FORT LAUDERDALE: Cheap Hotels in Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale is perfect for families looking for a fabulous beach vacation or singles and couples visiting Florida for gourmet dining options and the exciting nightlife. With cheap hotels in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, you can set aside plenty in your vacation budget to explore all that the area has to offer.
The most popular place to stay in the city is the strip of Fort Lauderdale Beach, where highway A1A runs alongside the beach between Las Olas Boulevard and Sunrise Boulevard. There are a great many excellent hotels to be found here and the location is pretty, with great views at sunset.
Fort Lauderdale boasts some of the most amazing four and five star resorts in the entire state of Florida.
The Atlantic Resort and Spa sits near the Bonnet House Museum and Gardens. Top notch amenities include town car service, outdoor pools, spa services, poolside bar, cooked to order breakfasts and 24-hour room service.
The B Ocean Fort Lauderdale is near the Hugh Taylor Birch State Park and features a restaurant, poolside bar, outdoor pool, fitness facility and spa.
What to Do in Fort Lauderdale
Set aside some time for long days relaxing at the gorgeous Florida beaches. Over 23 miles of white sand beaches stretch over the Fort Lauderdale area. Hillsboro Beach is the best place for vacationers looking for quiet and tranquility. Deerfield Park offers the first cable ski park and cove-like beach areas. Sea turtle nesting season commences in March and lasts through October. Sea turtle nature tours are available through the Museum of Discovery and Science during this time period.
Other must-see attractions are tours of the Everglades that include up close encounters with turtles, alligators and rare birds. Dolphin World, the Florida Antique Car Museum and Riverfront Cruises are other must-see attractions in Fort Lauderdale.
Where to eat
The Best Cuisine in Fort Lauderdale Whether you want to eat at a chain restaurant with reasonable prices or go for more upscale fare, Fort Lauderdale has plenty of dining options to choose from. If you don't have time to make a dinner reservation, chain restaurants such as Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and Outback Steakhouse will have availability on short term notice.For fine dining in Fort Lauderdale, you have multiple types of cuisine to choose from. The Casa D'Angelo Ristorante and Bistro Mezzaluna are popular Italian food eateries. The Chima Brazilian Steakhouse and Steak 954 are also well-rated restaurants in the Fort Lauderdale area.
One popular day out is a Cypress Airboat Ride, which takes the visitor around the Everglades on a fun boat ride. Sea fishing trips abound and your hotel in Fort Lauderdale should be able to help you arrange one of these, while there are also great trips to be had on the canals around the city.
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Local expert's tips
Top ideas for a Ft. Lauderdale Family Vacation
Now let me ask you, do remember chasing your first butterfly? If you do, then you remember the smiles and fun associated with the fun. Just a half hour out of Ft. Lauderdale you’ll find Butterfly World in Tradewinds Park. Your children will enjoy life long memories running around in the midst of thousands of butterflies and hummingbirds.
Wen its time to get off the sand and out of the sun, a cooler and refreshing adventure is a riverboat tour of Inter Coastal Waterways on the Jungle Queen Riverboat. You’ll enjoy a tour of the most spectacular mansions build along the waterways, along with their mega-yachts. If you choose a late day or evening cruise, be prepared for spectacular sunset. The evening cruise includes am “all you can eat” special with shrimp, ribs and chicken, as well as a show, all included in a three hour cruise.
The fact that the main draw to Florida is its fine sandy and warm beaches, and that absolutely the draw here in Ft. Lauderdale. Now that the party scene is long gone, you’ll find the beach here as well as shoreline full of families and children enjoying the water. Parents, the nice thing are rental cabana’s, chairs and sport rentals are available on beaches. Unlike other places, your fun will cost you nothing except a cooler and soft drinks, and maybe a $1 parking fee.
Interesting fact: When I was a small child, each year for vacation, my parents would take us to Florida. For quite a few years when we returned back home to the Northeast, we all got to bring a baby alligator in a box home wit us. That is now against the law, I’m happy to say.
If this is your first time here in Southern Florida with your kids, you own them one adventure for sure, alligator! Taking a jaunt down to the Everglades Holiday Park for a exciting Everglades Airboat Excursion is the absolute bomb! Not only is the ride through the swamps exciting as you get up close and personal with the American Alligator, but more. This park is home to the “Gator Boys Alligator Rescue”. Viewing their show you will certainly understand what makes them one of the top Florida State attractions. You and the kids will stand in awe at what they will experience when the Gator Boys get into the “gator pit”! They will learn tones about gators and will have lots to share back home.
