25 Fun Things to Do in Fort Lauderdale for an Enjoyable Visit| 2024 (with Photos)

Andreas Rukovski

Andreas Rukovski - Travel Writer

Published: July 27, 2023

Hey there! I'm Andreas, and I'm thrilled to share with you the 25 most enjoyable things to do in Fort Lauderdale, along with captivating photos, to make your visit in 2024 truly unforgettable. Get ready to embark on a remarkable adventure with these exciting activities and make the most out of your trip!

Fun Things to Do in Fort Lauderdale for an Enjoyable Visit

Welcome to Fort Lauderdale, South Florida, an iconic Spring Break city that offers endless fun and excitement. In this blog, we have created a list of 25 incredible things to do in Fort Lauderdale that will make your visit truly unforgettable.

From the pristine Fort Lauderdale Beach and water activities to the vibrant nightlife and cultural attractions, there are Fort Lauderdale attractions for everyone to enjoy.

Most Recommended Thing to Do

Las Olas Boulevard.

Top Choice Hotel

W Fort Lauderdale.

Our Top Choice Restaurant

Ember Modern American Tavern.

Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife

Elbo Room

Best Time to Visit

Sunny, warm, vibrant, beachside city year-round.

Average Temperature

Warm and tropical temperatures in Fort Lauderdale, USA.

Transportation Options

Car, bus, taxi, train, bike, scooter, boat, walk.

Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)


My Top Recommendation

Fort Lauderdale, located in the beautiful United States of America, is a city that truly captures the essence of a tropical paradise. With its stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and diverse attractions, there is plenty to experience and enjoy. For a personalized adventure, I highly recommend spending a day exploring the city's waterways. Hop aboard a cruise or rent a boat to navigate through the intricate canal system, known as the "Venice of America." As you cruise along, you'll witness the breathtaking mansions and yachts that line the water, immersing yourself in the luxurious lifestyle Fort Lauderdale has to offer. Don't forget to make a stop at Las Olas Boulevard, a charming and picturesque street filled with boutiques, art galleries, and exquisite restaurants - perfect for a leisurely stroll and some retail therapy. Whether you're traveling solo or with loved ones, these experiences will create unforgettable memories.

Another fantastic way to personalize your time in Fort Lauderdale is by exploring the city's cultural scene. Begin by visiting the renowned Museum of Discovery and Science, where fascinating exhibits and interactive displays will spark your curiosity and expand your knowledge. For art enthusiasts, the NSU Art Museum is an absolute must-visit, showcasing an impressive collection of contemporary and modern artwork. To delve even deeper into Fort Lauderdale's culture, head to the historic Bonnet House Museum and Gardens. Immerse yourself in the captivating history of the estate, wander through the lush gardens, and appreciate the inspiring art and architecture. Round off your cultural experience by attending a live performance at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, which hosts a variety of shows ranging from Broadway musicals to symphony concerts. By embracing Fort Lauderdale's rich culture, you'll truly feel connected to the city and its vibrant energy.

What You'll Need to Bring

Comfortable clothing, sunscreen, a swimsuit, a hat, sunglasses, a reusable water bottle, a camera, money or credit cards, necessary travel documents, a good pair of walking shoes, a travel guide or map, a light jacket or sweater in case of cool evenings, personal toiletries and medications.

Apart from these essentials, it's always a good idea to research the specific attractions and activities you plan to engage in, as there may be additional items or equipment required.

What Not to Miss

Beaches, Las Olas Boulevard, Intracoastal Waterway, Everglades National Park, Bonnet House Museum & Gardens

What to Avoid

  1. Rush hour traffic: Avoid driving during peak hours, which typically occur between 7-9 am and 4-7 pm, to avoid getting stuck in heavy traffic congestion.

  2. Overpacking: Fort Lauderdale has a warm and tropical climate, so pack light and stick to essentials like casual clothing, sunscreen, and swimwear. Avoid overpacking unnecessary items that may weigh you down.

  3. Ignoring beach etiquette: Respect the local beach rules and regulations, such as not littering or disturbing the natural environment. Also, avoid playing music loudly or causing disturbances that can bother other beachgoers.

  4. Traveling without sunscreen: The sun in Fort Lauderdale can be intense, so it's important to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Avoid sunburns by always wearing sunscreen with a high SPF and reapplying it frequently.

