With two days in Fort Lauderdale, you can experience the best of this sophisticated coastal city and still have time to explore areas off the Florida coast, as well as nearby Miami. From fishing to airboat rides, take advantage of Fort Lauderdale’s canals and its proximity to other coastal attractions. Here’s how to make the most of two days.
Day 1: Explore the Waters
**Morning:**Sightseeing in Fort Lauderdale is best done via the city’s waterways, either on board a hop-on hop-off water taxi or by joining a guided tour. Dotted with pricey yachts and lavish homes, the city’s canals offer picturesque views and are a scenic way to get around town.
**Afternoon:**About a 30-minute drive from Fort Lauderdale, the Everglades are a quick and easy excursion, with airboat rides that allow you to spot local wildlife such as alligators among the grassy waters. Visit Sawgrass Recreation Park to view rescued reptiles and mammals, plus see rare gopher tortoises and learn about the park’s conservation efforts.
**Night:**Watch a live performance by Polynesian dancers while enjoying a Cantonese and American meal at a local restaurant, where the tiki bar atmosphere hearkens back to kitschy 1950s Fort Lauderdale. Alternatively, book a pub crawl to help you navigate the city’s nightlife scene, which is still thriving minus the spring break atmosphere.
Day 2: Head to Key West
**Morning:**From daiquiri-fueled parties to mangrove tunnels and coral reefs, Key West offers a lifetime of ways to kick back, explore nature, and enjoy some island sunshine. But since Key West highlights are often just a stone’s throw apart, you can take in the scene even if your time is limited.
Alternatively, head out in the morning on an all-day fishing trip in Fort Lauderdale.
**Afternoon:**For those hanging around Fort Lauderdale, stroll down the city’s main thoroughfare, Las Olas Boulevard. Lined with restaurants, bars, and shops, the street provides plenty of fun distractions and is a relaxed way to spend the afternoon. You can also rent a Segway or join a bike tour to see more of the sights by land.
**Night:**Cap off your stay with a classic dinner cruise. Paddle steamboats travel along the waterways, stopping on land to dine or serving a meal aboard the boat. Alternatively, join a dinner tour of nearby Pompano Beach, just north of Fort Lauderdale, and swing by various restaurants for tastings as you watch the sunset.