Located approximately 25 miles north of Miami, Fort Lauderdale is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States. With its vast network of waterways called the “Intracoastal Waterway,” it’s no wonder Fort Lauderdale has earned the nickname “Venice of America”! You can even take a gondola ride—it’s like you’ve been magically transported to Italy! The New River and the Middle River, originally artificially created to irrigate the swamps, were the city’s foundation, and today are the delight of pleasure boaters. Fort Lauderdale is recognized as an important boating center for its hundreds of ports as well as the International Boat Show, during which buyers and traders fond of sailing have a field day!
Without a doubt, it is proximity to the sea that brings tourism to the region—not to mention the fact the weather is (almost) always phenomenal.
In the 1830s, settlers arrived and established themselves in the territory of Fort Lauderdale, previously occupied by the Seminole Indians. The English erected several forts to watch over the land that was constantly under threat from the Seminole people. Major Lauderdale, ensconced on the banks of the New River, built a large fort and gave his name to the city, which
was officially founded in the early 20th century. The city enjoyed significant growth through the 1920s and played a leading role in the Second World War. A training center was created for the US Navy, and Fort Lauderdale became a crucial Coast Guard station. Today, the population of Fort Lauderdale is nearly 1.8 million. The large gay community earned it the title of second-largest gay city in the United States, after San Francisco!
Despite the ever-present water, visitors who don’t yet have their sea legs can also enjoy Fort Lauderdale to its fullest. The miles of beaches that surround the city are decorated by a promenade made of colorful terracotta bricks, dotted with flowering trees and palms. The famous Las Olas Boulevard, with its Cuban accents, brings together restaurants, art galleries, bars and shops on more than 17 intersections. You can learn about the city’s rich history by visiting Stranahan House, built in 1900. Why not join the 10 million tourists who visit Fort Lauderdale every year? Come visit the “Venice of America”!
When to Go
Events We Love
Since 1986, the Broward Country Film Society has shared the beauty of independent cinema with South Florida through the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival.
Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show exhibits range from yacht builders and designers to exotic cars and brokerage yachts.
Fort Lauderdale is a car-friendly city served by Interstate 95, the Florida Turnpike and several major highways. State Road A1A provides a scenic drive along the beach.
Fort Lauderdale Essentials
Experience other Cities