  5. Neglecting mosquito protection: Fort Lauderdale is known for its lush vegetation, which also means mosquitos can be prevalent. Avoid mosquito bites by wearing insect repellent and utilizing other preventive measures such as wearing long sleeves and pants during dusk and dawn.

  6. Missing out on water activities: Fort Lauderdale is surrounded by beautiful waterways, so don't miss the chance to explore them. Avoid not experiencing activities like boating, jet skiing, or paddleboarding, which are popular ways to enjoy the area's stunning coastal scenery.

  7. Neglecting to explore beyond the beach: While the beach is undoubtedly a major draw, Fort Lauderdale has much more to offer. Avoid limiting yourself to just the beach and venture out to visit attractions like the Bonnet House Museum and Gardens, Las Olas Boulevard, or the vibrant downtown area.

  8. Being disrespectful to the local culture: Fort Lauderdale is a diverse city with a rich cultural heritage. Avoid being disrespectful to locals or their traditions by being mindful of your behavior, dressing appropriately for cultural events, and treating everyone with respect and kindness.

1. Check Out Butterfly World

Butterfly World

Visit Butterfly World, a captivating destination located in Coconut Creek, near Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Immerse yourself in a tropical paradise filled with thousands of colorful butterflies fluttering around lush gardens.

At Fort Lauderdale's Butterfly World, you can explore the various bird sanctuaries, encounter exotic birds, and learn about the fascinating life cycle of butterflies. With its enchanting atmosphere and natural beauty, Butterfly World offers a delightful and educational experience for nature enthusiasts of all ages.

2. Visit the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society & Museum

Fort Lauderdale Historical Society & Museum

Another one of the great Fort Lauderdale attractions is the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society & Museum. Explore captivating exhibits that showcase the city's past, from its early pioneer days to its development as a thriving coastal community.

Uncover fascinating stories, artifacts, and photographs that provide a glimpse into the lives of those who shaped the city.

3. Go on a Jungle Queen Riverboat Tour

Jungle Queen Riverboat Tour

Embark on an exciting adventure with the Jungle Queen Riverboat Tour in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Head East and hop aboard the iconic riverboat and cruise along the picturesque waterways, taking in the stunning views of mansions, yachts, and lush landscapes all from your boat tour.

Enjoy live entertainment and informative narration, and indulge in a delicious all-you-can-eat dinner buffet on one of the many tour options, including the most popular, Tropical Isle Dinner and Show with Sightseeing Cruise.

4. Shop 'til You Drop on Las Olas Boulevard

Las Olas Boulevard

Get ready for a shopping spree like no other on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The vibrant and stylish Las Olas Boulevard is lined with an array of boutiques, art galleries, and specialty shops that cater to every taste and style.

From high-end fashion to unique local finds, Las Olas Boulevard offers the best shopping experience. There are also plenty of things to do in Las Olas at night.

With its delightful mix of shops, dining options, and vibrant atmosphere, Las Olas Boulevard is a shopper's paradise that will leave you wanting more. If you're a shopaholic, you should definitely add this to your list of things to do in Fort Lauderdale.

5. Watch a Show at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts

Join the world of arts and entertainment at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in the Entertainment District in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Experience the magic of live performances as you watch a show in the Abdo New River Room at the iconic Broward Center for the Performing Arts.

From Broadway musicals to symphony orchestras and dance performances to comedy acts, the Broward Center for the Performing Arts offers a diverse lineup of shows for all interests and tastes. Sit back, relax, and be captivated by the talent and creativity that graces the stage in the Abdo New River Room of the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.

Whether you're a theater enthusiast or simply seeking a memorable night out, the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in the Entertainment District promises an unforgettable experience, so make sure you add it to your list of things to do in Fort Lauderdale.

6. Take an Airboat Tour Through Everglades Holiday Park

Airboat Tour Through Everglades Holiday Park

Take an exhilarating airboat tour through Everglades Holiday Park and immerse yourself in the untamed beauty of the Florida Everglades while enjoying live entertainment. Board a high-speed airboat and glide across the vast wetlands, getting up close and personal with the unique ecosystem and its inhabitants.

To add to the excitement, Fort Lauderdale's Everglades Holiday Park is also home to the Gator Boys Alligator Rescue, a renowned alligator rescue and conservation team featured on television.

An airboat tour through the Florida Everglades is one of the fun things that you can do that combines breathtaking scenery, wildlife encounters, and the chance to learn from the dedicated team at Gator Boys Alligator Rescue.

