Aerial view of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show Aerial view of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show

What's New in Greater Fort Lauderdale

convention center rendering

The first phase of the highly anticipated Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center expansion – the newly updated 800,000 sq. ft. pre-existing center with an expanded 350,000 sq. ft. exhibit hall – opened Oct. 27, 2021. Work on the remainder of the $1.1 billion expansion continues, including the new eastside expansion with waterfront ballrooms, meetings rooms and kitchen facilities, a five-acre outdoor waterfront plaza and an 800-room, five-story headquarters hotel interconnected with the convention center. Full completion will increase the facility's size to 1.2 million sq. ft. and is expected in late 2025. 

New on the Hotel Scene

Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina

The Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina recently renovated all 595 guestrooms. The upscale, nautically inspired hotel continued renovations with its meeting space inclusive of the 7,800 sq. ft. ballroom and 4,000 sq. ft. junior ballroom. Total meetings space renovated was approximately 18,000 sq. ft. Renovations to the meeting space, lobby and public space were completed in November 2021. The hotel is currently constructing a new 5,000 sq. ft. waterfront ballroom and a rooftop bar and restaurant overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway, scheduled to be completed in late 2022.

Hillsboro Beach Resort

Hillsboro Beach Resort, a 99-room property on exclusive Hillsboro Mile, opened in October 2021. With direct oceanfront access as well as Intracoastal dockage, guests can enjoy the waves roll in on the serene private beach, lounge at the resort pool, or enjoy watersports from the Intracoastal mooring. Enjoy custom cocktails and the freshest creations at the oceanfront restaurant ROI.

Marriott Fort Lauderdale airport

Located in the heart of Dania Pointe, Marriott Fort Lauderdale Airport at Dania Beach and AC Hotel Fort Lauderdale Airport opened in September 2021. Comfort meets sophistication with thoughtfully designed open spaces, breathtaking views, meeting rooms, an infinity pool with cabanas, and top-class restaurants and bars.

Home2Suites Pompano rendering

Tru by Hilton and Home2Suites by Hilton Pompano Beach Pier opened a 150-room hotel in June 2021. The dual-branded hotel features a fitness area, a saline pool and a rooftop deck featuring spectacular 360 degree views of the Atlantic Ocean, Pompano Beach Fishing Pier, the Hillsboro Lighthouse, the Intracoastal Waterway and all the action below in Pompano Beach Fishing Village. 

Kimpton Goodland Hotel - Fort Lauderdale Beach room

Kimpton Goodland Hotel - Fort Lauderdale Beach opened in April 2021 at the location of the former and historic Escape Hotel. The Goodland offers a tucked-away oasis of lush greenery and tropical landscaping paired. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Botanic at The Kimpton Goodland Hotel serves up bold, healthful and eclectic flavors that feature local ingredients and Latin and Caribbean influences. The adjacent, pool-side Good Bar continues the good vibes but with a decidedly more relaxed scene. Set amongst lush landscaping, this secluded outdoor bar and lounge features a concise menu of shareable plates and lighter fare with a beverage menu featuring gin and tonics, inventive frozen drinks and patio-perfect white and rosé wines.

AC Sawgrass

AC Hotel Fort Lauderdale Sawgrass Mills/Sunrise opened in March 2021, located adjacent to Sawgrass Mills mall and steps away from the BB&T Center. The eight story hotel is the first new hotel opening in Sunrise, FL in the past 15 years. The European style designed hotel features 174 stylishly sleek guest rooms, a lavish onsite lounge, and a lustrous rooftop bar called Horizon Bar and Lounge, which  can accommodate up to 300 guests for a reception. The hotel is equipped with 1,940 square feet of indoor space, including a meeting room with floor to ceiling windows and an adjacent outdoor terrace. The hotel specializes in European style breakfasts, Spanish style tapas, local craft beer and specialty cocktails. 

Fort Lauderdale Courtyard Downtown

Courtyard Fort Lauderdale Downtown opened in March 2021, bringing 137 rooms in to the trendy, arts-oriented Flagler Village section of downtown Fort Lauderdale. Features include a state-of-the-art lobby, two meetings rooms with a total of 2,300 square feet of flexible meeting space. The hotel also features The Easton, a rooftop venue with a pool. 

Cambria Fort Lauderdale Hotel room

Cambria Hotel Lauderdale Beach opened in January 2021. The 104-room hotel offers ocean views, a meeting room, coffee bar, pool deck and fitness room. 

Hotel Maren

Hotel Maren Fort Lauderdale Beach, a Curio Collection by Hilton opened its doors in January 2021 on A1A overlooking Fort Lauderdale beach. The stunning 229,000 square feet, 12-story hotel features 141 luxurious resort rooms, oversize balconies and breathtaking ocean views. Amenities include a VIP lounge, Ocean Club, 5th floor pool and pool bar, and a state-of-the-art fitness center. The ground floor centerpiece restaurant Riviera features coastal Italian cuisine with Mediterranean influences by celebrity chef Fabio Viviano, known for his turn as a “Top Chef” contestant.

