Chances are high that when you’re thinking on the most commonplace city for a tropical fun-in-the-sun type of vacation you´ll be thinking of something along the lines of Fort Lauderdale. Beautiful beaches, fair climate and quaint places to visit while wearing your favorite beach attire.
There’s no wonder this city is one of the first on many people’s minds when thinking about a beach holiday, the whole city is pretty much an icon of tropical getaways. And so, we´ll explore some of the most iconic places around Fort Lauderdale, so come on! let’s see what this tropical paradise has to offer!
But first, a little bit of practical advice, if you want to get to some of the places here, you should think on your transportation options, as distances in between each of these sites might be considerable, and public transport options are often uncomfortable or just won’t get you to the places you want to go. A good transportation option is to book a rental car in Fort Lauderdale, as this allows you a greater range of transport so that you can visit pretty much everything within driving distance, and not only that, if you’re traveling with a larger group you can even rent a larger vehicle such as a van or an SUV so that everyone in your travel group travels with comfort.
1. Las Olas beach
Now if you’re coming to Fort Lauderdale for vacations and didn’t visit Las Olas Beach then you’re missing out entirely as this is one of Fort Lauderdale’s most iconic places. The iconic nature of this place goes to such an extent, that when you’re searching for images of Fort Lauderdale, some of the first pictures you’re going to find are images of Las Olas Beach and its iconic little white wall.
Las Olas is a very urban beach, meaning that there are many restaurants and shops next to the beach, but there are also large spaces of pristine white sand where you can just let go of your worries and feel the Atlantic breeze. Most of its visitors describe it as very clean, safe (as there are many lifeguard towers around), and well kept. This pretty much the perfect place to welcome you to Fort Lauderdale.
2. Casablanca café
Now, since we started our trip at Las Olas Beach then it only makes sense to visit one of Las Olas most iconic restaurants, and that would be Casablanca Café. Casablanca Café is a historic sea view restaurant in the Las Olas area, and by historic, I mean that the place was built in 1927. The place where the restaurant now stands one used to be a home, designed by celebrate architect Francis L. Abreu.
In the menu, you can find delicious options such as seafood linguine, poke bowls, and even gourmet hamburgers. The restaurant itself has an elegant rustic vibe, not to mention that it has a great view of the beach and its surroundings. Perfect for a date or just for having a good meal after a whole day at the beach.
3. Antique Car museum
Nowadays when you think about elegant and beautiful cars, your mind may drift towards brands, such as Lamborghini, Ferrari, and many others… however, back in the day, elegant cars used to evocate another name: “Packard automobiles” These were the elegant cars that famous mobsters had during the prohibition era, and chances are high that if you see an old-time movie some of the better-looking cars you´ll see will belong to this now-defunct brand of cars. Now, the world may have forgotten about these old icons, but Fort Lauderdale hasn’t, as you can find the largest museum dedicated to this brand here in the city. While this place may not be that Iconic, it’s full of Icons of the past.
In the museum you´ll see a complete history of the rise and fall of the iconic brand, they have perfectly preserved cars from all the eras, from the very beginning to the last models ever produced. Along with other paraphernalia and advertisements of the brands. Now, this is not an obligate stop, but if you or someone on your travel group happens to like cars and or history, then you´ll surely enjoy this museum. The museum operates with cash only, so come prepared. Also, the museum is a little bit away from other attractions so do consider your transport options, as I told you before, renting a car in Fort Lauderdale might be a good option, however if you don’t know how to do so sites such as Miles Car Rental, can help you to find a car rental at a very good price.
4. Bonnet House Museum and Gardens
Some places become Iconic only due to the share amount of beauty they possess. I believe that’s the case with bonnet Museum and Gardens, as its one of the most beautiful places in Fort Lauderdale, not only for its natural beauty which it has plenty of, but for its quaint architectural and artistic beauty.
This place used to be the winter retreat house of artist Frederic Clay Bartlett and still stands as a place to house and exhibit all sorts of artistic expression as you can find everything from the finest sculptures to dozens of interesting paintings all over the house. However, in addition to the artistic displays of the house, the area also serves as a vital ecological oasis, within the gardens you can find 5 different coastal ecosystems, preserved from Fort Lauderdale’s ever glowing city, on the gardens you can find some of Fort Lauderdale’s charming must charming fauna, such as iguanas and monkeys.
5. Mai Kai Restaurant
And now to finish our visit to Fort Lauderdale’s icons, let’s visit another iconic restaurant, this one is a little be more exotic. Mai Kai is like a little Polynesia in the heart of Fort Lauderdale. Everything in this restaurant makes you think that you’ve been transported to a quaint little tropical paradise in the Pacific…, which I find a little funny since Fort Lauderdale is already a tropical paradise but in the Atlantic instead of the Pacific… anyway in this restaurant you´ll be delighted by cuisine inspired on the flavor of the many islands in the Pacific, in fact, each of the restaurant’s rooms is inspired by one of the islands.
Now it’s not only dinner what makes this restaurant interesting, the other half of the restaurant’s appeal is in the show that comes with dinner. You see, Mai Kai offers a show alongside with the dinner. In this show, you´ll see impressive dances and fire breathing acts typical of the Polynesian islands.
And that’s it, next time you go to Fort Lauderdale don’t forget to visit some of these amazing icons!