When the performances are over the show doesn’t end for your youngsters. In fact, they will have the opportunity to actually hold baby gators in their hands.
Is 2017 the year for a Family Vacation in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida?
Let’s face it, the best attraction is always the beaches, with white sands, sunshine and the best part is it doesn’t cost a dime to spend a day on them. With over 140 miles of beaches, including National Seashore Recreation Area’s, there’s plenty to keep you busy with the kiddies. Most families choose Naggs Head, Corolla, Duck or Kill Devil Hills beaches because they are a bit more populated, but not crowded.
Of course, if you are vacationing during the not to busy season, by all means spend time on Fort Lauderdale Beach, especially if your hotel is directly on it. With the pedestrian walk, shops and restaurants readable available right off the beach, why not take advantage of it?
Now of course, your vacationing in Southern Florida, with children, and what do children think about in Florida? Yep! Alligators! We don’t suggest going off on your own looking for them in waterways, because you might just come across one. Instead, why not take the family to the Everglades Holiday Park instead? Located in Fort Lauderdale on Griffin Road, even if you don’t have a vehicle, you can take a cab there. You can easily spend a day in the park, enjoy a boat ride, Airboat Tours or even rent a boat. You’ll be in the home of the famous “Gator Boys”, and their Alligator Rescue Program. Of course, these days, they have added the “Gator Girls to the program. You and the kids will learn everything you ever need to know about these fascinating creatures.
If your children are a little older, and you can get away for a few “adult hours”, you absolutely should stroll Las Olas Blvd! This famous street runs right down the center of town, and offers many unique shops and galleries for a little shopping for Mom. There are also some awesome restaurants and after dinner clubs if you still have the energy after a day in the sun.
Another fun place to give your children some learning in their vacation, is the Ft Lauderdale Museum of Discovery and Science. Now don’t worry about it being just a museum, because it’s much more than that. There’s stuff in these walls for all ages, and then there are the simulated experiences. You and the kids can enjoy the thrills of a simulated ride to the Moon and Mars. In addition, your children and yourself, can take a ride in the simulated cock-pit of a jet!
Dad is in for a treat, because what boy, young or old or even girls aren’t into cars? The Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum is all about pre-war Packard’s. There are more than twenty-two perfectly restored Packard’s from 1900 into the 1940’s to drool over. You won’t forget the address, because the museum is located on Packard Avenue.
And then there’s the Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, located between the ocean and Intercostal Waterway. This is a perfect adventure for a day off the beach, but still in the water. You can enjoy the mile-long freshwater lagoon, for fishing, swimming, or hiking in the park. The park is a perfect opportunity to stop on the way and get a picnic lunch and beverages, relaxing under the trees. If you want to take a tour, we highly suggest trying the Segway Tour, and worry not, you get classes first.
Experience the “Big Chill” in sunny Fort Lauderdale, Florida
If the thought of relaxing by the pool in a covered cabana while you receive the pleasures of soft stones or oiled hands, massaging your entire body, is your dream, why not choose a spa resort? There are awesome spa resorts available to you, like the Marriott Beach Resort & Spa, Rock Spa at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Spa 66 at The Hyatt and more. If you choose to stay at a standard hotel, you can still hit a local spa like the Alaya Spa at the Bonaventure.
Of course Fort Lauderdale’s major draw are its calm sandy beaches, offering sunning, people watching, and tons of water sports. From swimming, waterskiing, snorkeling and Scuba Diving, there’s so much to do if you decide to get a little active.
In fact, the natural coral reef system makes it perfect for snorkeling its waters, or maybe fishing off the Hollywood pier. Jus think, rent some gear, relax fishing and maybe have the chef cook up your catch for dinner?
Another popular destination for your shoes, sneakers or sandals is Las Olas Blvd.
The shops, restaurants boutiques and nightclubs will definitely keep you busy. Its also where you can find many street festivals and fairs all year long. One of the most popular is the annual Las Olas Food and Wine Festival.
After hours or even days dragging your mate along the streets and stores, maybe its time to take him for a stroll checking out something that might be more interesting. The Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum might just be that place. It’s dedicated to The Packard Motor Company and features 22 autos from 1900 up to 1940.