New Flights

Avelo Airlines launched nonstop routes with low fares between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) and Tweed-New Haven (HVN) airport in New Haven, Connecticut as part of its new U.S. east coast expansion. 

New international service to FLL is now available on low-cost carrier Flair Airlines from Ottawa and Toronto, with service to the Canadian cities of Kitchener-Waterloo and Montreal soon to follow.

Startup Norse Atlantic Airways will operate transatlantic routes beginning in 2022 on Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners from FLL to Oslo, London, and Paris. The airline will also establish its new headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, creating hundreds of jobs. Founded by former Norwegian executives, Norse Atlantic’s Oslo route will launch first, followed by London and Paris.

Frontier Airlines just announced 12 new nonstop routes. Beginning Feb. 17, daily flights from Atlanta (ATL), Buffalo, New York (BUF), Islip, New York (ISP), Orlando (MCO), Philadelphia (PHL), Providence (PVD), Stewart, New York (SWF), and Trenton, New Jersey (TTN). Feb. 18, daily flights will start to Albany, New York (ALB) and Rochester, New York (ROC). Service to Green Bay, Wisconsin (GRB) and Portland, Maine (PWM) begins Feb. 19 with one flight weekly.

New Transportation

Seabreeze Tram

The City of Fort Lauderdale's Seabreeze Tram now offers beachgoers convenient, free transportation between the Las Olas Parking Garage and the Las Olas Oceanside Park. The scenic 1-mile Seabreeze loop will make for an exciting and fun day at the beach for residents and visitors alike. 

In addition to the Tri-County connectivity provided by Brightline, riders will now get to experience the new and first-of-its-kind branded, door-to-door booking service, Brightline+, which includes a Brightline-branded electric mobility fleet. The service enables customers to book seamless transportation across multiple modes of private and public transportation for the first and last miles of their journeys. 

New Attractions

The Weiner Museum of Decorative Arts (WMODA) hosts “Through the Looking Glass” on Jan. 22. At noon, glass art comes to life as iconic characters from “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” show off their zany costumes in a fashion show featuring wearable art. Also on Jan. 22, multi-disciplinary artist Dave Rosenthal and glass artist Rob Stern are collaborating to explore sound and glassmaking in their live performances of Resonance @WMODA.

IGNITE

Follow the light to IGNITE, Greater Fort Lauderdale’s new family-friendly immersive art experience showcasing exciting interactive light and video installations by leading contemporary artists and designers. Site-specific artworks will illuminate and activate locations in Fort Lauderdale and Dania Beach from Jan. 26 - 30. Admission to all Ignite Broward art experiences and talks is free to the public.

The Museum of Discovery & Science in Fort Lauderdale welcomes a STEM exhibit Planet Pioneers: Journey to Space on Jan. 28-May 16 and an engaging STEAM exhibit Dinosaurs in Motion: Where Art & Science Meet on May 27-Sept. 6.

New on the Dining & Entertainment Scene 

The Katherine, a seafood- and vegetable-focused restaurant, opened in January 2022 in downtown Fort Lauderdale. James Beard-nominated chef Tim Balloo showcases his quintessential home-style dinners infused with the cuisine of his Chinese, Indian and Trinidadian roots. Balloo describes the menu and vibe of this 46-seater with 12 patio seats as "elevated neighborhood."

The Angeles, part restaurant and part nightlife/entertainment venue, opened inside a transformed church in downtown Fort Lauderdale in December 2021. The two-story nightclub destination features a 220-seat, full-service restaurant called Holly Blue, with indoor and outdoor dining, along with an event space. The club can accommodate 700 people, including 75-100 in the VIP area overlooking the dance floor.

Batch Southern Kitchen

Batch New Southern Kitchen and Tap opened in December 2021 in Fort Lauderdale's Flagler Village. Featuring a farm-to-table menu of southern comfort food, the restaurant also offers garden-to-glass cocktails and an extensive whiskey collection. The 3,000-square-foot outdoor patio is ideal for enjoying breezy nights and sunny weekend brunches.

No Man's Land restaurant interior

No Man’s Land, a cocktail bar, lounge and eatery, opened in November 2021 in Fort Lauderdale. Brainchild of hospitality powerhouse Memphis Garrett of Garrett Hospitality Group and star of CBS’s Big Brother All Stars, the 40-seat parlor and kitchen features crafted cocktails and inventive small plates.

The elegant beachfront restaurant DUNE by Laurent Tourondel opened in November 2021 inside the Auberge Beach Residences and Spa in Fort Lauderdale. Helmed by the Michelin-star chef, DUNE offers an elevated dining experience and contemporary American cuisine characterized by an emphasis on creativity and innovation. 

Also in November 2021, Fort Lauderdale hotspot YOLO reopened after a multimillion-dollar renovation to the restaurant and O Lounge next store.

