Life guide Tower with palm tree while the sun is rising

Things to do in Fort Lauderdale on a budget

When you think about a vacation, I’m sure you normally only think about dollar signs adding up. Throw in a beach vacation, and you might see those dollar signs triple.

However, traveling doesn’t have to be expensive. You can have a responsible vacation and still do all the fun activities you want to do. There are plenty of things to do in Fort Lauderdale on a budget.

Don’t let your pocketbooks scare you out of booking a vacation of a lifetime. Here in sunny South Florida there is a list of things to help you enjoy a budget-friendly vacation. 

We have compiled a list of top activities you can do while on vacation to help stretch that dollar a bit further, without sacrificing any fun.

Top Things to do in Fort Lauderdale on a Budget

1. Fort Lauderdale Beach

Of course, if you are coming to Fort Lauderdale we hope you plan on visiting the beach.

With over 4 miles of shoreline, there is plenty of room to lay down your towel, put up the umbrella and enjoy the view with your bae.

If interested there are chairs and umbrellas to rent from local hotels just across the street. Besides, making sure you put on your sunscreen and enjoy a good book on the beach.

There are several volleyball courts, a basketball court, and an outdoor gym in case you prefer to have a little exercise while on vacation.

Speaking of the ocean, the average temp in Fort Lauderdale is  77-84 degrees F with temperatures in August potentially reaching 87 degrees!

So forget the Spa. With water this nice it is hard to resist floating and splashing around with your love in nature’s playground.

It’s easy to relax and take it all in. If you have a little adventure in you, swimming offshore you will be able to see some small coral heads and reefs with some colorful marine animals.

After a nice swim and cool down the best way to dry off is an air dry.

Walk down the beach in the soft sand and collect the various shells capturing memories along the way.

A budget-friendly souvenir.

It’s easy to get lost and let time go as you are hand in hand, smiling in the sunshine with your most important person. 

Yellow Water Taxi in Fort Lauderdale with blue sky

2. FTL Water Taxi

Know as the Venice of America Fort Lauderdale has an extensive water and cannel system.

The inshore coastlines are lined with multi-million dollar homes but maybe even more impressive are the yachts that accompany them.

There are a few ways to see these glorious sites but no better way than by water Taxi. You can get an all-day pass that will take you to several different marines along with stops right in the heart of downtown.

There are several different shuttles that run all day long with  several pick-up and drop-off locations.

Water taxis are fast, frequent, and of course fun. A classic drop-off is the River Run downtown.

This will put you right at the heart of Las Olas Blvd. Plenty of food options and some great window shopping to be had.

With an all-day pass cruising up and down the ICW (intercostal waterway) is an amazing way to get around and see the city from a different point of view. 

Paved road with trees all around it in Hugh Taylor State Park

3.  Hugh Taylor Birch State Park

A short walk from the beach just north of Sunrise Blvd you will find a beautiful lush getaway.

This is a special place in this Busy Broward metropolitan. The original 180-acre plot of land was donated to ensure that as growth happened there would always be something wild in FTL.

It is often compared to Central Park found in NYC, an oasis in the city. There are plenty of activities to do inside the park.

Having a mile-long stretch of fresh water that is perfect to canoe or paddle board. It snakes along some mangroves that are home to many native animals.

Keep your eyes peeled for Herons, turtles, mash rabbits and much more. It is one of our favorite things to do in Fort Lauderdale on a budget.

There is also a paved path that is great for running, bicycling or rollerblading. There is no shortage of life when you are here.

This is a natural home for foxes and the golfer tortoise. With plenty of beach and picnic areas along the way be sure to bring your lunch or snacks for this adventure.

If you have your fishing license you will enjoy tossing a line into the water just off the sea wall.

Looking out into the ICW (intercostal Waterway) you can catch all the boats moving past and dream up the life that you and bea will have one day living on your own mega yacht.

4. Riverside Market

Tucked in a neighborhood off the beaten track is this family-operated hangout, you will find Riverside Market.

This is a great end to your day. This converted house has become a “Craft Beer” mecca for many locals.

