Labor Day is right around the corner, and you’ve got a long weekend ahead. Greater Fort Lauderdale has the perfect collection of ways to indulge. With eight beaches spread among 23 miles of golden sand, it’s a no brainer that this is the place to be. Beyond the beach, you’ll find there is just as much fun to be had. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, food adventurer, craft beer aficionado, fashionista, dog lover or art connoisseur, you’ll find the perfect holiday experience in Greater Fort Lauderdale.
1. Explore via kayak or SUP
You like adventure and sun, so rent a kayak, canoe or paddleboard at West Lake Park in Florida’s Hollywood and paddle your way through winding mangrove-lined trails. You will likely spot osprey, vultures, crabs, turtles and ibis. If you paddle over to the connecting Anne Kolb Nature Center, you can visit the nature center or walk on their boardwalk trails.
2. Snap the ultimate selfie
You’re looking for the perfect Instagram-worthy backdrop. How about 26 walkable options all mapped out for you? Take a self-guided tour of the Downtown Hollywood Mural Project. Curated, contemporary murals from international and domestic artists adorn the streets of this colorful district. Artists include Tatiana Suarez, Evoca1, Rone, The London Police, Jessy Nite, Ernesto Maranje, Logan Hicks and Kenny Scharf. Choose from flamingos, turtles, mermaids, portraits of notable personalities, and more for a postcard-worthy snap.
3. Social distance on your own floating tiki bar
Charter a Cruisin' Tiki for your squad (up to 6 people). Enjoy a cruise along Fort Lauderdale’s renowned New River on a one-of-a-kind floating tiki bar. They’ll provide a cooler with ice and water, so just bring your own food and drinks. Take in the waterway views, nice breeze, tunes, and a unique, special experience.
4. Dock & dine
Stroll Las Olas Boulevard, also known as Fort Lauderdale’s Style Mile, for delectable dishes and sidewalk seating, shopping and art galleries. Drop into Ann’s Florist & Coffee Bar for macaroons, Panther coffee, antiques and sweet mementos. While on Las Olas, pick up a new outfit for the long weekend from Lilly Pulitzer and Tommy Bahama, and then grab the perfect cooler or tumbler from YETI to enjoy the balmy days under the sun. Hop on the Water Taxi from the Las Olas stop and work your way to the beach or dock and dine at 15th Street Fisheries or Shooters Waterfront.
5. Take in sights with the pup
Where you go, the dog goes. Head on over to Park & Ocean at the beachfront Hugh Taylor Birch State Park for live music, good food, craft beer and gorgeous sunset views. Grab a seat at a picnic bench while the pup takes in the salty air and exciting views. As the stringed lights twinkle above you, you’ll feel like you’re totally on vacation.
6. Savor local brews
You consider yourself a craft beer aficionado. We’ve got that frosty glass you’ve been craving. Take your pick among nanobreweries, industrial microbreweries, beer gardens and brewpubs. With 60 spots to choose from, you’ll find something special as you work your way through the Ale Trail. Take a guided tour of Funky Buddha Brewery in Oakland Park or show off those axe-throwing skills at Chops + Hops. Whether you order a sampler or a pint, pair your favorite beer with fresh dishes as you sit back in taprooms and open-air patios with your friends, family and even your best four-legged friend.
7. Satisfy your palate
Head on over to Fort Lauderdale’s FATVillage and MASS District for locally-owned boutiques, fresh-pressed juices, art galleries, bars, coffee shops and food made to look just as good as it tastes. Inside the honeycombed, mural splashed Hive warehouse district, you can satisfy your sweet tooth at Notorious Creamery with sweet concoctions such as a shake topped with a slice of birthday cake, dripping in sprinkles and lit up with sparklers, or try the cotton candy ice cream sandwich. Choose among 12 ice cream flavors including vegan options. For over-the-top artisanal cookies, a visit to Max Santiago’s Batch, The Cookie Company is a must. Get your fried food fix on at Chick’nCone with fried chicken in a homemade vanilla cone, topped with your choice of homemade sauce. Step inside The Wander Shop for the ultimate local boutique experience, featuring fashion for men and women, along with local wares.
8. Wander among a tropical park
Venture into Tree Tops Park in Davie for winding nature trails and horseback riding. Take a hike on the Live Oak Trail, Seminole Trail or Pine Island Drive. Then climb up into the canopy of a 28-foot-tall observation tower and check out a bird’s eye view of the lush scenery. Ride horses in this oasis of ancient live oaks, tropical hammocks and wetlands.
9. Discover designer bargains
Got shopping on the mind? In nearby Sunrise, you’ll find the nation’s biggest luxury and designer outlet destination. The 2.1 million-square-foot Sawgrass Mills features more than 350 stores. The Colonnade Outlet at Sawgrass Mills features an open-air, palm-tree-lined promenade including GUCCI, Burberry, Jimmy Choo, Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo Company Store, Tag Heuer, Versace, David Yurman, Ralph Lauren, and Saks OFF 5th. Fuel up between the bargains at many on-site eateries, such as Shake Shack, Seasons 52, and Yardhouse.
10. Save with LauderDeals
Labor Day weekend is a great time to take advantage of special savings offered in Greater Fort Lauderdale all summer long. Visit Lauderdale’s LauderDeals offers spectacular hotel packages, specially crafted $35 and $45 prix-fixe menus at more than 60 restaurants, 2-for-1 savings on attractions, and limited-time-only promotions on experiences.