Fort Lauderdale: The home of sea captains and Spring BreakWilson Jone ▼ | October 4, 2014
Fort Lauderdale, a city on the Atlantic Ocean in Florida, is dubbed as the Yachting Capital of the World but it is also a home town of a central event for all American students.
Beaches and yachting A blue-green coastal city of Florida
Fort Lauderdale was incorporated relatively late, back in 1911, and it was a community of dairy farms and citrus groves until 1960s when an explosion happened: After the movie Where the Boys Are Fort, Lauderdale became the center of Spring Break and it's hard to imagine an American student going through schooling without spending at least one wild break in this coastal city. Its subtropical rainforest climate is perfect for crazy fun and other things we'll leave to your imagination, but that climate has it's other good sides.
If you are coming here, it would be a good idea to avoid autumn when tropical storms are quite usual. It is very convenient to use a bike while going around, places are usually too far for walking and too near for a car, but no matter how you are going around, you will be guided by canals and bridges. Another popular mean of transportation is the Sun Trolley. That convenient trolleys reach all over Fort Lauderdale and they have bicycle carriers, so when you are tired jump on and rest for a while, while being driving around. And buy Dolphus Waterway Map, it's better than many road maps.
When you collect the dots, you'll see that the city is set up as a grid and is relatively easy to navigate: 10 minutes on bike from the beach to downtown, or the supermarkets, for example. And on the beach you should visit the Elbo Room, bar, the place made famous in Where the Boys Are.
We just have to mention the Jungle Queen Riverboat Dinner Cruise. That old boat from the glory days of the Wild West travels along the New River of Fort Lauderdale, offering you a sightseeing tour about interesting sights, celebrity homes, mega yachts, and downtown Fort Lauderdale.
The most popular part of the town is between Las Olas Blvd north to Sunrise Blvd where the strip of eat'n'drink places runs along the beach road. The Second Street, as local people call it, the mix of bars, cafes, and clubs close to the downtown area is made for a great fun and the place you must visit on Friday nights. There you can even walk around with open alcoholic beverages. While we are at "stomach fun," from October 1 through November 7, you can enjoy Dine Out Lauderdale, celebration of the area's top restaurants, chefs and cuisine. Three-course menus: $35 fixed price.
But it's not all about fun and sun: some largest companies are set here, from DHL Express to Microsoft and all other who are planning to do business in Latin America. Of course, yachting industry is booming here because Bahamas and Caribbean are very close and Fort is a major stop for nautical staging and refitting. While at water, we must mention Everglades National Park, one of the most unique places in the US. The park is home to 14 rare and endangered species, including the American Crocodile, the Florida Panther and the West Indian Manatee.
Nature lovers will enjoy in Butterfly World, a 10-acre butterfly farm and research playground, a birthplace of over a million butterflies, which is also the largest free-flight hummingbird colonoy in the US. Want something bigger but still natural? Then Flamingo Gardens is for you. It features rare and exotic plants and animals, and you can visit a citrus grove, the free-flight aviary, and the 1930s Wray Home Museum.
But probably the most beautiful part is the Secret Woods Nature Center, a gem that is part of the Broward County Parks in Dania Beach. Secret Woods features a huge walk-through butterfly preserve and nature trails.
Situated among miles of beachfront buildings, there are 35 acres of an island ecosystem that makes up the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens. This is the place if you want to see one of the finest orchid collections in the U.S., and take a look at playful monkeys and beautiful swans. In the suburbs of Fort Lauderdale you can visit Indian reservats but forget souvenirs and look for some action: Aligator-wrestling matches is something you don't wanna miss. ■