Take To The Water
The way to really get under the skin of America's very own Venice is to explore it by water. Jump in a water taxi, schedule a tour, or lie back in a gondola and drift along the canals and waterways that give Fort Lauderdale its unique character. Look out for wealthy 'Millionaires' Row', with its exquisite properties and some top-notch eye candy for boat fans.
Get Back To Nature
There are some superb nature and wildlife parks on the doorstep. Hugh Taylor Birch State Recreation Area is a tropical oasis with mangrove swamps and freshwater lagoons, where you can amble, picnic, watch gopher tortoises or paddle a canoe. Over at the Everglades Holiday Park you can take an exhilarating air boat ride across the wetlands to spot alligators and other wildlife.
There's something for shoppers of every persuasion in Fort Lauderdale. Las Olas Boulevard is at the centre of the action and has a quirky collection of chic boutiques and art galleries. Or you can grab a bargain at nearby Sawgrass Mills, North America's largest designer outlet malls with over 350 stores.
If you're a fan of historical houses, then Stranahan House, one of Florida's oldest buildings, and Bonnet House, home to naturalist Hugh Taylor Birch, offer a fascinating window into the past. Bonnet House also has exquisite gardens. Meanwhile, kids will love the Museum of Discovery and Science, with over 200 interactive exhibits, wildlife and a five-storey IMAX screen.