Something that locals will tell you is a “must do” when visiting Fort Lauderdale is to take a relaxing cruise aboard the Jungle Queen Riverboat on the New River. It’s a ninety minute guided riverboat tour where you can take a selfie with homes of the rich and famous in the background. Also available is the three-hour dinner cruise, and all you can eat buffet. Included in this is a stop on a tropical island for a live animal show.
If you are vacationing with the kiddies, maybe you will opt for a cruise aboard the BlueFoot Pirate Adventures boat cruise. Absolutely safe, Coast Guard Approved, this pirate ship cruises the inland waterways, and is quite the themed adventure for all ages.
Keep in mind that one of the most enjoyable, exciting and exhilarating adventures awaits you a half an hour south. Florida’s Everglades park offers everyone the excitement of an airboat ride through the wild Everglades, bringing you up close and personal to alligators, snakes and more. Even more exciting to me at least, is at the end of the tour, there’s a alligator show with the Gator Boys Alligator Rescue Team. These guys perform tricks, stunts and at the same time educate you on the importance of conservation.
Hot Vacation Tips for a Fort Lauderdale, Florida Vacation
Fun in the sun isn’t only found on the beaches, but also on the well-known golf courses. In fact there are over forty golf courses available to you, and in fact a great place for the novice, beginner or pro. Why not take your wife or girlfriend, or maybe eldest son or daughter along just to drive the gold cart, and maybe putt once in a while.
I can highly suggest playing at a couple excellent courses, starting with Deer Creek Golf coarse, which is really accessible, and located nearby in Deerfield Beach. This is an Oceanside resort, with awesome views, and best of all, no membership required.
Another suggestion is playing Plantation Preserve Golf Course, also not private. This is a challenging course; located in downtown Fort Lauderdale set in Everglade-inspired wetlands, so beware of the crock’s. Kidding of course. The novice, especially with the GPS equipped golf carts, telling you distance to flag, easily plays the course.
Although some believe now that the “spring breakers” have deserted Fort Lauderdale, it’s just a place for retired people who hit the sack by 9 PM. Nothing is farther from the truth, because this town is all about nightlife and socializing in its bars and pubs after dark.
We highly suggest hitting one of the most popular bars in this city, America’s Backyard in Downtown Fort Lauderdale, where you aren’t stuffed inside club walls, but instead in the great outdoors.
\For a little sophistication, and great martini’s, the Blue Martini is a super choice. You will find great evening “happy hours”, live bands, and I can tell you appetizers are yummy, especially the sushi. If you really want to relax, try their VIP Lounge located under the blue skylight, sipping the signature cocktails, the Blue Martini.
If you want to experience a little New Orleans while here, you should check out Blue Jeans Blues, which is quite a unique jazz club, offering happy hour every evening from 11 am until 7 pm. This is a perfect place to make happy hour apps your dinner, or grab a super tasty pizza or sandwich.
For a fun activity off the beach and golf course, would be to take the Jungle Queen Riverboat tour, which lasts about three hours. You will have the opportunity to see and photograph Millionaires Row as you cruise offshore downtown Fort Lauderdale.
You will also have the opportunity of checking out a bit of the Everglades.
Your choices of cruises include a four hour Bar-B-Que and Shrimp Dinner, with ribs too, and a show, and lasts about four hours. This is not only a great couples thing to do but also awesome for families.
Fun events to plan a Ft Lauderdale Florida Vacation around
For those that Scuba Dive the Ft Lauderdale is offers you a few days of heaven under water July 26-30th during the 2016 BugFest-By-The-Sea. No, you won’t be searching out cockroaches; you’ll be diving for the local tasty spiny lobsters, or “bugs” as they call them for 5 days. You not only dive and keep 12 bugs per day, but also make yourself some vacation cash! Reef Safe sun care products offer $20,000 in prizes offered in cash, dive gear and other things. One lucky diver buddy team will collect $1000 cash for collecting the 12 largest bugs. Best of all, you just know you will be eating well at night. Your cost to register for this 5-day event is only $20 per diver, and just one day’s catch is worth more than that.
Hot Tip: If you aren’t certified divers, but always wanted to dive, why not take a one-day course before the event and get certified?
If you are planning a “Fall Getaway” in Ft. Lauderdale around Halloween, adults should definitely plan to bring their best costumes, because there’s an en event just for you. The Signature Grand Ghoul “Spook-Tacular Party” held at the Signature Grand Hotel is the place to be. The hotel is transformed into one giant spooky mansion, and you’ll be mingling with local celebrities and former athletes for quite the evening. For $55 per person you can enjoy gourmet food, dancing and open bar from 7-11 PM. What a sooktacular deal.
