

marinaOriginally attracting Spring Break college students by the droves (inspired by the 1960 movie Where the Boys Are), Fort Lauderdale has been attracting a more sophisticated and affluent population in recent decades.  For those that enjoy the boating lifestyle, Fort Lauderdale is a wonderful place to call home.  The extensive network of canals throughout the Greater Fort Lauderdale area lead to the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) which leads out to the Atlantic Ocean via inlets.  As I write this, the 47th Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (dubbed as "the world's largest boat show") is happening from October 26th-30th and features more than $1.6 billion worth of boats, yachts and boating related items, encompassing more than 3 million square feet of space (on land and in the water) and spanning six locations.


Without a doubt, if you enjoy the water, the Greater Fort Lauderdale area is the place to be.  Divers can even explore a living coral reef accessible from shore and attend the annual Ocean Fest Expo.  Fishing enthusiasts can visit the 60,000 square foot International Game Fish Association's Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum or take part in their events.  Several restaurants even offer dockside dining (Shooters Waterfront Cafe, 15th Street Fisheries, Shirttail Charlie's and more) as well as beachside dining (Casablanca Café, Shula's on the Beach and more).  Fort Lauderdale also offers a water bus service, operated by Water Taxi, which for $10 (as of this writing) offers unlimited rides all day!  You can also take sightseeing and dinner cruises.


The Greater Fort Lauderdale area experienced a considerable increase in property values in recent years as well as a boom in new construction.  Fort Lauderdale, in particular, has had many new luxury condo buildings constructed over the past five years, with many units purchased as second homes.  If you want to enjoy water views all year round, many Fort Lauderdale condos, townhouses and homes can be found along the Intracoastal Waterway and the many canals off the ICW.  Depending on where you purchase, you may be lucky enough to be along the annual Winterfest Boat Parade route and enjoy a 'front row seat' from your lawn or balcony!


Many visitors like to stroll Fort Lauderdale's Riverwalk (pictured above left) as it allows them to enjoy viewing the sailboats and yachts that glide along the New River.  Just off the western end of Riverwalk, the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (pictured on the right), located in Fort Lauderdale's Arts and Entertainment District, hosts Broadway style shows as well as concerts and ballet performances.  It offers a wonderful view of the "Sailboat Bend" along the New River. 


Other stops along Riverwalk include the Museum of Discovery and Science/Blockbuster IMAX Theater (a great place for kids and adults that are young at heart), the Old Fort Lauderdale Museum of History, the Las Olas Riverfront (an entertainment and retail complex, pictured on the left), and Stranahan House (the restored riverside home of Fort Lauderdale's founder). 


About mid-way down Riverwalk and around the corner from the Las Olas Riverfront center is the historic SW 2nd Street (also known as the Himmarshee Street Entertainment District, pictured on the right) where you can enjoy dining in outdoor cafes in a laid-back atmosphere by day.  The area comes alive on Friday and Saturday nights due to it's many restaurants and bars which regularly feature live bands and some have dance floors.


Just past the eastern end of Riverwalk and Stranahan House (pictured on the left) is the very popular and fashionable Las Olas Boulevard, an area full of tree-lined streets with dozens of boutiques, art galleries, restaurants and even horse-drawn carriages!  This district is also home to the well-attended Las Olas Art Fair and Christmas on Las Olas events.  If you're in the mood to shop, you can also check out The Galleria mall, which recently underwent an extensive renovation.  This upscale shopping center is located in Fort Lauderdale's Coral Ridge area.


 Cultural attractions in the Greater Fort Lauderdale area are many and include the annual Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, the Museum of Art which was the proud host of the King Tut exhibit earlier this year (one of only two stops in the U.S.), the Florida Grand Opera, the Fort Lauderdale Children's Theater, the Fiesta Fort Lauderdale (with performances by Latin jazz bands), and much more.  People from near and far come for Fort Lauderdale's annual Fleet Week USA and the Air and Sea Show (McDonald's National Salute to America's Heroes™). 


Nature lovers can visit the numerous area parks and if you like horse riding, there are places nearby where you can do that, too!  Golfers should not feel left out because they have 40 Fort Lauderdale area golf courses to choose from for players of all skill levels.

As you can see... Fort Lauderdale offers a great deal to residents and visitors alike!

Images and Content - Copyright 2006 Leanne Paynter.  All rights reserved.

Comments (3)

Noel Padilla
J. Luis Properties, Inc. - Kendall, FL
Great post, very informative. However, the city with more waterways than even Venice is Cape Coral. Pretty cool that both Ft. Lauderdale and the Cape are in our own back yard.
Oct 31, 2006 11:33 AM
S. Leanne Paynter ☼ Broward County, FL
United Realty Group, Inc. - Davie, FL
Davie, Plantation, Cooper City & Weston Specialist
Thanks, Noel.  You're right... Cape Coral has about 400 miles of canals/inland waterways vs. Fort Lauderdale's 300+/- miles.  Other than that similarity, the cities themselves are quite different, though I love them both.
Oct 31, 2006 12:18 PM
Cyndee Haydon
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
727-710-8035 Clearwater, Beach Short Sales Luxury Condos &Homes
Wow what a great model for City write-ups, I'm just starting - been in AR less than 1 week - but learning lots and loving it - thanks for sharing! 
Mar 14, 2007 01:42 PM