7. Visit the Bonnet House Museum and Gardens

Bonnet House Museum and Gardens

Visit the Bonnet House Museum and Gardens, a hidden gem in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Step into a world of art, history, and nature as you explore this exquisite estate.

Admire the stunning architecture of the Bonnet House Museum, a preserved 1920s winter retreat, and wander through the lush gardens of the Bonnet House that showcase a variety of tropical plants and wildlife.

Marvel at the extensive art collection that features works by renowned artists in the Bonnet House Museum. Whether you're interested in art, or history, or simply enjoying the beauty of tropical and subtropical plants, a visit to the Bonnet House Museum and Gardens is a captivating experience not to be missed.

8. Kayak to the Las Olas Isles

Kayak to the Las Olas Isles

Embark on a memorable kayaking adventure to the Las Olas Isles in Fort Lauderdale. Paddle through the serene waterways, surrounded by stunning mansions, lush landscapes, and picturesque views.

For one of the more enchanting things to do in Fort Lauderdale, navigate your kayak through the canals, exploring the hidden gems of this charming neighborhood.

9. Spend a Day at Key West

Old Town of Key West

If you want to branch out from Fort Lauderdale for a day, why not take a Florida road trip? Escape to the tropical paradise of Key West for a day of sun-soaked adventures and laid-back vibes. Experience a plethora of enjoyable activities in Key West, the southernmost point of the United States.

Explore the historic Old Town of Key West, with its colorful architecture, quaint streets, and lively atmosphere. Relax on the stunning beaches, snorkel or dive in the crystal-clear waters, or embark on a thrilling water sports adventure.

10. Explore on a Canal Sightseeing Cruise

Canal Sightseeing Cruise

Go on a canal sightseeing cruise in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and explore the beauty of the area from a unique perspective. Hop aboard a boat tour and glide along the canals, taking in the stunning waterfront views and charming scenery.

If you want to see Fort Lauderdale from a whole new perspective, the views from the canals are unmissable.

11. Admire the Collection at the NSU Art Museum

NSU Art Museum

Admire the impressive collection of art at the NSU Art Museum, located in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Go into a world of creativity and inspiration as you explore the museum's diverse exhibits.

From contemporary art to modern masterpieces, the NSU Art Museum showcases a wide range of artistic styles and mediums. Admire the thought-provoking sculptures, vibrant paintings, and captivating installations.

12. Cross Off Snorkeling From Your Bucket List

Cross Off Snorkeling From Your Bucket List

You should go snorkeling for one of the more adventurous things to do in Fort Lauderdale. Dive into crystal-clear waters teeming with vibrant marine life, colorful coral reefs, and hidden treasures.

Strap on your snorkel gear and discover a whole new world beneath the surface as you swim alongside tropical fish, spot fascinating sea creatures, and explore the breathtaking underwater landscapes in Fort Lauderdale.

13. Have a Picnic at Fort Lauderdale Beach Park

Fort Lauderdale Beach Park

Indulge in a delightful picnic experience at Fort Lauderdale Beach Park. Spread out your blanket on the soft sand and bask in the warm sunshine while enjoying a delicious meal with loved ones at Fort Lauderdale Beach Park.

In addition to having a picnic, Fort Lauderdale Beach Park offers a range of activities to enjoy. Fort Lauderdale Beach Park has volleyball and basketball courts if you want to play beach sports. You can also relax on the sandy shores, sunbathe, use the outdoor showers, and soak up the warm Florida sun at Fort Lauderdale Beach Park.

Take in the breathtaking ocean views at Fort Lauderdale Beach Park, listen to the soothing sound of waves, and feel the gentle coastal breeze. Fort Lauderdale Beach Park provides a serene and picturesque setting for a relaxing picnic, creating cherished moments and lasting memories by the beautiful beachfront.

14. Play With Water Cannons With the Bluefoot Pirate Adventures

Bluefoot Pirate Adventures

If you're looking for one of the most interesting things to do in Fort Lauderdale, you must go to Bluefoot Pirate Adventures and be a part of epic water battles.

Here, you can climb aboard a pirate ship and set sail on a thrilling voyage filled with excitement and laughter along Fort Lauderdale's Waterways. Get ready to unleash your inner pirate as you blast water cannons at other ships, engage in friendly battles, and create unforgettable memories along the Intracoastal Waterway.

