river view of Fort Lauderdale with downtown

How To Spend Only One Day In Fort Lauderdale: 15 top things to do

A guide on how to spend one day in Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale is a city of activity, attraction, beaches, nightlife and great weather.

But I don’t have time!

Don’t miss the chance to explore this fantastic city even if you only have a few hours.

Living in the area my weekends never seem to be free lol.

So how do you explore Fort Lauderdale in a day?

Find a fantastic list of what to do and then start moving.

botanical garden with a path in the middle

1. Visit the Bonnet House Museum and Gardens

Kickstart your day in Fort Lauderdale by visiting the Bonnet House Museum and Gardens.

Nestled amid a 35-acre lush estate, this historic house reveals a fascinating glimpse into the region’s art, architecture, and history.

Spend a few hours exploring unique artworks, beautiful gardens, and an extensive collection of personal treasures amassed by the Birch-Bartlett family.

The vibrant tropical gardens are a visual delight, offering a peaceful retreat in the heart of the city.

This can be fun and casual or a little something romantic to do while in Fort Lauderdale.

Don’t miss the Orchid Greenhouse, which is home to a wide array of exotic orchid species.

Picture of Wooden sign of Las Olas, Fort Lauderdale

2. Las Olas Beach Boulevard

When visiting Fort Lauderdale Florida you must make your way to the vibrant Las Olas Boulevard.

This bustling strip is the perfect place to soak up the sun and enjoy the vibes.

Filled with shops, art galleries, and restaurants, it offers a diverse array of attractions.

Check out a show at the Broward Center of the Performing Arts.

Don’t forget to try the local cuisine at one of the many eateries.

Las Olas Blvd is a must do!

3. NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale

For your next stop the NSU Art Museum of Fort Lauderdale.

A premier destination for arts and culture in South Florida.

With over 6,000 works, the museum boasts a significant collection of contemporary and modern art, as well as pieces from the 19th century.

The museum often hosts enriching programs and workshops, so you might be lucky enough to attend one.

Whether you’re an art connoisseur or not, a visit to the NSU Art Museum will offer an engaging and thought-provoking experience.

Helicopter flying over Fort Lauderdale with a view of the city out the front window of the helicopter

4. Helicopter Tour

Take your Fort Lauderdale experience to new heights with a thrilling helicopter tour.

Offering panoramic views of the city’s breathtaking coastline, gleaming skyscrapers, and winding waterways.

This is an aerial adventure is a must-do.

Remember to keep your camera at the ready to capture stunning shots of landmarks such as the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and the expansive Florida Everglades.

Many tour providers offer different packages, so you can choose a route that best caters to your interests.

Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or a photography enthusiast, a helicopter tour promises an unforgettable perspective of Fort Lauderdale’s scenic beauty.

Here is our list of the best helicopter tours in Fort Lauderdale.

The boardwalk in front of Fort Lauderdale Beach

5. Hit The Beach In Front Of Rock Bar

After exploring the city, unwind and soak up the sun at the beach that sits in front of the Rock Bar.

This popular area offers crystal clear waters, pristine sand, and a lively ambience.

You can enjoy a refreshing swim, engage in beach games, or simply relax and take in the spectacular ocean views.

Right on the boardwalk there are plenty of places to grab a few drinks or a bite to eat.

This is an ideal spot to both enjoy the Florida sun and witness the city’s vibrant nightlife.

Park sign Hugh Taylor Birch -SP

6. Hugh Taylor Birch State Park

Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Fort Lauderdale at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park.

This oasis within the city offers a retreat into diverse ecosystems including mangroves, coastal dunes, and freshwater lagoons.

Explore the park’s trails on foot or bike and discover a wealth of wildlife, from turtles to herons.

For water enthusiasts, the park’s lagoon is perfect for canoeing or paddleboarding.

After a day of adventure, rest and refuel at one of the many picnic areas.

The park also features a visitor center where you can learn about its namesake, Hugh Taylor Birch, and his contribution to preserving Florida’s natural beauty.

Man in a bike helmet and sunglasses

7. Segway Tour On The RiverFront

As the sun begins to dip, embark on an adventurous Segway tour along the River Front.

This unique experience offers an exhilarating way to explore the city’s scenic waterfront while effortlessly gliding on a Segway.

In the heart of Downtown Fort Lauderdale this tour covers several landmarks.

The guide will share fascinating stories about the city’s history and culture.

It’s a fun way to enjoy the beautiful views of the yachts, mansions, and lush landscapes that line the river.

Don’t forget your camera to capture these memorable moments as the city lights start to twinkle in the twilight.

yellow water taxi shuttle with blue sky in the back ground

8. Hit Up The Water Taxis

Experience Fort Lauderdale from a new perspective by hopping aboard one of the city’s water taxis.

These floating shuttles offer a unique and convenient way to navigate the city, allowing you to embark and disembark at various drop offs.

As you cruise along the waterways, you’ll enjoy fantastic views of the city skyline, opulent waterfront mansions, and mega yachts.

Not only that, but the taxi drivers usually serve as excellent tour guides, peppering your journey with interesting facts and anecdotes about Fort Lauderdale’s history and landmarks.

A day on the water taxi can be an adventure in itself, and it’s a must-do for any visitor to the city.