Finally, lets talk food, wine and flowers and maybe a little romance. On December 5th each year on Birch Street the Orchid, Garden & Gourmet Food Festival draws crowds for this tasty event. Whether you grow or like orchids or not, taking a walk among these beautiful plants, outdoor in nature, sipping a cool glass of wine is heavenly. The event is the 5th and 6th of December from 9 AM-4 PM.
2016 Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show to wrap your vacation around
The fact is, whether you’re a boater or a “boater wanna be”, walking amongst the giants of the industry is exciting. This year will be the 56th year that Ft. Lauderdale has hosted this event that doesn’t just feature its magnificent boats, but also top yacht brokerages, designers, builders and even exotic cars. If you’re going to own a multi-million yacht, you can’t drive a “beater” to it now can you?
So let’s talk about boats that you can experience here at the show. It’s not just about high dollar, out of reach yachts, but a whole range of boats for all needs and price ranges. You can check out sailboats, cabin cruisers, high performance boats, sport fishers as well as jet boats, canoes and rubber inflatables. And yes, there will be a fair share of the most extraordinary “super yachts” you have ever seen.
The show runs from Friday November 7th – Monday November 10th between 10 AM and 7 PM, except Monday when it ends at 5 PM.
The show isn’t all about strolling around checking out boats that you can’t afford. You definitely want to check out The Aquazone that is put on by a company by the name of Nautical Ventures. In this attraction you’ll have an opportunity to have a personal “up close and personal” experience with the latest and greatest water sports products. The “Zone” is actually a 40,000 gallon 60 ft. by 30 ft. pool that’s set up in the main convention center. Check this out for live demos and hands on testing, plus special contests and even prizes. How does jumping in a pool with the newest Extreme Kayak, Go-cycle or Hovercraft sound? They also give you demos of the latest “Beach Drones” because everyone loves drones.
If you’ve managed to drag along the youngsters for this adventure, on Saturday and Sunday “Hook the Future” operates “Kids Fishing Clinic’s” for ages 5-16. If your kids aren’t already “hooked” this is the event to get them excited and “on board”.
For those boaters heavily involved in the boating world, you may want to reserve your tickets for the VIP Boat Show Experiences that is held each year in the Swimming Hall of Fame. What you get for the price of admission is private dining in luxury, with gourmet choices, a top shelf open bar, meet and greet high rollers of the industry, and who knows, maybe even Donald Trump or Leo DiCaprio. Both these gentleman are mega-yacht owners, and may be shopping for their next boat.
The Best of Ft Lauderdale Florida on a budget
The Riverwalk is also a great place to jog, stroll and during the evenings listen to some awesome music, including a music festival the 1st Sunday each month.
With the restaurants and bar choices it’s also the happening place to go for dinner. For a special treat for you and your “other half” why not take the water taxi and “bar hop”?
As far as beaches go, Ft Lauderdale has some beautiful beaches, for miles along Route A1A. Unlike Miami Beach, this is a more relaxed beach without all the party people and loud music. You will still find a good amount of tourist shopping and plenty of beachfront bars and restaurants. One thing you need to be aware of is limited parking, mostly metered. Consider taking public transportation, like a cab, especially if planning on hitting the bar scene after dark.
When its time to check out the food for lunch or dinner there are a few good fairly inexpensive choices for you.
Because you are on the ocean, it stands to reason that fresh seafood should be on your menu. The top choice, and in fact a world famous choice is the Southport Raw Bar located on Cordova Rd. Located right on the water. Get your fill of oysters, shrimp, snow crab and clams, or hot wings if not into seafood, and enjoy with an ice-cold beer or the famous house Sangria. If you really want to eat like a local, consider munching on a gator burger with that brew for only $4.95.
Another excellent choice of locals and visitors alike is The Le Tub Saloon located on N. Ocean Drive. Relax and enjoy your cocktails and GQ Magazines #1 burger in the U.S. at a waterfront table, as boaters dock for lunch or dinner. You just never know what celebrity will walk in, so have your camera at the ready. Top choices are of course the famous burger, fresh seafood and definitely the seafood gumbo.
If your taste buds are screaming for pizza, we have a suggestion for that too. Located on North State Rd, you’ll find thick and messy New York Style pizza at the Villa Rose Pizza joint. This is not anywhere near a fancy restaurant, but the food is awesome. You can eat it here, take back to the room or take with you to the beach or a park to enjoy.