The Bluefoot Pirate Adventures offer a unique and immersive experience perfect for families, groups, or anyone looking for a fun-filled day on the high seas.

15. Check out the Historic Stranahan House Museum

Stranahan House Museum

Discover the rich history of Fort Lauderdale, FL. at the Historic Stranahan House Museum. Step back in time as you explore this beautifully preserved home, which dates back to 1901.

Marvel at the exquisite architectural details and learn about the influential Stranahan family, who played a significant role in the development of Fort Lauderdale. All history enthusiasts should have this on their list of things to do in Fort Lauderdale.

16. Soak Up the Sun at Las Olas Beach

Bask in the warm Florida sun and enjoy a day of relaxation at Las Olas Beach, located between the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Las Olas Beach offers soft sand, crystal-clear waters, and breathtaking ocean views.

Whether you're lounging on a beach chair, building sandcastles, or taking a refreshing dip in the water, Las Olas Beach provides the perfect setting to unwind and soak up the sun's rays.

With its convenient location near shops, restaurants, and amenities, you can easily spend the day doing fun things at Las Olas Beach and exploring the vibrant atmosphere of the nearby Las Olas Boulevard.

Other beaches nearby are Dania Beach, Pompano Beach, and Fort Lauderdale Beach. In addition to tanning on the sandy beaches, some of these even have basketball courts to play at.

17. Meet the Animals at Flamingo Gardens

Flamingo Gardens

See the animals at Flamingo Gardens, a captivating wildlife sanctuary and botanical garden in Davie, near Fort Lauderdale, FL. Explore the botanical gardens and encounter a diverse range of animals, including flamingos, alligators, otters, and more. The botanical garden houses tropical and subtropical plants in the Grace Gardens area.

While at Flamingo Gardens, you should also visit the Wray Home Museum, a preserved 1930s South Florida home. Discover the fascinating history and lifestyle of the early settlers in the area through the authentic artifacts and exhibits at Flamingo Gardens.

At Flamingo Gardens, you can engage in interactive experiences, educational presentations, and feeding demonstrations. Flamingo Gardens, both a botanical garden and a wildlife refuge, provides a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with fascinating wildlife in a beautiful natural setting.

18. Take a Stroll on the Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale

Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale

If after Flamingo Gardens you are looking for more calming and soothing things to do in Downtown Fort Lauderdale, why not take a leisurely stroll along the scenic Riverwalk in Fort Lauderdale?

The Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale is a waterfront promenade south of Flagler Village that stretches along the New River, offering breathtaking views, lush green spaces, and a variety of attractions.

With its peaceful surroundings, this area is great to stay at. Riverside Hotel is a perfect location for your time in Fort Lauderdale with its surrounding nature perfect for walks.

19. Rent a Canoe at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park

If you're looking for calm things to do in Fort Lauderdale, then you should immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Fort Lauderdale's Hugh Taylor Birch State Park by renting a canoe and embarking on a scenic adventure.

Navigate through the park's tranquil Intracoastal Waterway, surrounded by lush vegetation and diverse wildlife. Paddle at your own pace, exploring hidden coves and enjoying the serenity of the peaceful atmosphere at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park.

20. Walk in Firefighters' Shoes at the Fort Lauderdale Fire and Safety Museum

Fort Lauderdale Fire and Safety Museum

Step into the world of firefighting and gain a deeper appreciation for the brave men and women who protect our communities at the Fort Lauderdale Fire and Safety Museum in South Florida.

Explore the fascinating exhibits, showcasing the history and evolution of firefighting techniques and equipment at the Fort Lauderdale Fire and Safety Museum. This is one of the most insightful things to do in Fort Lauderdale.

21. Experience the Nightlife on Las Olas Boulevard

Las Olas Boulevard

Indulge in the vibrant nightlife scene on Las Olas Blvd in Downtown Fort Lauderdale, FL. As the sun sets off of Las Olas Beach, Las Olas Blvd comes alive with a variety of bars, lounges, and nightclubs offering entertainment and excitement for every taste.

Whether you're looking for a cozy wine bar, a lively dance floor, or a trendy rooftop lounge, Las Olas Blvd. has something for everyone. Enjoy live music, sip on craft cocktails, and immerse yourself in the energetic atmosphere of this bustling nightlife destination.

