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Greater Fort Lauderdale is known for its stunning beaches, but it’s away from the seashore and on the waterways that the region truly reveals itself as a waterfront paradise. To discover what makes the waterways of Greater Fort Lauderdale so unique, take time to explore the many canals.

Choose How You Cruise

In a region so rich with waterway attractions, you can’t lose no matter how you cruise. To see the center of Greater Fort Lauderdale from an entirely new perspective, including the mind-blowing mansions and mega-yachts of Millionaires’ Row, tour the New River around Tarpon Bend on a chartered cruise in a luxury yacht on Fort Lauderdale Riverfront Cruises. The glittering marinas of the Intracoastal Waterway are fully in sight and provide boaters with eye-popping views in all directions.

Following the water west, the winding Middle River offers the chance to take in the surroundings at your own pace while on a kayak or on a paddleboard rented from Fuddled Frog Tours. With pick-up and drop-off spots at J. Dewey Hawkin’s Landing and Colohatchee Park Canal, you take your pick of scenic waters to meander.

If you’re looking to explore at a faster clip, rent a jet ski from 5-Star Jet Ski Rentals and wave-hop your way around the Venice of America to find your own favorite spots. You can also get up close and personal with the water by hiring a scuba charter from American Dream Dive Charters and letting the captain show you where the best reefs and wrecks are located.

To cast a line and haul up a little of Greater Fort Lauderdale’s marine riches for yourself, you can do no better than Fanntastic Fishing. The helpful crew always knows where the big ones are biting, so you can take home the catch of a lifetime. No matter how you prefer to enjoy the area’s abundance of waterways, Greater Fort Lauderdale has you covered.

Landlubbers Will Like It, Too

Back on dry land, there are countless opportunities to enjoy the beauty of the waterways, including dining on the water. Whether you drive and park or dock and dine, the waterfront is filled with restaurants of every variety with memorable views.

If you like a laid-back atmosphere, try the world-famous burgers or Key lime pie at Le Tub Saloon in Hollywood. For more than 30 years, Le Tub has been one of Greater Fort Lauderdale’s best-kept foodie secrets, never advertising its riches. Even locals can pass it by if they’re not careful, but hidden behind the lush greenery out front is a one-of-a-kind saloon built of driftwood with an unparalleled view of the Intracoastal Waterway and a full bar with a friendly staff.

To taste a little of the bounties of Greater Fort Lauderdale’s waterways, walk in or tie up to the Southport Raw Bar in Fort Lauderdale. This pearl of a restaurant specializes in oysters and clams—but you can people watch and admire the boats dockside for free!

Just on the other side of the Intracoastal Waterway is another dockside restaurant, Pelican Landing. Connected to the Pier Sixty-Six Marina, the restaurant has a second-floor dining area with westward facing views of the marina and a menu highlighting freshly caught seafood and locally inspired ingredients. Come for the daily drink specials and stay for the stunning sunset views.

Close to downtown, with a view of the New River, is Boathouse at the Riverside on Las Olas Boulevard. Welcoming both boaters and those strolling the Riverwalk, Boathouse features a menu of light Mediterranean-style tapas and hearty main courses in an iconic waterfront dining room.

Also inland and further north, on the Dania Cut-Off Canal, is the Rustic Inn Crabhouse, a down-home seafood joint with patio seating and a family-friendly atmosphere. Their famous garlic crab is a can’t-miss seafood delight.

Whatever your taste, there’s a chance for you to sail, sightsee, soak up the sun, and sop up the sauces while exploring the rich waterways of Greater Fort Lauderdale.

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