Mama Hank's

Behind a 400-pound bulletproof vault door lies Mama Hank’s, a new Flagler Village kitchen and full-liquor speakeasy lounge. Mama Hank’s has 30 seats, an island bar and warehouse bay door that rolls up for alfresco drinking, and shares its kitchen with a venue nearby. The venue opened in September 2021.

Opening Soon 

AC Hotel Fort Lauderdale Beach

AC Hotels by Marriott Fort Lauderdale Beach opens in January just steps away from Sebastian Street Beach in Fort Lauderdale. The 171-room hotel will boast ocean views, an open kitchen for European-style breakfast and specialty culinary events, a library, an expansive resort-style pool with cabanas and dining services, and 1,000 square feet of meeting space.

Big Buns Damn Good Burgers

Big Buns, a fast-casual dining spot, will open in downtown Fort Lauderdale in January with 40 indoor and 75 outdoor seats. The menu will serve a variety of flavorful burgers, bowls, sides and over-the-top shakes.

MatchBox, an intimate neighborhood dining destination, opening in the same location in January, will feature 90 indoor and 124 outdoor seats with a 2,841 square-foot patio. The menu will offer specialty cocktails with a wide range of Italian-American cuisine including brick oven pizzas, salads, bowls, sandwiches, burgers and more.

Tacocraft at Plantation

Tacocraft Taqueria & Tequila Bar opens in January in Plantation. The 4,000-square-foot space will be the largest location for the Mexican concept and the first to have both indoor and outdoor bars, as well as two patios; with abundant seating for 125 indoors and 50 outdoors.

Moréa is a Mediterranean oceanfront dining oasis opening in January on Fort Lauderdale beach. The spacious 275-seat dining destination will offer an indoor dining room, spacious bar/lounge area, and a gorgeous waterfront patio and bar. Award-winning artist and Chihuly protege, Doug Frates, designed the interior with a breathtaking two-story glass wall installation as well as several signature hanging pieces imported from Italy.

Ya Mas! opens in January on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale. Meaning “Cheers” in Greek, Ya Mas! will transport guests to a lively taverna found on Mykonos or Santorini.

Carousel Club

Carousel Club, appropriately named as the bar features an antique carousel, opens at Gulfstream Park in February. The new open-air gathering spot promises cool cocktails, delicious eats and exciting entertainment from day-to-night, including spectacular views of thoroughbred horse races and live DJs spinning.

Sunset Club Rooftop Bar & Lounge opens at Costa Hollywood Beach Hotel in February.

The Pompano Beach Amphitheater reopens in February after a $3.5 million renovation.

The Bite Eatery, the first food hall in Pompano Beach, opens in March just a few blocks away from the beach and the Pompano Fishing Pier. The 250-seat venue will feature The Beach Bar, a central full-liquor bar, plus nine food vendors.

On the Horizon

International Swimming of Hall of Fame

The historic Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Center and International Swimming Hall of Fame complex, home to Florida’s first Olympic-sized swimming pool that opened in 1926, is undergoing a $47 million renovation and expansion that includes five swimming pools and support amenities that will welcome new generations of aquatic sport enthusiasts to sporting activities and competitions. A major highlight for the new venue is a 27-meter dive tower with springboards and nine platform levels. Visitors will be able to experience “Top of the Tower” tours with scenic views of the Intracoastal Waterway and Fort Lauderdale beach. Pools are projected to open in late 2022 along with expanded operations and meetings facilities.

Four Seasons pool view

A new 22-story Four Seasons is anticipated to open in early 2022 with luxurious guestrooms and residences, two restaurants, a spa, fitness center, children’s recreation room, “Beach Butlers” and ballroom and meeting facilities.

War Memorial rendering

The Florida Panthers organization's revitalization of the War Memorial Auditorium and construction of a new state-of-the-art practice and community ice facility in Fort Lauderdale is fully underway and slated for a summer 2022 debut. Upon its completion, the new ROSSETTI-designed 144,000 sq. foot sports and entertainment venue will house South Florida's first-of-its-kind ballroom-style concert and performance venue, capable of accommodating up to 3,800 people for intimate live music and events. The redesigned theater will carefully preserve the iconic War Memorial Auditorium's classic art-deco character, while new enhancements and technical upgrades will modernize the space to accommodate global tour productions and larger-scale events. The addition of a state-of-the-art practice facility will feature two regulation-sized indoor ice rinks, including a dedicated public rink that will host a robust variety of youth and adult hockey programs, public skating, and figure skating for community members of all ages. 

Pier Sixty-Six Hotel & Marina

Pier Sixty-Six Hotel & Marina, a South Florida icon for more than 50 years, is going through a total reimagination of the destination. Upon completion the hotel will have 376 guest rooms & suites, multi-level pool experience with family and adult areas, lobby lounge, Pier Top lounge, spa, fitness center, kids club, marina promenade and residential offerings. The hotel is officially closed, but the marina and Pelican Landing remain open, welcoming guests and boaters. Expected reopening 2024.