Fort Lauderdale has come a long way from its hedonistic and infamous past as a Spring Break Mecca.
Today, it is a sophisticated oceanside community that has something for every taste and budget.
Metro has compiled a list of places to eat, drink and be merry in Ft. Lauderdale for any budget.
DAILY BUDGET $50
It’s not much to look at and the owners didn’t waste money on decorating the interior, but the fresh ingredients and authentic Mexican menu keeps locals and tourists alike coming back for more. The best part? You can slap down a $10 bill and leave with a full stomach and change in your pocket.
3801 N. Andrews
Quiet Waters camp ground
With near-perfect weather year-round, camping has become an increasingly popular way to enjoy Ft. Lauderdale and the Quiet Waters camp ground offers travellers a unique and inexpensive alternative to the big chain hotels on the beach. At Quiet Waters, you can rent a platform with a pre-set-up tent, a fire ring and grill, picnic table, electricity and running water. You can even rent a tepee. And it all goes for just $40 a night.
401 S. Powerline Rd
Fort Lauderdale Beach
You go to Florida for the sun and sand, and you won’t be disappointed by Fort Lauderdale Beach. With more than two miles of supervised public beachfront, and loads of people watching opportunities, a stroll down “The Strip” will be a highlight of your stay.
DAILY BUDGET $100
A staple of Fort Lauderdale dining for more than 20 years, the family-run and Spanish-influenced Cafe Seville has one of the best wine lists in South Florida. Its intimate setting provides a perfect romantic break during your trip — but, book ahead or you may end up disappointed.
Oakland Park Blvd
Green Island Inn
Located in a quiet residential neighbourhood a little further north of most of Fort Lauderdale’s hotels, the family-owned Green Island Inn is a gem at any price. For as little as $50 a night, it’s deal that can’t be beat. It’s a short walk to the ocean, stunningly landscaped and a perfect destination for families.
3300 NE 27th St.
Spirit of Lauderdale Catamaran
It isn’t a trip to Fort Lauderdale without spending at least some time on the ocean, experiencing the coastline while breathing the sea air and enjoying a cold beverage. The Spirit of Lauderdale crew offers visitors all of that, along with an intimate knowledge of the history (and current gossip) of the city, for just $30 per person. Ask about their Canadian discount.
801 Seabreeze Blvd
DAILY BUDGET $500
Mai-Kai Restaurant and Polynesian Show
It isn’t highbrow, but it is everything that people have come to expect from a Florida vacation. The Mai-Kai Restaurant and Polynesian Show is over the top, tourist oriented and generally quite loud, but it’s also a whole lot of fun, popular with locals too, and isn’t loud what you’re looking for in a vacation anyway? There is a reason it’s been a Fort Lauderdale landmark since 1956. It will cost you about $80 a person to fully experience the dinner and show.
W Fort Lauderdale
The Strip’s newest and most decadent luxury hotel won’t be cheap — rates start at about $250 a night. But, it does offer an enticing mix of elite dining, world class pampering and ample amounts of beautiful people dancing the night away.
Sawgrass Recreation Park
Get up close and personal with some of Florida’s most famous — and dangerous — wildlife at the Sawgrass Recreation Park. Avoid the crowds by booking a private tour of the park, which includes an hour-long airboat ride deep into gator country and full access to the wildlife displays, where you can see Florida cougars and hold a baby alligator in your hand. As many as four can experience it for a little more than $300.
1006 N. U.S. Highway 27