Riverwalk with buildings on the back and boats on the water

9. Historic Stranahan House Museum

Step back in time with a visit to the Historic Stranahan House Museum.

This preserved structure, dating back to 1901, is the oldest surviving building in Broward County and offers a unique connection to the region’s past.

Once the home of Fort Lauderdale Florida founder Frank Stranahan, the house now operates as a museum.

Each room is a gateway into a different era, showcasing antiques and artifacts that tell the story of the pioneer era, the city’s growth, and the Stranahan family’s influence.

Guided tours provide insights into the house’s history and architecture, offering a captivating glimpse into Fort Lauderdale’s early days.

plated fancy dinner, focused pic in front

10. Eat At Louie Bossi’s

A trip to Fort Lauderdale isn’t complete without savoring the flavors of Italian cuisine at Louie Bossi’s.

This locally acclaimed restaurant is famed for its homemade pasta, wood-fired pizza, and delectable range of Italian meats.

The vibrant ambiance, coupled with a beautiful outdoor patio, offers a unique dining experience.

Whether you want traditional spaghetti and meatballs or seeking to try something adventurous like the porchetta, Louie Bossi’s offers a culinary journey that caters to all taste buds.

Don’t forget dessert with one of their mouth-watering house-made gelatos or a slice of traditional tiramisu.

Tiki boat on the bock

11. Float Through The Canals On A Tiki Bar

Take an excursion and float through the city’s picturesque canals on a Tiki bar.

This floating bar offers a truly unique experience.

Enjoy refreshing beverages while taking in the city’s beautiful waterfront homes and serene waterways.

The Tiki bar tends to be a lively spot, often buzzing with friendly conversation and laughter.

You’ll have the opportunity to meet locals and fellow wanderers alike.

Enjoy the views of Fort Lauderdale’s intracoastal waterway.

Don’t miss this quintessential Fort Lauderdale experience!

Yacht on the dock with a boat tied to the side. Blue skys in the background

12. Check Out All The Mega Yachts

Take the time to marvel at the array of mega yachts docked in the numerous marinas scattered across the city.

Often referred to as the “Yachting Capital of the World”, this is a spectacle for any boat enthusiast or those simply intrigued by these luxurious vessels.

These yachts represent the pinnacle of opulence and sophistication, with some even stretching to a staggering length of over 300 feet.

A walk along the city’s docks will provide a magnificent view of these floating palaces.

This is a a great for those visiting on a budget.

Each boasting unique, grandiose designs and top-notch amenities.

Consider taking a boat tour or a water taxi ride for a closer look at these stunning feats of engineering.

13. Bar Hop On A Cycle Party Tour!

Embrace the city’s vibrant nightlife by embarking on a Cycle Party Tour.

This unique experience allows you to visit some of the city’s best bars and breweries, all while pedaling a group bicycle.

The energy is infectious, the music is lively, and the drinks are plentiful.

It’s an amazing way to see the city, meet new people, and enjoy a night out in a unique and exciting way.

Whether you’re a craft beer connoisseur or just enjoy a fun night out, the Cycle Party Tour promises an unforgettable experience.

14. Shop At Sawgrass Mall

The Sawgrass Mills Mall is a must-visit destination for any shopping enthusiast as they visit Fort Lauderdale.

Known as one of the largest outlet and value retail shopping destinations in the United States, this colossal shopping hub boasts over 350 stores.

Whether you’re looking for high-end designer fashion, electronics, home furnishings, or unique souvenirs, Sawgrass Mills Mall has something for everyone.

Don’t forget to indulge in the multitude of diverse cuisine options available within the mall to replenish your energy after a satisfying shopping spree.

It’s not just shopping, it’s an experience!

A breakfasts morning spread of waffles and treats

15. Savor the Flavors on a Food Tour

Engage your senses in a riveting culinary journey as you embark on a food tour in Fort Lauderdale.

Celebrated for its diverse food culture, the city offers an exciting mix of traditional American fare, fresh seafood, and international cuisines.

The food tours led by expert guides take you through a carefully selected palette of local eateries, specialty food shops, and ethnic restaurants, offering you the opportunity to taste and learn about the city’s culinary landscape.

From gourmet delights at upscale restaurants to hidden gems in the city’s nooks and alleys, each stop is a unique food adventure.

Making it a must-do experience for every food enthusiast and culture lover visiting the city.

Waterways of Fort Lauderdale lit up as the sun is setting

In Conclusion

One day in Fort Lauderdale, is not nearly enough time to see all the things you are meant to see, but sometimes one day is all we get.

This list is good idea on some things you can do, but there is no way you will be able to fit all of these things in. So go ahead and pick 2-3 of your favorite things on this list and save the rest for the next time you will be in Fort Lauderdale Beach.

What is fort Lauderdale know for?

Fort Lauderdale is know for its sandy beaches, year round beautiful weather and active night life.
Tour the canals or go deep sea fishing. Enjoy live music or lavish diners.
Fort Lauderdale has a little bit of everything to offer.

Is fort lauderdale as good as miami?

This is a question with a not so simple answer.
Both Cities have: Beaches, great weather, great dining and access to the ocean.
With a higher population, Miami might have a little more hustle and bustle.

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