With over 550 beers in the selection. What makes them so unique is they use the honor system to keep tally.

The walls are lined with cooler after cooler making this the ultimate beer cave experience.

Travel the world through your taste buds when exploring some local US crafts to Bavarian hopes into some of Asia’s small microbreweries.

You will want to keep a list of what you tried as there are many different brewers of the same style that have their own unique taste.

Once you are finished, put all your empty bottles into a 6-pack holder and the total will be tallied up at the end before you head out.

It’s one of my favorite fun things to do in Fort Lauderdale on a budget.

I know, I know… it’s not all about the beer. While enjoying a few cold ones the food menu is simple and friendly to your wallet.

What goes great with Beer? Pizza and wings! The pizza is wonderful and you can smell it baking in the kitchen from the moment you walk in.

It is a great price with plenty of toppings to choose from. There are many other great menu items from starters and salads to sandwiches and burgers.

You will be sure to leave here with a full belly and a smile bigger than the one you wore in. 

Riverwalk with buildings on the back and boats on the water

5. Riverwalk and bike rental

The river walk downtown is an amazing experience and the perfect thing to do in Fort Lauderdale on a budget.

As it is FREE!

You will get to stroll right along the shoreline of the intercostal waterway as the high rises and luxury apartment jet to the sky.

The sound of birds chirping, the clean and vibrant walkways move you from one end of Las Olas to the other.

There are a few restaurants to stop at if you want to grab a bit or drink. You can always walk the several bridges that cut over and across the river to see what lies on the other side.

With that in mind, you can always rent out a bike or ride and go scooters to really explore the ins and outs of all the cute neighborhoods around river walk.

Being on a bike/scooter allows you to ride up and down Las olas viewing all the cute boutique shops.

You can ride Las Olas all the way down to the beach to catch the sunset or dip your toes in the sand.

The best part about the city bikes and scooters are you can return them to any location around town. Making it a budget-friendly way to get around town.

Find your destination, return the bike and enjoy your time. 

6. Mermaid Show at the B Ocean Hotel

This is a true south Florida experience. This is a unique burlesque show ___________.

Dinner is always available but you can always get a seat at the bar (show up early) if you are trying to save money.

Several mermaids will look tranquil and almost make you feel as if they are in their natural habitat.

These stunning ladies will have you thinking about what life under the sea would be like. They offer drink specials and will end the show with a live DJ and a chance to meet some of the ladies themselves.

There are throwback shows to animate retro-styles costumes. Not always just a visual show there are some surprises and a few jokes offering some commentary to add to the entertainment.

On the flip side, you can also enjoy the Aquaman show. America’s only male underwater burlesque show.

These boys will be sure to make the ladies giggle and the men blush. Right off the main drag from the beach this is a must.

You two will be talking about it and sharing pictures for years to come. 

7. Quarter Deck Sea Food Bar

The first opening in the 80’s Quartdeck is a Fort Lauderdale staple. With two locations in the area, one down by the beach, this is a great option for budget-friendly food in Ft. Lauderdale.

You can always get some classic fair like burgers and salads but there are many options for fresh and local seafood items.

Fresh Sushi is prepared or you can even customize a Poke bowl. Start with something to share as you and your love reminisce or plan your activities for the next day while on vacation.

The starters are quite large, so you might even be able to skip the mains.

If not all burgers are just $15 unless you want some add-ons and I recommend substitution for the side salad.

It is not official but I would rate it as best side salad in Fort Lauderdale. Substitutions are $2 and include options like onion rings, mac n  and cheese, mixed veg, and more.

Their sushi also has options of classic rolls, riceless rolls and creative rolls which are also a great option.

They do have daily drink special, not just happy hour, along with dinner and lunch specials daily. 


That’s it. These are just some of our favorite things to do in Fort Lauderdale on a budget.

We hope you enjoyed it, and we hope that it sparked some interest on things you can do to save money while traveling to Fort Lauderdale.

Have you been to Fort Lauderdale before? Do you have any budget-friendly activities that weren’t mentioned on this list? Say so in the comments below.

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