One of my most favorite beaches in Florida is Fort Lauderdale, hands down. The airport is less than 20 minutes away from the beach via car. The water is clean, the sand is soft, and there is just so much to do!
I flew in on a Thursday and did not have a hotel booked. I got my rental car and drove to the beach, pulling over to see what deal I can get. The Westin was high on my list, as I saw the room for $130 but then saw it was an extra resort fee per person per day of $30 and parking was not included.
I got a room at the Bahia Mar Double Tree for $116 per night for a partial sea view. The view was fantastic because you could see the ocean AND the marina. I actually dove the marina years ago with a dive shop which was a great experience. For you divers – there are many wrecks in Fort Lauderdale to dive.
Fort Lauderdale has a nice long waterfront that stretches for miles. If you end up 20 minutes north at Lauderdale-by-the-sea, it is still considered part of Fort Lauderdale. Las Olas Boulevard is popular for going out at night and actually, it was my first time going out to the bars there at night.
It got crazy! Cheap beers, cheap shots, cheap everything. The atmosphere was fun, there was dancing at Elbow Room, socializing at Blondie’s, and everything of that and more at the rest of the strip. End the night with good pizza which you can find easily next to Elbow Room.
In the daytime, go snorkeling and drink on the beach. You actually can’t bring alcohol onto the beach, but basically everyone was doing so and pouring it into a solo cup or such. Sunsets are the best as the lifeguards are gone, crowds are spread out, and no one is watching what you do.
Even though my more immediate future hope is to get a place in Miami, Fort Lauderdale is right there next in line. It does not have as many condominiums or oceanfront property, but it is a lot more relaxed and less touristy.
Have you been to Fort Lauderdale Beach? What did you love?