For one of the more fun things to do in Fort Lauderdale, make your way to Las Olas Boulevard. With its diverse array of venues, Las Olas Boulevard promises a memorable night out in South Florida.

22. Explore Nature Trails at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park

Explore the beautiful nature trails at Fort Lauderdale's Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, the "Central Park" of Fort Lauderdale, FL. Located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway, this State Park allows you to wander through lush forests, admire native plant species, and spot various wildlife.

One of the best hikes is the Coastal Hammock Trail, which gives you scenic views of the Intracoastal Waterway.

Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll or an adventurous hike, Hugh Taylor Birch State Park off Sunrise Blvd. offers trails suitable for all levels of fitness and interest. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature, breathe in the fresh air, and experience the serenity that Hugh Taylor Birch State Park has to offer.

23. Scuba Dive in the Open Ocean

Scuba Dive in the Open Ocean

For one of the more exhilarating things to do in Fort Lauderdale, go scuba diving in the open ocean off the coast of Fort Lauderdale. Explore shipwrecks and underwater caves, encountering colorful fish, majestic sea turtles, and maybe even some playful dolphins in the Atlantic Ocean.

With its warm waters and diverse underwater ecosystem, Fort Lauderdale offers a prime location for scuba diving enthusiasts of all levels.

24. Watch a Horse Race at Gulfstream Park

Gulfstream Park

Experience the thrill of horse racing at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, just a short drive from Fort Lauderdale, FL. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of Gulfstream Park as you watch majestic thoroughbreds sprint down the track, their hooves pounding the ground.

Place your bets, cheer for your favorite horse, and feel the excitement build as the race unfolds at Gulfstream Park. With its state-of-the-art facilities and world-class racing events, Gulfstream Park offers a thrilling and unforgettable day at the races for both seasoned bettors and casual spectators.

25. Learn About Creativity at the Young At Art Museum

Young At Art Museum

Fort Lauderdale's Young At Art Museum offers a vibrant space of fun things for younger children and young adults to explore and learn about creativity. Through interactive exhibits, workshops, and programs, the museum fosters artistic expression, imagination, and innovation for your entire family.

Visitors of all ages are encouraged to engage in hands-on activities that inspire and nurture their artistic talents. Whether it's painting, sculpting, or experimenting with different mediums, the Young At Art Museum is the best when looking for artistic things to do in Fort Lauderdale.

FAQs About Things to do in Fort Lauderdale

Now, let's take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions about Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

What are some outdoor activities to enjoy in the Fort Lauderdale area?

Fort Lauderdale offers numerous outdoor tourist attractions. You can explore the beautiful beaches, including Fort Lauderdale Beach, take a stroll along the Riverwalk, go kayaking or paddle boarding on the waterways, or visit the Everglades for an unforgettable nature experience.

Are there any cultural or historical attractions worth visiting in Fort Lauderdale?

Absolutely, Fort Lauderdale boasts a range of cultural tourist attractions, including the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. Don't miss the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, a historic estate with stunning artwork and lush gardens. The NSU Art Museum showcases contemporary art, while Everglades National Park houses a lot of beauty and serenity.

What kind of cuisine can I find in Fort Lauderdale?

Fort Lauderdale offers a diverse culinary scene with various cuisines to suit various tastes. The city is known for its seafood specialties, such as stone crab claws and fresh fish preparations. Additionally, you'll find restaurants serving cuisines like Italian, Mexican, Asian, Caribbean, and American classics like California Pizza Kitchen.

Are there any exciting nightlife options in Fort Lauderdale?

Yes, Fort Lauderdale offers a vibrant nightlife scene. Las Olas Boulevard is lined with bars and restaurants. You can also find a variety of live music venues on Las Olas Boulevard. You can also visit the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino for some thrilling gaming and entertainment options. At Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, you can also wine and dine.

Summing Up: Fun Things to Do in Fort Lauderdale

There are so many exciting and memorable tourist attractions to do in the Spring Break location of Fort Lauderdale for visitors of all ages. From the stunning Fort Lauderdale beaches and water activities to its vibrant cultural scene and lively nightlife, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Explore the city's natural beauty, indulge in delicious cuisine in downtown Fort Lauderdale, shop at trendy boutiques along Las Olas Blvd, and immerse yourself in the rich history and culture.

With its perfect blend of sun, sand, and entertainment, visiting Fort Lauderdale is a must and will leave you with unforgettable memories whether that's during your Spring Break or not.