Fort Lauderdale is an ocean-side, sunny destination. People of all age groups and interests throng the city year-round, not just for beaches and parties, but also for its historic and cultural offerings. With its vast network of canal system, you can easily and comfortably get from one point to another by waterways, and explore the land by foot. And to whet your tourist appetite, the city is home to plethora of museums, parks, art galleries and historic sites. To have some fun-in-the-sun, the city is home to beaches and piers. With so much to offer, it has become a quintessential holiday destination. Whether you want to a weekend getaway, family holiday or solo trip, this place has something for everyone. With a vast array of things to do and see, the city will leave you spoilt for choices! So, it’s time to fly to Fort Lauderdale, and enjoy and relax in a completely fun and unconventional way!
Image By Andyxox (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
History of Fort Lauderdale
Tequesta Indian tribe was the early settlers to the area which is now known as Fort Lauderdale. They inhabited the area for more than two thousand years. In the sixteenth century, Spanish explorers came to the area. Before the twentieth century, the area was called as the “New River Settlement”. About 70 settlers were living along the New River area in the 1830s. In 1838, the first stockade of the US named “Fort Lauderdale” was constructed on the banks of New River. It served as a fighting site during the Seminole War, and was named after Major William Lauderdale. Following the Second Seminole War, in 1842, the fort was abandoned and turned into swamplands. In the latter half of the nineteenth century, the development began in the area with the arrival of Frank Stranahan and Charles Green Rhodes. Charles Green Rhode started to turn the swamplands into the major real estates. In 1911, the city was incorporated and in the same year came the first railroad. It became the county seat of Broward County in 1915. In 1920s, Fort Lauderdale experienced a major development. In 1935, a winter attraction known as the “Collegiate Aquatic Forum” drew the college students and soon, the city became popular among the college students as the sun, beach and party town. The city served as a main US base during the WWII. In the 1960s, a very famous movie “Where the Boys Are” was shot here which led to making this city a “Spring Break Destination” for college students with unending parties. Later, the perception changed and the city turned into a family holiday destination.
Today, the city is one of the Florida’s largest and popular tourist destinations, and a prime yachting center. It attracts visitors from all over the America and beyond!
Important Locations in Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale has a thriving cultural scene, along with plenty of outdoor activities. Nature lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, beach bums, history buffs and art aficionados will surely get their fix in Fort Lauderdale.
East Las Olas Boulevard: East Las Olas Boulevard is a vibrant spot in Fort Lauderdale dotted with plenty of shopping, dining and entertainment venues. During the day, take a boat tour of the Intercoastal Canals that offers stunning views of the city, or take a walk along the Riverwalk and enjoy the cultural and historic landmarks along the way. As the sun goes down, head to one of many bars and nightclubs lining the Las Olas Boulevard. A perfect place for art and history lovers, beach bums, shopaholics and party-goers!
Hugh Taylor Birch State Park:
For an outdoor experience, head to Hugh Taylor Birch State Park
. The park offers plenty of outdoor activities, like biking, fishing, hiking, inline skating, canoeing, bird watching, and more. Also, it features diverse flora and fauna.
Bonnet House Museum & Gardens
: Bonnet House Museum & Gardens
is a stunning estate that is a must-visit when in Fort Lauderdale. It is a plantation-style house that dates back to the 1920s. It is nestled amidst the verdant tropical gardens accompanied with Brazilian Squirrel monkeys. The house is adorned with arty interiors. It was the house of Bartlett couple, both of them were artists. Their creativity and works of art is evident all over the home. There is something for visitors of all tastes- art, nature and history!
Museum of Discovery and Science:
The Museum of Discovery and Science
features about 200 interactive exhibits for people of all ages, an IMAX theatre and an eco-center. See the living creatures from tropical fish to river otters; learn about the prehistoric period of Florida; know about the weather pattern of Florida at the Storm Center; check out the space exhibits; and catch a movie at the IMAX theatre that showcases outstanding films and documentaries, in all genres. Plus, there is an aviation station, fossils exhibits, and a 7-D capsule theatre offering a great view of the sky.
NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale
: All the art lovers, you don’t want to miss seeing the NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale
. The museum features over 6,000 impressive permanent collections that includes about sculptures, paintings and a variety of artwork. It showcases the work by popular international contemporary artists, like Norman Rockwell, Banksy and more. The popular permanent collection includes work from COBrA artists (Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam), Latin-American artists, Native America, African and Oceanic Tribal works of art. Rotating exhibits are also showcases, like works by Pablo Picasso, Frida Kahlo and more. Plus, several events from art classes to jazz concerts and more are held weekly.
Fort Lauderdale History Center
: Know the early history of Fort Lauderdale at the Fort Lauderdale History Center
. It is expanded into neighboring buildings that include a heritage center, houses and inns. The center features exhibits and artifacts spanning more than 100 years of city’s history. At the adjacent King-Cromartie House Museum, experience the early pioneers’ lifestyle. Then, take a walk along the scenic New River and experience the past.
Historic Stranahan House Museum:
The Stranahan House
is the oldest standing home in Fort Lauderdale and is included in the National Register of Historic Places list. It is named after the owner Frank Stranahan and was built in 1901. It served as a trading post, post office, a town hall, a store, the Stranahan family residence and then, a museum. To get a glimpse of the early twentieth century Fort Lauderdale, head to Stranahan House. The house features original furniture, and tells a riveting story through several artifacts and photographs within the house.
Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum
: The Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum
features an extensive collection of classic autos of Packard, including pre-war Packard cars. It houses several Packard automobile dating back from 1900 until 1940s.
To know in detail about the important locations in Fort Lauderdale, click here.
People and Culture in Fort Lauderdale
Art, history and culture abound in Fort Lauderdale. The art galleries and museums display outstanding fine art and history. The city is home to performing arts venues that offer great performances of music, comedy, theatre, opera, dance and everything in between. People with cultural and artistic bent will find their fix in Fort Lauderdale. Also, the people of the city are quite liberal. People with sexual orientation are welcomed here. It is a city where multiple cultures co-exist beautifully and seamlessly. Mexican, Cuban, Peruvian, Columbian, African Americans, Polish, German, Italian, English, Dutch, Scottish, Swedish, French, Canadian, Hungarian, Greek, Russian, Indian, Asian, Hispanic or Latino, and many more ethnic groups live together harmoniously.
Time Zone and Phone Code of Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale, FL lies in the Eastern Time Zone
UTC- GMT Offset: Fort Lauderdale is GMT/UTC-5 hours during Standard Time and GMT/UTC-4hours during Daylight Saving Time
Daylight Saving Time Usage: Fort Lauderdale uses Daylight Saving Time
Time Zone Abbreviation: EST is abbreviated for Eastern Standard Time and EDT is abbreviated for Eastern Daylight Time
Fort Lauderdale Area Code: 754 and 954
Best Time to Visit Fort Lauderdale
The perfect time to visit Fort Lauderdale, FL is between December and April. This time of the year is warm, sunny and pleasant, perfect for beach-goers, sun-seekers and outdoor lovers. The city has a tropical climate throughout the year, but the weather during these months is comfortable to explore the city. The temperature in these months hovers between 60s and 80s. If looking for best deals and fewer crowds, then May through October is the time for you to visit Fort Lauderdale. But, these months are extremely hot, making it difficult to have fun on the beach.
The city hosts plenty of festivals and events year-round that draw plenty of tourists every year.
Important Locations in Fort Lauderdale Map Guide