Outdoor adventure comes naturally in the Greater Fort Lauderdale area of Florida.
With year-round sun and relaxing sea breezes, this destination features 37 kilometers of beaches and 482 kilometers of navigable inland waterways that are ripe for exploration. Whether you prefer outdoor activities in the water or on land, you’ll find them in Greater Fort Lauderdale.
Explore by Boat
There’s a reason Greater Fort Lauderdale is known as the “Venice of America.” The area’s inland waterways – the Intracoastal Waterway and New River – encourage visitors to explore via private gondola rides, yacht tours, riverboat or public water taxi for views of the entire city. Move from inland waters to the open ocean with a tour on a sailing charter or fishing excursion.
Cruising the Atlantic Ocean on a sailing charter
Head to Lauderdale-by-the-Sea for a unique thrill: Greater Fort Lauderdale is the only place in the continental USA where adventurers can go in the water and explore a living coral reef right off the beach. At Shipwreck Park in Pompano Beach, snorkel or dive from a boat to traverse sunken ships and underwater art exhibits.
Snorkeling off the coast of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea
Zoom through the Everglades at speeds up to 65 kph on a guided airboat tour. As you zip along the swampy waters, you’ll experience the USA’s largest subtropical wilderness and its distinctive ecosystem. You’ll spot a number of protected species, including birds, fish, alligators and crocodiles.
An alligator sighting from an Everglades airboat tour
Discover Sea Turtles
About 90 percent of the USA’s loggerhead sea turtle population nests along Florida’s coast. Leatherback sea turtles begin nesting here in early March, loggerheads in April, and green turtles in May and June. The nesting season continues through September. Sign up for a sea turtle walk to learn how to keep these animals safe and witness this natural phenomenon.
Tour Vintage Gardens
Opened in 1927, Fort Lauderdale’s Flamingo Gardens is home to more than 3,000 species of tropical and subtropical plants and trees, nestled in lush, Old Florida surroundings. The wildlife sanctuary at the botanic garden is home to a large collection of native Florida wildlife, including alligators, bobcats, peacocks and, naturally, vibrant pink flamingos.
Hiking under a subtropical tree canopy at Flamingo Gardens
Tunes on the Beach
Music lovers should time a Greater Fort Lauderdale vacation to one of the signature beachfront music events. Held in late November and early December, the exuberant Riptide Music Festival celebrates popular music from several recent decades. Each spring, the three-day Tortuga Music Festival brings concerts to the beach in support of sea turtle conservation. Concerts also are held in April in conjunction with the Pride of the Americas 2020 festival, a celebration of diversity and the LGBT+ community.
Aerial view of a festival at Fort Lauderdale beach
Savor a Stroll
The Greater Fort Lauderdale area also invites laid-back forms of outdoor activity such as a leisurely stroll through the city to visit boutiques and patio dining destinations. Don’t miss the urban charms and people watching along Fort Lauderdale’s Las Olas Boulevard, which is dotted with shops, art galleries, sidewalk cafes and bars.
An outdoor coffee break at The Alchemist
Relax on the Beach
Grab a towel, a good book and the desire to get away from it all with a day on one of the Greater Fort Lauderdale area’s 37 kilometers of beaches. Each of the region’s beach towns – which include Deerfield Beach, Hillsboro Beach, Pompano Beach, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Fort Lauderdale beach, Dania Beach, Hollywood beach and Hallandale Beach – boasts a distinct personality.