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Fort Lauderdale, on South Florida’s east coast,
is less than an hour’s drive north of Miami.
Its river and extensive canal system
connect the Everglades with the Atlantic Ocean.
On this settlement on the New River the pace slows
and it is easy to lose track of time here.
Enjoy river cruising, wide sandy beaches, fine dining along the ocean
and exploring subtropical gardens and parks.
With year-round sunshine, Fort Lauderdale is a balmy holiday destination
that offers an interesting mix of waterfront entertainment.
The welcoming locals adore their “Lauderdale” and are known to embrace
a more laid-back attitude than their southern neighbors in Miami.
Most of them welcomed the transformation from a “Spring Break Central”
for partying college students to the upscale resort city it is now.
The times of “Fort Liquordale” are long gone, but don’t worry:
You can still enjoy a drink here,
with thousands of bars, restaurants and clubs around.
Being in the Sunshine State, you will see plenty of “snowbirds”,
the local name for people who migrate down from the colder states
to enjoy a winter on the beach.
Thanks to this yearly tourism influx,
luxury yachts line the marina and posh hotels and showy cars
flash up the promenade.
After a breakfast along the river,
browse the boutique shops on Las Olas Boulevard
or explore the banks of the New River downtown.
For over 5,000 years these waters have provided natural resources
for Native Americans and European settlers.
Nowadays, tourists can jump on a watertaxi or do the Riverwalk,
the city’s hub for history, arts and entertainment.
Fort Lauderdale was named after the fortifications built here
in 1838 to fight off Indian warriors.
By 1911, when the city was incorporated, the Seminole Tribe and settlers
had come to more peaceful negotiations.
The old trading house and post office
were built by pioneer Frank Stranahan, the city’s founder.
Another time capsule is this 1899 replica classroom.
Of similar old school charm is the Georgian-style King-Cromartie House.
If you look at the recycled plastic art,
it is clear that time hasn’t stood still in Fort Lauderdale,
it just seems to move slower... with gravity.
This kinetic clock at the Museum of Discovery and Science,
ticks away the minutes while you venture inside
to learn about the weather, local eco systems and wildlife,
including reef sharks and fish.
The actual reef is just half a mile off shore,
well away from the local anglers.
For tourists in Fort Lauderdale
the days evolve around cruising and sunbathing.
To find the most popular public beaches and bars,
walk north from Las Olas Boulevard to Sunrise Boulevard
on the stretch of oceanfront the locals call “The Strip”.
A bit further along the coast are lush retreats
such as Birch State Park and the Bonnet Gardens.
The coastal highlights extend far beyond the city limits.
Idyllic Lighthouse point and the Deerfield Beach Fishing Pier
are just north of the Lauderdale beaches.
Nearby you can live like a star in Mizner Park,
among Spanish-style stucco restaurants, pretty fountains,
upscale galleries and the artistic amphitheater.
Enter the tropical paradise of Butterfly World,
with fifty winged species.
This is the magnificent result of a local man’s hobby gone wild.
Birds roam freely at Lake Okeechobee.
Florida boasts thousands of lakes,
but the shallow water of the “Big O” dwarfs them all.
Fort Lauderdale, with its historic riverfront and sun and sand,
is a destination that will have you relaxed in no time.
Enjoy living the good life and soak up the sun in style!