It seems to be the general consensus among those far and wide that Miami is the place to be in Floridafor vacationing as a young person. However, being full time graduate students, we had no money to spend in Miami. Ft. Lauderdale was the place for us to be, though more reserved and "conservative" as our airport shuttle driver noted. Some of my friends have previously visited the area and knew the beaches are nice and that there would still be enough entertainment for us for the 4 days we would be there.
What is there to do in Ft. Lauderdale you may ask? Aside from the beaches (which are beautiful), here are 4 recommendations if you are going to be in there area, in order of importance.
1. Location: Stay within a 2 mile radius (1.5 miles is better) of Las Olas Blvd. We stayed at a cheap beach hotel (secured with just the necessities) on Ft. Lauderdale Beach Blvd, which is also N. Atlantic Blvd, about 1.2 miles north of Las Olas Blvd. Our resort was beach front and the beach was in spectacular condition. Las Olas is apparently the "happening" place and the stretch on N. Atlantic surrounding Las Olas contains the bars, restaurants, and general entertainment.
2. H2O Cafe: End of story. This cafe had the best meal of our vacation: scrumptious breakfast consisting of french toast, waffles, and egg sandwiches. It also had excellent coffee. We went there a second time for dinner, and although the menu looked tantalizing, the prices were a bit out of our budget range so most of us just got the fish taco appetizer. Even that, however, got rave reviews.
3. Spirit of Lauderdale Sailing: This was a 3.5 hour trip on a catamaran that took us to the ocean, a wildlife sanctuary, and on a tour of the mansions. Cocktails and complimentary snacks were available on board. We found it in a marina a block inland on Las Olas Blvd during a walk we took on the "cloudy" day of the trip - though at least half of us all seemed to get burned while out on the boat.
4. Beach Place: Just north of Las Olas is a complex called Beach Place. It contains multiple restaurants and shopping and was the location where we raided the huge CVS (which contains clothing, food, beer, and wine in addition to the usual CVS commodities), ate 2 of our meals, and started out one of our nights. The food is not outstanding, but still solid and at the right price, and you have an excellent view of the ocean from all of the restaurants.
|Not my own picture - but conveys the complex|